Dee Rampling Lee
Born in December 1950, that makes me in my late thirties doesn't it? Funny how the mind misleads you isn't it?
Over the years I have worked as a Tracer, Drawing Office Assistant and Shop Layout Designer. I then went on to become a Paper Paste Up, Layout and Line Artist working for many firms including a dirty book publishing company although I never appeared in the magazines and hence never made much money! After several redundancies, some due to the move towards IT, which I couldn't cope with, I decided a change was due and in 1996, after returning to college for 3 years, I qualified as an Accounting Technician, a complete change of direction. I now however, only work a little as hubby has retired and why should I work when he doesn't?
I was introduced to rallying in 1970 by former boyfriend, the late Tony Thorne (some of you may remember him?) one of "Crow's" navigational rivals. He taught me how to read a map and it is to him that I owe a lot of my navigational skills. I joined West Essex Car Club where I met my next boyfriend, rally driver, Alan Lee who became hubby in 1978. We are still together although they said it wouldn't last! (Many more TT's though and I feel I might be pushing my luck!)
I spent some years navigating for several drivers in various events both navigational and stage and ended up navigating mainly for Alan, mostly competing in East Anglia. We gave up rallying in 1979 due to pressure of work and lack of time and money but not due to the patter of tiny feet, which was never on our agenda! The rusting hulk of our Hillman Imp 2 ECH is still in the front garden. It will have to go eventually!
I had nothing much to do with rallying then for many years but stayed very fond of maps! We prefer dogs to kids so had two of them. Then as the last one got really old I took to walking with the Ramblers as he was getting too slow to give me any exercise. I had a brief foray into Orienteering but decided that I couldn't use my navigational skills much there because I couldn't work up the coloured coded ability levels, as I couldn't run fast enough!
I have been Rambling now for over ten years and my love of maps and plotting routes has resulted in my becoming a keen walks leader, so have defected to the OS Explorer 1:25,000 for that. I had difficulty at first in not having a trip to count the distances.
My dear friend Sue Laver also ex WECC, emigrated to South Africa in 1976 but we are still very much in touch. When she last came over to stay with us we had a West Essex re-union and "Crow" turned up. He convinced me that I should have a go at his TT Championship and the rest is history. I did have a warm up session with The Cultivator before confronting the demon "Crow".
I have enjoyed the series immensely and have been dazzled by the different ways the navigation has to be worked out. Plot and bash was never like this! Had it been I would never have gotten my drivers off the start line! I got caught out early on with my answers, as I didn't spot that the telephone box distance had changed from the Five Diamonds Regs to the Cloverleaf. Now he puts any alterations in cerise! Too late ... too late! Reading instructions have never been a strong point with me, that's why I rarely cook from packets. How I have managed to get most of this in my head I really don't know! I must say I really do get a thrill however, from being able to finally work out a section that at first made no sense. Sometimes it's almost as good as chocolate ... I said almost! I have no real method, just to go through methodically. I admit to staying up really late several times thinking "so near yet so far" before giving up and cracking it the very next day.
I must say I rather liked the "Forum" feature this time as it helped so much to know others were having problems too! I found it very interesting and encouraging being able to read comments from fellow competitors not only to "Crow" but also to each other.
I had never actually heard of The Basic Roamer and have been plotting the events with a old blunt and cracked Don Barrow job along with a protractor, set square, 4B leaded clutch pencil, a calculator and a rambling compass, oh and many bits of paper! Hubby treated me to a wonderful Clarke illuminated swing arm magnifier for getting 2nd Expert on the first event. It clamps to the dining room table and has resulted in many dinners for weeks at a time eaten from our laps!
As I am a computer semi-literate I am in awe of Gavin for writing computer programs to solve the routes. For the Spot Frights RC in Rally Round, I spent many hours shuffling numbered bits of paper around and got a route that worked but I also was too doubtful to enter that section! Lucky because my route was wrong anyway! For Sum Spots RC I added up the spot heights around the map until I found those that totalled correctly! We had no telephone line for days towards the end of this last event due to a lightening strike taking a pole out. I had to resort to going to the library to get my updates. All very frustrating.
I am so disappointed that "Crow's" comments indicate that he may no longer run the TT. Fancy getting me hooked and then perhaps leaving me high and dry and craving more! Please, you chaps he has asked help from, do the best you can and help me ...
I think I'm addicted!
Dee Rampling Lee