Time to explore Singapore
Out of my bedroom window I can hear the mechanical whir of the cranes as they start to deconstruct the temporary circuit around the streets of Singapore, less than 12 hours since Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag.
It's incredible how quickly the world of Formula 1 keeps moving onwards.
Twelve hours ago this place was like a movie set, the scene of drama, incident and intrigue. As I look down on the track now, it's just a shortcut for commuters to nip through to the bus stop. You can't imagine it was the scene of last night's action.
Normality is returning to this micro-state, 2009's race already consigned to the history books - quite amazing.
Breakfast at the Mao Lin Café
Now, Monday is a special day for the whole BBC team because for the first time we can actually get to know this incredible place as we don't fly on to Japan for a couple of days.
And despite arriving almost a week ago, I don't yet feel I've seen Singapore's soul, and the apparent delights this place has to offer.
So, where have I spent my time? Well, firstly, my hotel room. It had one of those showers that's so powerful it feels like it's stripping off your skin while washing off the ingrained sweat that 12 hours in the Singapore sauna leaves behind.
The humidity was something else this weekend. Moments before we went live on air on Sunday, Eddie Jordan looked at me with his now familiar, 'what a disaster' face on. His entire shirt had stuck to his body in the heat (not a good look!) so I ushered him into one of the teams' motorhomes to cool off quickly.
I actually had a sweaty moment (or two) of my own this weekend.
On Sunday, before getting to the office I was due to introduce Lewis Hamilton at an event and just ask him a few questions in front of some assembled, quite important, guests.
I was then told that before he arrived they just wanted me to chat to the 20 or so suits who were gathered to meet the current world champion.
"Ok," I said, "I'll just do a couple of minutes intro about Lewis." The reply was somewhat alarming. "Oh, we'd like you to do about 10 minutes, just tell them about yourself."
Erm, right. They've come to meet a sporting hero, one of the most talked about men on the planet as he prepares to start from pole and try to win his first ever night race, and they think 10 minutes on why I'm rubbish at running because I've inherited my Dad's knees is a good warm up act? They don't want to know about me!
A quick scan of the room and I decided I'd do a nice preview to the race weekend.
I chatted about the season so far to a few polite nods of the head, and as I thought I'd done enough I said: "OK, Lewis will be with us any moment, any questions about him, the race today, or the season so far guys?" Not even the slightest movement from anyone.
If someone had scratched their head I'd have pounced on them like a cheeky auctioneer at a charity event, but nothing.
Right, I thought, no Lewis so a bit more chat. And a bit more...
Despite glancing at the door every 20 seconds it didn't move for what seemed like an entire race distance. I was starting to sweat badly at this point as I fed them everything from how the season began to the changed layout of the Marina Bay circuit, even the fact that one of the McLaren guys worked 36 hours straight to help improve the MP4-24.
Twenty minutes had almost passed by. In fact, it got to the point where I almost resorted to explaining to an increasingly impatient and fidgety crowd the importance of the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre. Alan Partridge would have been proud...
Eventually, however, I saw a silver flicker behind the door and thought: "Ah, here we go, that's a Macca top." So I launched into a short introduction and, when the door still didn't open, I thought the perfect thing to do to fill a few more ticks of the clock was remind the guys of Lewis's last race.
Finally, a creek of hinges and in strolled a very relaxed looking Lewis just as I said, "and in Monza he ended up hitting the wall right at the end of the race..." The timing was priceless.
I'd said umpteen positive and inspiring things about the guy, and his intro becomes "hitting the wall right at the end of the race... world champion Lewis Hamilton everyone". He just flashed me that winning smile.
In the end, despite my mammoth, 20-minute F1 rant, Lewis was great, the guys enjoyed what he had to say, and I didn't even need to think about discussing the expansion of Norwich Airport...
Jonathan Legard studies the map as the hunt for food begins
Anyway, back to my point about hardly seeing the city yet. It's all because at this race the teams, and therefore us broadcasters, have had to stay on European time, so the race is in the middle of our day, if you get my drift.
Here's a run down of existing on European time in an Asian city. This is qualifying day:
12pm - Alarm goes off. Because the rest of our hotel was on local time, the previous four hours had been a mix of vacuum cleaners, doors slamming and kids running as the blazing sunlight always found a gap in the curtains despite my best efforts. Grrr.
1pm - Meet the team in reception... except Charlie and Fisheye, two editors who need to move their watches forwards by five minutes!
For some ridiculous reason we always ended up walking the 30 minutes to the track instead of the five-minute cab ride. The upside was a chance to have an 'Egg Set' in the Mao Lin Café - an odd coffee that resembled syrup in consistency and taste, two eggs poached for about 20 seconds, a hotdog roll with lettuce, tomato and egg, and French toast with a sugar spread. All for £2!
It was an incredibly popular joint with the locals and it took me two days to realise it wasn't that they were all frittering away cash on breakfast on the way to work - they were on their lunch breaks...
2pm - get to the track, feeling and looking like I'd crossed the Sahara before going for a fully clothed swim. Not attractive!
2pm-7pm - Film stuff in the paddock, write scripts, have meetings, iron my shirt on an ironing board that was honestly the size of a Tic-Tac. The big one couldn't fit in the freight, apparently. Thanks to production manager Anne for her help with the trousers.
8pm-11.30pm - Rehearsals, then live on air with our qualifying show.
11.30-11.40pm - find somewhere air conditioned and just blob, while the glamorous and perfectly turned-out world of F1 wonders disapprovingly who the sweaty bloke in the corner is.
12am-2am - Discuss the following day's show with the producers, wait for an interview with Sebastian Vettel that never happened, and keep saying to each other: "It's 1.30 in the morning, and we haven't even had dinner!"
2.30am-ish and finally it's the end of the working day in our little sardine tin. I posted a picture of us all crammed in on my Twitter page over the weekend if you fancy seeing it.
So, at this point I'd eaten a banana and too many Pringles and was toying with the idea of just heading back to the hotel to get some kip. Jonathan Legard wouldn't hear of it so began an adventure I'll never forget as our online colleague Sarah Holt joined us for a trip into the unknown... to find dinner at a time when the city was well and truly asleep.
It's a running joke with Ledgy that he is 'never knowingly underfed'. So, despite my protestations we were off into the exciting metropolis of Singapore, and ended up in the laundry cupboard of a five-star hotel.
Jonathan considers his options
It's not as mad as it sounds. We just couldn't get out of the confines of the circuit with steel fences blocking our every turn, so we headed into a posh-looking hotel, the thinking being that we'd emerge the other side, avoid the barriers and culinary nirvana would be ours.
Instead we met the laundry cupboard and, thankfully, an incredibly nice guy who did show us the way out, via an underground car park that we'd never have found ourselves.
Jonathan was on map duty as we battled fatigue, hunger and the heat - and Singapore is still incredibly humid in the wee small hours of the morning.
We eventually saw a street stall that was open but, to be totally frank, apart from the fact it had green and yellow seating, which would have made me feel right at home, the appeal was somewhat limited.
Then we saw it, like a mirage suddenly appearing in the desert, or when you've waited for a night bus for ages and then you see the lights rumbling along the road towards you.
This place was vast, a huge neon sign saying '24 HOUR FOOD HALL', some chairs scattered on the pavement outside, and inside it was like the biggest school canteen you've even seen, complete with racks on wheels to put your trays on.
Ledgy marched straight up the first stall he saw while the picture of the 'intestine soup' somewhat put me off. Sarah and I headed for the vegetable and rice section while Jonathan had a great conversation that went something like: "Is that good?" "Yes," came the reply. "OK, some of that, is that good?" "Yes." "OK, that too..." It went on for quite a while and eventually we reassembled out on the pavement.
I've always had in my head a romantic ideal of eating local food on the street is Asia, and I must say, the company and the nosh were both absolutely spot on.
It was also interesting seeing the kinds of people who would be eating there in the middle of the night. No two people were the same. Clubbers, suited businessmen, taxi drivers, families, bin men. And there we were, three BBC bods in the middle of it all, filling our stomachs with rice and noodles at a most unusual hour.
The only thing slightly off-putting and not completely authentic was the soundtrack to our supper. The place was blaring out what sounded like the 'Now That's What I Call Music Nine' album.
Jake, Sarah and Jonathan tuck in after reaching the end of their quest
Stir fried vegetables at 4am while Bananarama rather aptly serenaded us with 'A Trick of the Night'!
By 4.30 we were all tucked up in bed, tummies full, and eight hours later off went my alarm as the Mao Lin 'Egg Set' and another upside-down day beckoned.
And this is how it went on, a great experience but a slightly unnerving one all the same.
It resulted in me becoming obsessed with the time back home in the UK, much to the annoyance of the rest of the office!
Well, I hope that gives you just a small insight into how strange our weekend has been in many ways. Not as weird as Sunil, one of our VT producers, however.
Making live telly must seem a walk in the park compared to waiting for your first child to be born. At the time of writing there's no news but I'd like to wish him and Laura all the best.
Anyway, I always feel it's important to mention on here that I'm sorry we couldn't bring you the post-race top-three driver interviews on BBC1. We do always try to.
If you pressed the red button for a full 75 minutes of the F1 Forum, I hope that made amends as EJ asked 1999 champion Mika Hakkinen if he'd come back to F1 (no), McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh was stuck for words when we pressed him on Kimi Raikkonen rejoining the team (I think it'll happen) and Martin Brundle enjoyed his obligatory on-screen ice cream (choc ice).
I'd be keen to get your thoughts on the weekend. Once again Ross Brawn proved he might be a distant relative of Harry Houdini, and could the point Jenson Button took back off Rubens Barrichello, to make the gap 15 points, be the biggest of his career? What do you think?
Next for us, a trip from here to Suzuka. I'll do a photo-blog of the travels!
All the best,