A great weekend - and now longer - in China
Right about now, I should have been home for a couple of hours. My wife had taken the day off work and we were going to spend the time doing something together.
Well, as things stand I'm writing this in my hotel room in China and Harriet is (hopefully still) planning to make some choux buns for my eventual return - man, I love my wife!
It's such a strange experience here at the moment. I just spoke with Pedro de la Rosa, who is having a desperately unlucky season driving for Sauber, and his luck is out in this situation, too. He was downstairs in reception just moping about not sure how or when he'll make it home. And he isn't alone.
Many people have sent me Twitter messages saying that with Force India's Vijay Mallya, Lotus's Tony Fernandes, and Virgin's Richard Branson all owning airlines, surely there is a way out of this for the F1 community. Well, it seems the problem is that no matter who you are, how much money you have and whatever businesses you own, if airports are closed because a volcano is erupting, you're stuck!
Anyway, I have my camera and I will be doing a travelogue blog in a few days so you can see for yourselves how we made it out of this sorry mess... and as ever I'm sure there are people far worse off than us.
Back to the racing. What a fantastic weekend for Formula 1, hey? A highlight for me was some of the action around the racing.
I love walking on to the grid pre-race. It is such a fantastic buzz; you can honestly feel the electricity and adrenalin on that asphalt with the eyes of the world homed in on 24 of the world's fastest machines.
The security are particularly officious here in China, so I popped to see the man guarding the gate before we went on air to warn him we'd be coming through.
If you watch the footage back on iPlayer, though, you can see he still looks for David Coulthard's accreditation. Seeing a driver on the grid minutes before the start makes you feel so nervous for them. They're brave guys.
Anyway, after being on the grid we handed the reins to Martin Brundle, who did his usual stuff on the grid walk, and we headed back to the paddock.
Now, thanks to the contacts that assistant editor Steve has developed, we were allowed to walk through the McLaren garage. As we arrived there at the same time as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, David and I wished them luck. Button turned round and said to DC: "Your turn in a week, mate!"
Of course, David's return to racing (ash permitting!) in the DTM is in just a few days' time, but how impressive of 'JB' to remember that, just moments before his own afternoon under pressure. For the record, DC went as white as a sheet!
Hamilton was also in good spirits. We were chatting about his girlfriend, the pop singer Nicole Scherzinger, who is currently starring in Dancing with the Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing. Lewis said she was working unbelievably hard to make it a success, but I imagine the moves he is pulling on the track at the moment put hers well in the shade.
McLaren have got two top-line world champions, both driving out of their skins and giving each other the ultimate benchmark. It's impressive to watch. How they'll both be wishing they could drive the MP4-25s back to the Europe right now!
Post-race, we decided to stay near the scrutineering bay for the first time, to give viewers a close-up look at a car post-race. We see them in the garages, all clean and perfect, but after 200 miles in the rain they look very different.
Nico Rosberg's Mercedes was caked in dirty rainwater, probably from fighting off the competition from the McLaren boys most of the time, but again he put in a truly stellar performance to put Michael Schumacher in the shade.
Rosberg joined us during the the F1 Forum on the red button, for which we were in the Mercedes area in the paddock. Their motorsport boss Norbert Haug loyally defended Schumacher to the hilt but what do you guys think? Will Michael re-find his form or spend the next three weeks questioning his decision to return to F1?
Anyway, as I glance out of the window at the rainy suburb of Shanghai that has been our home for the week, it occurs that once again it was a race made by this dodgy weather. The likes of Renault's Robert Kubica and Force India's Adrian Sutil rose to the occasion, congratulations to Vitaly Petrov for picking up points, and there was a Lotus in front of a Williams... that's a big worry for the Grove outfit, eh?
Right, I know this is a slightly shorter than usual blog, but I've just received a text saying: "UK airports still shut, Frankfurt also currently closed but we have a seat on a plane due to head there so we're off to the airport in 20 minutes - meet downstairs." Right, I need to pack on a time limit now and I'm not great when I've got a whole morning...
Final point - Eddie Jordan, we missed you this weekend!! It felt rather odd only doing one pre-show high five in the pit lane rather that two. But we weren't as frustrated as the man himself, stranded in London because of the volcano that is now keeping me in China.
I'm sure he won't mind me sharing this message exchange with you:
15 April, 4.09pm.
Jake - EJ... what news??
15 April, 4.17pm.
EJ - Trying everything Jake, Paris just closing. I just want to be with you two. I have mega shirts! EJ.
You've got to love the guy!
By the time you read this I'm not sure where I'll be. Fingers crossed it isn't the floor of Pudong Airport!