Poppies for Jill

These poppies were growing from the shingle at Dungeness. The photograph was taken in July 2005, and I post it now in memory of my wife Jill, who died on 28 October 2016. Poppies were her favourite flower and Dungeness was one of her favourite places.


Formula One: does anyone still care?

Nico Rosberg’s retirement from F1 only days after becoming world champion driver is unmistakably a snub for the ‘sport’, though I’m sure it was not so intended.

F1 is in crisis, and everyone outside its inner circle must know it. Only Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg had any chance of being champion driver this year, because their Mercedes cars were the only ones remotely capable of winning. Neither Hamilton nor Rosberg could conceivably have become world champion in any other car. On the other hand, there were several drivers who might very well have become world champion if only they had been in a Mercedes. So it is not actually the driver who conquers all others: it is the car.

But F1 is in a much bigger bind than that. More and more, races are decided by obscure and totally contrived regulations governing car design, tyres, refuelling, and Lord knows what else. Many casual fans like me can no longer understand what is going on, most of the time. But it certainly isn’t interesting.

Step up to the podium for wrecking F1: Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA. You all got rich in the process.