First pick-up this morning was another young racing driver. I’ve been so busy just getting from A to B that I’ve barely noticed that there have been some really interesting human beings in my car. People that young who are already racing at this level… Remarkable single-mindedness. I’m looking forward to catching the fruits of their labour on this steep sandy track through the dunes and between the sea-carved mesas of the desert at Neom on Saturday.
I’ve also had some extraordinarily wealthy people in my crappy little Hyundai Sonata. That’s a set I know well, the ridiculously wealthy. They’re usually delightful. It’s the ones a couple of tiers below them that you’ve got to watch out for. There have been good people from all over the Middle East, flying in to support this unusual event. Hospitality are working overnight to construct a unique tent complex with Saudi features and unusual shapes stretched over steel. It already looks incredible and its going to be another feat on this site. These calm softly spoken men and women with their hi-vis jackets have inevitably swarmed a huge unique complex of tents and banners and flags and walkways and solar panels and cables and hydrogen batteries since I arrived here. Then there are medical tents and prayer tents and testing tents and loos and wadis. The command tent. The media tent. The huge catering tent, full now of cakes and air conditioning and tasty food and wireless internet. The imposingly named “command centre”. In the desert.
An enterprising stray dog found its way onto the site this evening. That’ll be making mischief somewhere tonight no doubt. We had a camel incursion a while ago. There are factors that are not controllable. But there is so much that is thought about. So many people contributing so much thought and planning, so that a small number of tough young women and men can go fast in electric machines for a day.
I’m not doing my early pick-up today. Much of my work is done, so I went to talk to the guy who runs hospitality. I told him I’ve got a pretty good handle on serving high status people in tents after all the Royal Ascot weeks I worked as floor or kitchen manager in fine dining. He smiled. “I won’t need help, but feel free to come tomorrow and see how it looks when its finished.” My workload is easing down despite my attempts to load it up again. I think the next few days will be a useful meditation for me – my undiagnosed ADHD means I really don’t like not doing things. If nothing explodes in my department then I’m going to just have to take in the sights and sounds and not find myself feeling crappy just because I can’t find a way to make myself immediately and visibly useful.