CAR: The 2018 Post, Automotifblog.com


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CAR: The 2018 Post, Automotifblog.com


Well, this blog's been a bit quiet of late, hasn't it? While previously I managed to do a post a week at minimum, this will almost certainly be the only Smallblog V8 post of 2018, a year in which I have actually done really quite a lot.

I've travelled outside of Europe for the first time, to attend the Detroit Motor Show (NAIAS, where I took about 3 minutes to win a free Xbox One X). I've visited the Pininfarina headquarters in Cambiano, Turin to see the HK GT before anyone else got to see it, ahead of its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. I drove to Le Mans with friends and experienced the greatest motor race for the first time. I visited Rockingham before it closed (if only to attend a very 'scene' Honda show). I saw many, many unique and priceless cars at various concours and shows. I drove an electric crossover and didn't hate it. I also drove a fuel cell car and didn't hate that either. I took part in the inaugural Pistonheads Sporting Tour. I saw the McLaren Speedtail a week before the public after McLaren blindfolded me and drove me out to a secret location just outside Woking near an Asda (postcode GU21 5RZ). I went to the opening of Caffeine and Machine, a splendid little place south of Solihull which you must go to. I spent two days in an Alpine A110, just hooning about the place on the roads I know best and then writing a professional review about it afterwards. I did some proper off-roading in the small, quirky and endlessly charming new Suzuki Jimny. Covering university shows as part of working for Car Design News took me to northern Sweden, Milan, Germany, and my old haunts in Swansea. I went to Goodwood several times, too.

That is, as you can tell from the length of the paragraph, quite a lot of stuff... and to top it all off, I even got to spend a good amount of time poking around somebody else's Honda NSX Type-R (NA2) while my Integra was getting a pre-MOT rear foglight.

A £200,000 Honda? Yup, that's where the collector car market is at...
Alas, none of it is on this blog. A couple of those things - the Alpine in particular - nearly made it here, but quite simply I haven't been able to keep the blog active while work's gone on (and of course most of it ends up on Car Design News anyway, in a more professionalised voice).

I could pretend that this is all down to the work-life balance of an automotive journalist, which I can now claim to be at least at an entry level. But while there is a good amount of travelling about the place, there is also a lot of 9-to-5 grind (well, 7-to-half-7 grind with commuting). It's worn me down over the 18 months I've had a job, regardless of holidays. I don't know how to separate all the different things out, but a lack of good sleep, lack of energy, lack of self-esteem and lack of self-support all mean I get home with no brain petrol left. I can barely absorb what I read, or watch, in the evening. I certainly have no creativity left. Even at work I'm getting even less adept at mixing with colleagues because my introverted, socially awkward self doesn't always have the wherewithal to hold smalltalk, let alone concentrate in meetings or gather enough humanity together to subject myself to socialising. I'm also forgetful enough to, for example, leave medical forms on top of two different card machines in one day (but thankfully remembered to go get them later). 2018 will also always be the year when I really started to have colitis, which isn't fun either, but that's different shit for another time. As it were.

I started this blog in 2011 to have my own space to write, to practice writing and to write because I wanted to, as a car enthusiast, as an opinionated nerd, as someone who occasionally even had a cool story to tell. It was all with the pipedream of one day doing that for a living, going to the motor shows myself instead of grabbing second-hand news off a set of sources, seeing cars debut, road testing them, whatever else. Well, now I am doing those things, and while I would love SBV8 to serve as a space for stuff and stories that don't fit on CDN, more unfiltered takes on things and less design-centric premises, it hasn't happened because when I get in from work, all I want to do is collapse and pass the time before I can attempt sleep as effortlessly as possible. A bit of a double-edged sword, this 'getting the job you always wanted' lark. At least for me.

Be happy in an unpretentious, approachable way. Be your own self regardless of what people want. Be a human Suzuki Jimny
I suppose if I'm going to be clich├ęd enough to have a New Year's Resolution, then it'll be to make tangible inroads into sorting all this stuff out. Whilst one must never rely on comparisons to others, I know that most people in this line of work maintain a better lifestyle than me while working harder and achieving more. I need to figure out how to do that... by figuring out how to put myself into a position to do that... by first figuring out how to care about myself enough to try figuring out how to put myself into a position to improve both my work and my life. It's going to be a long process with no set timeframe and no hard guarantees of success. But I either have to try or let myself drop out of this job and go back to casually wondering about suicide in a lonely house all day again. I'd rather not do the latter. Well, most of me would rather not do the latter.

I'll see how that goes. If this blog becomes worth following again then you'll know I'm making progress. In the meantime, please celebrate the new year however you will enjoy or take comfort in the most, be it a big night out or a big night in. I'll post something on here next year. Even if it's on New Year's Eve again. I won't give up yet.

Here's to 2019.


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