RICK JACKSON: Will Hamilton pip Froome for title?

Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend
Lewis Hamilton celebrates his win in the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend
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I’m pretty sure my 40th celebrations didn’t last two months, like my wife’s seem to be. It’s the birthday celebration that keeps on giving!

It all began at the beginning of September, when she jetted off to see a friend who is currently working in Gibraltar.

It was difficult for Sarah as this was the first time she’d really spent away from the children, but the break was much-deserved, and enjoyed, as the photos of her sipping Cava by the pool proved.

Then came the girls’ holiday to France. All her friends are turning 40 about the same time, so off they flew to a place near Bergerac for a few days in a beautiful villa in the middle of nowhere.

More photos consisting of Champagne, silly outfits and plenty of cheese filled up my What’s App files. Boy, were they having a good time.

Next came the family day on the Isle of Wight. A wonderful surprise as the rest of the family met us at the car ferry terminal and the convoy boarded the ferry.

The celebrations come to a conclusion next weekend when we head off to Southampton with our best friends to join the P&O cruise ship Aurora.

I’m exhausted but I’ve loved the challenge of looking after the kids myself. We all survived, got fed, watered and exercised and I proved to myself I am more than capable. It was also lovely spending this quality time with them.

For the cruise Sarah has decided that the lure of a beautiful ship and all the delights she has to offer, is too much to ignore.

With just two nights on board, a trip to the canals of Bruges can wait for another day.

With no kids, two lies-in and more bars and restaurants that you can shake a stick at, the ship can sail around the Isle of Wight 10 times for all we care!

What a birthday she has had.

But fellas, with a partner’s special birthday looming, make sure you save plenty of money and energy.

Because... they’re worth it.


I was shocked to see the reactions of the Spanish police in Barcelona as the people of the city voted in an unofficial referendum of independence for the Catalonia.

When I think of how we went about things here in the UK over Scottish independence, again I thank my lucky stars I’m British.

Yes, the Spanish economy would collapse without Catalonia, but surely with the Basque region following suit, Spain would be decimated.

Sadly, the heavy-handed way the authorities handled the peaceful vote will no doubt strengthen the resolve of proud Catalonians to split from Madrid.

As the Spanish continue to demand the return of Gibraltar, I’m sure after these scenes, we are even less likely to agree.


For me, Chris Froome is still favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year and to receive a knighthood, but Lewis Hamilton is certainly running him close.

He is showing his driving class this season as he leads the drivers’ championship ahead of Sebastien Vettel. He could even clinch the title at the next Grand Prix.

What’s amazing about this season is that his Mercedes car isn’t even the quickest, with Ferrari and Red Bull being faster.

Sadly F1 is less of a spectacle these days. With less overtaking the thrill of the race has died somewhat. Even the noise seems less impressive.

Then again, these 1.6 litre engines develop almost 900 horsepower.

Certainly more than my Vauxhall Mokka!