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Monday, 19 August 2013

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Linking up with Kirsty for I must confess on sport - Timely because it is Superbowl Sunday. I'm going for the Broncos but my heart isn't in it with these two teams...Anyway,  I love sport. There is never enough in my book. Bring on the Winter Olympics where we get 2 weeks of 24 hour sport...YAY!! Then World Cup where I traipse around town at all hours to watch games live. So into the archives for some pretty pictures, on how beautiful sport can be.
 

I love motor sport - not all motor sport, but in particular the Dakar Rally. Every year, come January, I follow closely live coverage through the web, and everything must stop to allow me to watch the highlights in peace. Smart daddy knows the kids must not be allowed to disturb this 30 minute window each evening.

I run a sweep, and harass 39 people to give me money to be in it, purely so I have people to discuss the race with. Some are gradually moving over to love it too. Most just humour me, delete my emails unread and are happy if they win money.

I have gone to great lengths to get playmobil service trucks from Germany, French Terry Sabine boardgames from the '70's and other such collectables to brainwash my kids into liking it. Santa even likes to bring everyone an item of Dakar clothing, and I have a complete Dakar luggage set, as you do.

I've been watching a number of riders and drivers evolve over the last 20 years - and my interest has evolved over time too - I used to only like the bikes and cars, and big name professionals, but now I LOVE the trucks and amateurs.

There is nothing as beautiful (or terrifying) as watching the behemoths tear through the dunes. They race through the most awe-inspiring and often vast deserts, and bring far corners of the earth to my little urban home.

One interesting thing that has evolved with the advent of facebook and twitter, is that the information one can follow the race with is exceptional. The drivers themselves tell you what's happening, even before the press releases go out.



These photos are of the Mongolian Rally, and come via Teruhito Sugawara, who gave me his permission to use them all the way from outer Mongolia (literally) this morning - in a real time conversation.



The Hino Trucks are my favourite, as the senior Sugawara, 71 year old Yoshimasa(-san), has been in over 30 Dakars, and obviously every single one I've followed. Still determined and still going strong, he's inspirational as the Dakar is not the kindest of conditions. The lure of the Dakar from the armchair is the stories that go with it. There are always fabulous backstories of courage, generosity or determination.

While most people find it odd, I've discovered many of my ilk through the social media. We all see the race through the same tinted glasses. Come January, we like to find others with the same interest & passion, to share thoughts and chat about the day's events.

But I think there's a lesson in the converse. It's something to remember with other people. There will always be people that like things you don't understand, kids especially. But maybe from time to time we need to try to see things with their eyes, or we need to explain what we love to them in a language they understand. Maybe a new door will open, a new interest or a shared hobby. Or maybe it won't. But there's certainly no harm in giving it a try from time to time.

So next time your kid sits down to watch something stupid or play a computer game or whatever it may be, why not join them for half an hour? You never know until you try.

(I understand this post may have limited interest to 99 percent of you, but I defy anyone to not see the beauty in these photographs! The first is of the bivouac in Mongolia; the refuelling one I like because whenever they talk about not having enough fuel for everyone at the fuel stop, it took me a long time to understand there weren't petrol stations in the middle of nowhere...so the image of the fuel truck makes me smile at my own stupidity. The last one, I can not look at without grinning - it's elating to watch the massive trucks literally fly through the dunes, even in a still shot!)



30 comments:

  1. Hi! My partner loves motor sports too and I just don't 'get it' :) You're so right in saying though that we should try to sit down from time to time and try to see something from someone else's perspective. I know he's not a kid (theoretically!) but on the odd occasion when I have spent some time watching car-related videos on youtube with him, I know he's appreciated it :)

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    1. I actually was going to say partner, but it read a little sexist (and for a female who likes motor sport, I can't encourage that!) but applicable, for friends, partners & kids alike.

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  2. I've only seen bits and pieces of Dakar, but I do love the trucks! Hubby is a fan so we do watch some when it's on. How amazing that the drivers/riders are all on twitter now - that must be very cool for fans to follow in real-time as you say :)

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    1. It's great to follow the guys that don't make the big media's radar...

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  3. I love how you are completely dedicated to getting everyone around you interested in Dakar too. You made me laugh out loud about the sweep :)

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  4. I was in sales - I'm good at getting money out of people. Last year I just emailed saying 'you know I'll harass you until you give me the money so you may as well hand it over now' and pretty much 30 people stumped it up straight away...

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  5. I have never heard of Dakar! Does look like a lot of fun to watch actually. A luggage set? Ok yep.. that is pretty dedicated!!

    If I sit down with the kids at their computers I do indeed find a whole other world they live in. It's fascinating just how clever they are too!
    #teamIBOT

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    1. Good for you - I need to do that more (sit with the kids at computer - I pop in and out but I don't really make the time)

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  6. Well done with the sweep Lydia, they obviously know resistance is futile!
    I did try watching a couple of Lord of The Rings movies with my husband, but just managed to catch up on some sleep :)
    That last shot is pretty amazing! x

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    1. I LOVE the Lord of the Rings - except Froddo, who's annoying and a little useless. If they'd given the ring to Sam it would have been over in about 45 minutes.

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  7. Absolutely gorgeous photographs! It is all about perception and perhaps being not being so stuck on our own all the time. A change in perspective can be all we need sometimes!

    That Hino truck looks amazing mid-air!!

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    1. I LOVE the mid-air shot. It was taken by a fan - it's AMAZING!

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  8. Wow that is awesome! I love watching Motocross, car rallies and in fact quite a lot of motorsports, but I've never heard of Dakar, shame of me, can I blame being a Kiwi??

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    1. Paris to Dakar? Used to be in Africa but moved...
      I can't watch Motocross as I find it too stressful that they'll get hurt...

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  9. Yes they are beautiful photos, and whilst I have never found any interest in car racing at all, I love hearing how excited you get by it. It kind of makes me want to watch. Just remind me in January ok?

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    1. Oooh, you'll no doubt hear about it...(but yes, the photos are stunning - I love the first one - makes me want to visit Mongolia)

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  10. Two of my best friends did the Mongol Rally (and they absolutely loved it). One went on to do a different rally across India in a tuk tuk. And I don't think his rallying days are over yet.

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    1. WOW! That's impressive. The adventurists did both of those too (I think that tuktuk one sounds like a nightmare!!)

      You will have to keep us updated of their future exploits.

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  11. Well there you go, I haven't thought about the Dakar Rally for about 25 years... I remember watching docos about it as a teenager... and the time Mark Thatcher got lost... I love hearing new things and being curious... you are right, these photos are cool. And hey, I used to watch to drive that way to get to Senegal, what happened to that idea. I did once visit Ghana for a few weeks and had a pal who knew the West Coast of Africa well... ah, memories re-kindled. Thank you!

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  12. Lydia - No real interest here in motor racing, but it I was it would be the Dakar rally - the scenery is just so beautiful and it feels like an immense challenge taking on the desert. And love your passion in loving it.

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  13. Well you learn something new everyday. I found today's confessional rather painful.

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  14. Hubster is a huge motor racing fan ... can't say that I am though ;-)

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  15. It sounds like sport is really positive thing in your life which is great. Wish I could say the same....

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  16. I am more interested in AFL and other sports, I will occasionally watch the Bathurst or Moto GP. But really can't handle cricket

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  17. I used to be such a lover of sport but my husband does not share my interest and over time my love of cricket and other sports has faded. But never tennis! While I'm not a motor sport fan, I do agree with my Dad that motor bike racers are amazing in what they can do on two wheels

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  18. Whilst I have never really been a motor sport fan I totally get the man/machine versus the elements aspect to it. The Dakar rally is particularly gruelling and I can understand how seeing the drivers and their teams overcome everything nature throws at them can be really exciting. And you are right - the pictures are stunning. Thanks for giving us an insight into one of your passions.

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  19. My partner used to be drive in the speedway and until I met him I didn't really have an interest in it all. Now we go to the local meets when we can and it's great going with someone who knows what's going on, who also has the patience to answer my stupid questions.

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  21. Wow, that is a great shot of the Hino! Hubby drives a Hino, but it's somewhat bigger than that and hauls a 46-foot trailer ;)

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  22. Oh wow Lydia, I'm in awe of your Dakar dedication. I'm a Dakar lover but I'm not in the same league as your good self. *bows down to the Dakar deity*

    You truly have captured the essence of the Dakar with this post.

    As an aside, how good are those Mini's? I seriously want one - fully kitted out of course. The run to and from work would be sooo much more fun.

    G. xx

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