My second night in a plastic bed in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Ben and I have known each other for so long now. He was at Rose Bruford Drama School with Jo, my erstwhile emergency friend. Jo saved my life many times. She helped me piece things together. Hanging out with Ben helps me remember the haphazard nuance of that brilliant gobshite friendship. I miss Jo. She’s still around, but she’s got a daughter so we don’t call every night after midnight and break down the day…

This evening though we ended up in the pub breaking down our particular day. Ben and Katrina and I put the world to rights.

I’m up here in Stoke on Trent, helping to give confidence to a coming generation of engineers. Yep. It’s back to that. Shortly before cracking off with Extreme-E again, I’m trying to build a generation of engineers who think about solutions.

It’s half term today. These young men and women are in the final year at school and they are so totally brilliant that their half term is consciously being spent making elastic band powered boats with us… They have chosen to spend half term doing engineering, and they also seem to be making deep friendships. This is a wonderful thing, frankly. Even in a day I’ve seen people grow. This sort of thing at this age is golden. Shared experience. Shared making. Wherever they want to go, this is a foundation.

I’ll be off back into the desert soon. I can be a social wildcard, like so many of these engineering humans today. I’m so looking forward to fitting in to a strange team like a glove, as I seem to somehow do with Extreme-E. The Uruguay race will be much like Sardinia in terms of distances. I’ll be close to the site in digs. I’m looking forward to once again learning a new place. Bring it. You have to be flexible…

I may be wrong but I think this is an early version of the winner. It was always about the elastic motor though…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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