Golden Hour Time

That’s definitely “hour” and not “shower” in the title of this communication. What kind of site do you think this is?! Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time at the Imperial War Museum at Duxford Airfield. Now, I’m going to skip all the issues I have with museums of war and empire, there’s plenty of time for that in future and past communications. However, I do love a pretty aeroplane and Duxford has fucking loads. In the last week I have spent three days at the airfield.

Camp Duxford
Camp Duxford

2523 (Linton) Sqn invited some of our cadets along to a weekend assisting Duxford in the smooth running of their Battle Of Britain airshow. We arrive there early(ish) on the Saturday and helped them out. We were allowed entry to the airshow once we’d done our jobs. It was a splendid day with plenty of propeller drive aircraft rumbling through the skies. For me, gas turbines hit the spot and so while not WW2 era, it was a delight to see a Whirlwind, Wessex and Sea King flying above Cambridgeshire.

Fighter Squadron
Fighter Squadron – you need to look a little closer for full effect

Once the show was over we managed to get up close and personal with the three helicopters of the Historic Helicopter flight. If you ever thought your hobby was a touch expensive and not much gained from it, but you enjoy it anyway, then imagine trying to keep helicopters airworthy, for the hell of it. Photographs were taken.

Historic Helicopters
Historic Helicopters

It seems to me that a good photograph is all about being in the right place and having the right amount of nudge with the big man in the sky to make the heavens look absolutely glorious. The golden hour in the communication title refers to the hour before sunset when the lighting for photographs is bloody amazing. The grand finale of the airshow was a flypast of fifteen WW2 era fighters. Such an amazing sight and sound.

Battle Of Britain Fighter Wing
Battle Of Britain Fighter Wing

I do worry slightly about a country celebrating not-losing a few battles. It is something the UK seems to do a lot. It’s as if it reinforces the natural superiority of the British above everyone else. The Brits have such nostalgia for things that only went their way though luck and good fortune that I guess it’s about time for that luck to run out. Oh, wait, now I remember the last five years.

I also spent a day at Duxford on Wednesday, just as a day trip to give some newer cadets the experience of a CCF trip along with seeing some amazing planes. We got up close to the Bristol Blenheim and some cadets even helped push a few Spitfires around to clear Shed 3.

Bristol Blenheim Up Close And Personal
Bristol Blenheim Up Close And Personal

There’s something about standing in a hangar staring at the only Blenheim in the world while surrounded by a collection of airworthy Spitfires, Hurricanes and Buchons. Some places are just a bit special. Much like the exhaust view on the Spit. Thanks BW.

Merlin - The Magical Kind
Merlin – The Magical Kind

If You Have To Ask The Price . . . .

As we have one very busy week end it’s only two more weeks and then I can probably think about organising all the other stuff that needs to be done. In the past seven days I’ve been i/c of two cadet trips, both of which weren’t even known about four weeks ago. If you have any idea how long it takes for authorisation for trips to come through from the “higher-ups” then you’ll know that I’ve pretty much been a one-man miracle for the last month. On the Aerospace Camp I met BW and he had some events in the pipeline and invited us along. It would have been rude to say no and so I got to sorting them out.

The first of these joint trips was to attend the Air Charter Expo at Biggin Hill. It’s a hanger and hardstanding area full of executive jets ready to be chartered. It’s like a car show but for more expensive items. The cadets did some work and I drank some coffee so all was good in the world. I could have done without the rain storms on the way to Biggin Hill and slightly less exciting weather would also have meant the traffic might have flowed a bit better but we got there and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Gulfstream G450
Gulfstream G450

My favourite aircraft for interior, comfort, and friendliness of staff was this G450. I neglected to ask how much it was to charter but then, if you ask those things, then you can’t afford it. The cabin crew I spoke to wouldn’t tell me who the most badly behaved celebratory was, but then again, they wouldn’t tell be the best behaved either. The crew were lovely, really nice people.

I got to sit in the cockpit of a King Air and this was quite strange as I’ve spent a lot of time playing the flight simulator and learning my way around the buttons and switches of this exact type. I didn’t have a go at starting the engines!

King Air Cockpit
King Air Cockpit

While the King Air looked the poorer cousin of the display I would like to mention that the pilot of this craft seemed the most honest and genuine flyer there. He was really chatty and love talking to the RAF Cadets, it’s almost as if he ignored the actual people with money. I suspect he was just pleased to talk aviation and flying rather than trying to sell the plane.

A great time was had by all and the day went smoothly in the end. It’s hard life sometimes.

Name Three Things That Shouldn’t Be In The Same Neighbourhood

Had a lovely day out in the “it turned out to be nicer than expected” weather for a cadet trip to Lydd to use the long ranges there. A long range is anything over 25m. I have my range conducting officer ticket for short ranges and would like to get my ticket for long ranges but, one day. Lydd Ranges is a base with lots of space for shooting things down on the Kent coast within the Romney Marshes site of special scientific interest. As you might expect there is a Danger Area which extends out into the sea. If you are thinking “What else could we put near here to ensure almost the perfect disaster” and if your answer is: an airport and a nuclear power station, then you are in for a treat.

Lydd Dangerous Things
Lydd Dangerous Things

The three things that I have circled are, from top to bottom, an airport, Lydd live firing ranges and a nuclear power station. I suppose it doesn’t get worse than that for potential danger. This is a funny end of the world, some unique habitats and plenty of open space. The fact that access is restricted a lot also means that the wildlife has the space to get on with it.

At The Far End Of Lydd Serial 34
At The Far End Of Lydd Serial 34

Serial 34 is a gallery range with manual targets. We had some firing practice from 100m where we zeroed the weapons and then did some firing from other positions from 100m and 200m. The wind was a bit much for newish cadets to have a go from further distances. We’d also want slightly better grouping sizes to be able to progress. If you double your distance then you double the size of your grouping [Theory Of A Group]. So, we’d be hoping for 100mm at 100m which would then lead to 200mm at 200m. Once you are beyond those sizes you aren’t really going to be hitting the target that much.

Lydd Ranges Serial 34
Lydd Ranges Serial 34

The morning was mostly cloudy with a little wind. In the afternoon the wind increased but the sun came out and so I have mildly weather affected skin on the parts of my body which were exposed – mainly my head. It feels OK about twelve hours later so I think I’ll be fine but I might look silly as I was wearing a baseball cap and so half my head is burnt along with a little rectangle where the cap size adjuster lives. Oh well.

This is communication number 1960. In keeping with recent tradition [not sure what happens when I get beyond the current year] here are some things that happened in that year as curated by me:

  • Humans descend to the lowest point on Earth.
  • 12,000 dead after an earthquake in Morocco.
  • Blue Streak is cancelled in UK.
  • A U-2 is shot down over USSR.
  • Mauritania [the crappiest country you’ve not heard of] becomes independent from France.

Follow Me Around The World

I’m not sure when I started this journey but I’ve been flying [in a Sim – X-Plane] around the coastline of the world. I started on Anglesey in Wales and am currently in Iran. I suspect a future communication will just be a big long list of the airports visited as I complete this journey. I nearly turned around once I reached the Red Sea but have decided to see what happens as I head further east.

As I pass through airports I’ve been tweeting my journey. I’m not sure when I started doing that, I think I just wanted a record of the flights somewhere. They are in my virtual log book and also on a scrap of paper on the table next to me. The first one on the paper is Bamenda. I completed that flight on 13 July.

I’m not sure in what format to have all the airports listed in the end. Watch this space and see what I say. If you are lucky and go to this MAP when I am flying then you’ll be able to see where I am and what I’m doing. My aircraft user name is Kertz. Click on the aircraft to see which one is mine. You might be told it’s a Cessna. I can assure you it isn’t. Because the JoinFS software I used works across platforms you have to tell it what you are flying. There are some categories, but over all I have found that the system works well and I’ve flown with a friend while they are based in Texas IRL.

You Can Track My Flights
You Can Track My Flights

Above is what the maps will look like if you can find me. When you click on the aircraft there is information about them that pops up. It’s quite a neat little trick.

This is communication 1959 and here are some things that happened in that year:

  • Alaska becomes the 49th USA state.
  • A referendum is Switzerland turns down women’s suffrage.
  • British Empire Day is renamed Commonwealth Day. Why do we still have MBE medals??
  • The X-15 makes its first powered flight.
  • The first known human with HIV dies in the Congo.

It’s A Shame I Wasn’t More Awake

The hot weather of the last few days has broken and I think it’s meant to be more “normal” over the next week or so. I don’t mind really. As long as I can drink enough water I’m generally happy in any temperature. So, last night I woke with the clapping of thunder and I pulled my window shut. I slowly decided whether to properly get and and watch the lightning as there is a decent vista from the back bedroom but my decision was – go back to sleep. I’ve seen storms before.

When I woke and eventually checked my phone there were loads of notifications of movement detected from my home security system. I wrote about this in this communication. It turns out that the lightning set off the record feature of the cameras and I got some shots of the sky being lit up by electrical discharge.

https://youtu.be/BKmHXTR2eLc

The green bits and pieces in the video are where the camera thinks there is movement so generally they are best to ignore. Of the videos the camera recorded this one was the best with a decent image of the strike.

This is communication number 1958 and so here are some things, curated by me, that happened in that year of the common era:

  • Sputnik 1 falls to Earth and burns up.
  • Bertrand Russell launches CND.
  • BBC Radiophonic workshop is established.
  • The last fully rigged sail trading ship sinks carrying guano.
  • The first motorway opens in the UK.

Not Sure How I Feel About This

The village in which I live is under attack. The attack is probably the thing that is needed for the country. But I don’t like it and it’s raising lots of horrible feelings and selfishness. Part of the local council plan involves adding 900 houses to the village where I have lived for almost twenty years. I wrote about this before in this communication. 900 houses. Right outside my garden. It makes me angry while at the same time I know housing has to go somewhere and I’ve always thought that people who protest should accept progress for the greater good.

So, first I want to recognise the need for new housing. Apparently there is a need for lots of homes for people and they need to go somewhere. I suspect it is easier to build on fresh ground than to rework brownfield sites to make them habitable. We all know that the housing developers and land owners are in the back pockets of many Tories and probably lots of other MPs too. Where I live is like Tory world centre and most of the local councillors are that way inclined too. So I do believe that the housing companies get the easier route for more financial security rather than actually doing what is right for the environment and local communities. That said, there is a need for housing.

I live in Tonbridge and Malling local district. I live almost at the northern tip of the district. I live in the relatively poor part of the district. The southern area is much wealthier. Do I think there’s a correlation to where the new housing is going and the relative wealth of the area? Of course I do. The wealthy have the ability to fight these things or at least bribe their way to not having the new houses nearby. It’s always the poorer people who get fucked over by those in power because for the powerful it’s about power and money and nothing else really.

The Medway Gap area has had masses of housing development over the last twenty years and it continues. The company that owns the land, Trenport, I’ve written about before. They like to think they are doing good things I suspect but ultimately don’t care as long as they can make themselves more powerful and more wealthy. Here’s a picture of what land is going to be developed:

My Feelings Are Unsure About This
My Feelings Are Unsure About This

As you can see in the picture Eccles is the blob of housing just right of centre and the pink land is the area going to be developed. I’m pretty sure you can see that it’s all fields. Arable land for growing crops to feed this country. Now, to be clear, not all that land is going to be housing. Some of it will be made into recreational land along with a village car park and community centre. We already have a community centre, it’s the church and hall which can be used by locals. Parking is utter shit in my village but the new car park won’t be big enough, they never are. I think there’s a new shop involved there too but what happens to the current village shop?

All the land heading SW from the village of Eccles is my current view out the back of my house. I don’t really want that to change. I can see for miles. I can see fields and trees and the woods in the distance. It’s a calming positively enduring view that helps my mental health. It’s one of the reasons I bought this house.

I’ve looked at the “consultation” online and the questions are clever. One of them asks what I use the field for currently. Well, in reality I walk or run or cycle on the footpaths. The developers are going to keep the footpaths so that should make me happy but it doesn’t. The reason I walk along those particular footpaths is that the outdoor experience is best there. Wide open spaces in the middle of a barley field really make you feel good. Just having the footpath there through houses isn’t going to be the same.

I’m stuck. I don’t want this development. For mostly selfish reasons. I like my view. I like the fields. I like the ambiance of the village. It feels “country” while entirely surrounded by massive urban sprawl. I know we need houses. I just think there’s somewhere else they could go.

This is communication number 1956 so here are a couple of things that happened that year:

  • IATA finalises the phonetic alphabet.
  • 96 US congress members sign a manifesto against de-segregation.
  • The last British troops leave Egypt.
  • The world’s first industrial scale nuclear power plant is opened at Calder Hall in England.

Where Is Everything?

Just logged into 360 Radar to see what’s flying around [not that I hear anything]. I was just curious but I was shocked at what I found! I wasn’t shocked. I was pleasantly surprised but not shocked. I was trying to write in a click-bait format then, but I should’ve made the title completely click bait. Now I think about it, a lot of the titles of communications on this site are a bit click baity. I don’t really say what the communication is about I just write an obscure title. I can assure that writing them that way makes things much harder to look up in the future.

Nothing Over Kent
Nothing Over Kent

Nothing up there really. The Kent skies seem rather empty. Oh well, the flights will be heading over soon.

This is communication number 1955 and so here are some things that happened in that year of the common era:

  • 60,000 non-whites are forcibly evicted from their homes in South Africa.
  • 83 people are killed in a crash at Le Mans.
  • Ruth Ellis is the last woman to be executed [murdered by the state] in the UK.
  • Cardiff is declared as the capital of Wales.

Gosh, It Looks Beautiful

I think I’m going to stop. I’ve bought a beast of a machine with screens to match those abilities. I remember I first bought a PC for making music and I wasn’t really bothered about gaming performance, and that’s still mostly true. I’m not a hardcore PC gamer but I am very interested in flying. It just happens to turn out that the flight sim of choice – X-Plane is quite consuming of PC power. It’s also an odd program with the way it utilises the cores of the PC. Anyway. I’ve been trying to get the best flight simulation screen-age. I think I’m there although to use all the pixels to the maximum I will need another PC but that’s going to have to wait.

The Beautiful Front View
The Beautiful Front View

I’m not going to go through the specification of everything. Needless to say I’m very happy with it all. The curved monitor is very bright! It also chucks out a lot of heat so I think I’m not doing my bit for the environment. To keep everything in this position there’s a level of chaos to the reverse view:

What It Takes To Have Beauty
Takes To Have Beauty

The curved screen has its own stand and the two top monitors are connected via 100mm VESA things to different arms on the metre high pole screwed to the desk. Look, it all works fine and is lined up to within tolerances.

This is communication 1953 and so here are some things that happened in that year of the common era in keeping with recent tradition:

  • Derek Bentley is executed [murdered by the state] in Wandsworth prison.
  • The North Sea flood kills over 2000 in coastal countries.
  • The Polio vaccine is announced.
  • The first RO-RO crossing of the English Channel.

Modern Problems, I Know

I have a cheap home security camera system in my house. It uses my phone to know when I’m in the house and when I’m not, assuming that I always have my phone on me. I think I can set how far away from home it activates the camera alert system. I never normally have a problem with this system but the other day I was in the park playing cricket and it turns out I was on the border of the geofence. I never really hear my phone so I didn’t get to notice the alerts for auto-arming until I got home!

Geo-Notifications

I should have counted the notifications, but I didn’t. Next time I head to the park I’ll make sure to take note of how many times I get told about the system arming or disarming.

This is communication number 1950 and so here are a few things that happened in that year of the common era:

  • 64 die when a submarine sinks in the Thames Estuary.
  • South Africa passes a law to formally segregate the races.
  • The Korean War begins.
  • The Roman Catholic Church makes up some shit about the virgin Mary.
  • US military advisers are sent to French Indo-China to advise the French.

Summer 2021

This is a boring list of things I did each day during my summer break to remind me that; a) it’s OK to do little, and b) I actually did accomplish things. Days one through seven are listed in this communication, note that day one in that communication is actually day 0 in this communication.

Day 8 – I went shopping for tools and timber but came home with very little. I was disappointed. I went to the cinema to watch F9 and the film met my expectations. I tried having a run but my legs felt heavy and I hated it. I completed one of the Gran Turismo challenges. I played with recording flights in X-Plane and then messed with camera positions.

Day 9 – I went shopping for timber and tools and came home happy but poorer. This day was entirely about making the new sleeping system. It was successful. It was hot and I sweated through clothes. I listened to music on the Sonos Roam while I made stuff. I went to see Old at the cinema. I figured out a way to see my MagicMirror display from elsewhere in the house using the server version. I set up some static IPs for home equipment.

Day 10 – I spent the day completing the building of the sleeping system. Now I just have to worry about painting it and also sorting out the flooring. A scientist friend came over for a cuppa and it was nice to see them. I sweated through more clothes in the afternoon as I completed the sleeping system build. In the evening I watched Jupiter something on Netflix.

Day 11 – This day was about weapon training some cadets. So I had to get up early, head into work and spend the day teaching stuff. When I got home I adjusted the ceiling light in the bedroom and pondered when to start painting. I am acutely aware that I haven’t really had a break yet and I can’t keep going at this pace. So I am not heading out to get painting equipment, I will do that Thursday when I have some clear time. I can let you know that while I was sawing wood upstairs the dust was leaving the room via the window and then heading back into the dining room which means everything feels a bit shit.

Day 12 – Another day of weapon training. It went well and the cadets learnt the weapon system. I got home and had a 10km row. Then tutored someone the basic mathematics of matrices while they were in the Bahamas. After dinner I did some Minecraft things, I was in the nether getting a load of ancient debris after I died recently and lost all my equipment. I watched an episode of Archer.

Day 13 – This day started with a walk around Ham Marshes, proceeded with a trip to Homebase and then painting primer layer on the sleeping system followed by an evening meal with Penguin.

Day 14 – Travelled to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford to meet AB, who I see on average once a decade at the moment. Came back from there and once home entertained my sister and her family for a while. Then it was peaceful and we watched some B99. Dinner was take out. Ordered some masking tape for the sleeping system and picked up some lights for that room.

Day 15 – Cricket in the morning then food shopping because I ran out of time in the week to get to Sainsbury’s. A nap in the afternoon, a race around Mount Panorama in Gran Turismo, and then painting the sleeping system in the evening.

Day 16 – Put mattresses into the sleeping system and installed the lights into the sleeping system. Joined lights to the house lighting system. Had a nap while “watching” some Olympic sailing. Had a ride in a Tesla and spent the afternoon with a bunch of colleagues from work celebrating a retirement. Watched an episode of Jupiter’s Legacy which I think I’m enjoying.

Day 17 – Flew somewhere in X-Plane. Had a run. Re-fitted the PSVR to the PS4. Moved the PS Camera so that some games are more playable. Put down the flooring underlay in the new sleeping system room. Moved stuff from the garden to the front ready to load the car tomorrow for a trip to the dump. Didn’t have a nap! Watched the latest episode of The Grand Tour and it was a little boring. Watched final episode of Jupiter’s Legacy but as I write this now I honestly couldn’t tell you what happened, might have to watch it again.

Day 18 – There’s parking restrictions outside my house apparently so loaded up the car with the things from yesterday but someone had kindly taken a load of metal kit that I had put outside. I did suspect that some of it might disappear. There’s now Google recommendations on my TV streaming device and I wonder how long it will take before I delete all my Google data? Took stuff to the dump. Booked cinema tickets. Had a run. Played Minecraft. Watched Race To Witch Mountain. Put up two sets of shelves in the sleeping system. Watched the last ten minutes of Jupiter’s Legacy again just to remind myself what happened and then watched first episode of Homeland. Read a little.

Day 19 – Did some virtual flying. Booked a dentist appointment. Had a run. Overate at lunch so decided not to have any dinner. Went to see Jungle Cruise. Played quite a bit of Minecraft with the aim of finishing my reclaimed island and building a mob spawner. Pumped up the front tyre on my bike to see how slow the puncture is. Considering making a “meadow” instead of a lawn in the garden. I hate mowing the lawn. Also considering stopping the SSRI I’m currently on.

Day 20 – Downloaded some more desktop backgrounds for the PC. Flew somewhere in X-Plane. Had a run. Played Minecraft. Had a walk. Played Minecraft while listening to Test Match Special. Had flooring for the sleeping system delivered. Read some of my book on The LAW. Decided to stop taking my SSRIs and anti-histamine to see what happens.

Day 21 – Had another flight in X-Plane, I think I’m halfway down Namibia at the moment. I ordered some furniture for the sleeping system. I went to the village shop to get a newspaper to put the front page under the flooring in the sleeping system but they don’t have The Guardian and I ended up buying the Telegraph. I will not be putting this under the flooring, just using it for cutting out guides. Spawned the wither in Minecraft and it destroyed the world, found a backup and looked around that to see how much work I needed to do, it was a few days old. Had lunch. Ate too much of the wrong stuff. Played some more Minecraft but ended up feeling massively motion sick, had to stop playing and actually sleep for an hour. I think this was a reaction to the food rather than coming off any drugs I have been taking. Didn’t do much after that. I moved some tools from the tool storage area to the house ready for floor laying. I considered what to write in a note to place under the floor. I watched Shadow In The Cloud on Amazon and Black Widow, also watched the first NFL match of the pre-season.

Day 22 – I should be in Germany today with Smith attending M’era Luna. I am not. It was postponed. So I went to Sainsbury’s to get bananas, coffee and a copy of the Guardian. I also picked up some furniture from Argos for the sleeping system. Built the sleeping system floor. It was my first time laying laminate flooring and I have to say I actually enjoyed it. I listened to Test Match Special while I did this. Decided I needed some floor edging and it was just after lunch so I went to McDonald’s and then Homebase. Shortly after that I continued the flooring and was finished around 1700. I spent some time clearing up and then made a desk for the sleeping system. Finally I stopped, played Minecraft for a while and then ended up watching an Israeli Netflix thing.

Day 23 – I had a run and then tidied up around the house putting loads of things away that had been displaced for the Sleeping System. I put some glue of wooden items that needed a little structural reinforcement. I flew somewhere in X-Plane, I think I’ve actually made it to South Africa now! I played Minecraft for a while gathering materials from the Nether. Nap time. I spent about an hour trying to figure out why my Sonos system wouldn’t see the music I have on the NAS drive, with plenty of googling I worked it out but it was a little frustrating, the system is now working fine. Smith came over and we watched plenty of M’era Luna along with Boondock Saints II – All Saints Day.

Day 24 – I pottered about the house after writing a Fooyah communication. I flew in X-Plane, played some Minecraft, just generally chilled out. Around midday I went to Bluewater to buy some socks. I wouldn’t normally go that far just to get socks but I needed to be somewhere until it was time to go to the cinema to see The Suicide Squad. So, I walked around Bluewater four times and while there I pondered whether there was a way I could calculate pi from the number of steps it takes me to walk slightly different routes around the shopping complex. I bought socks and headed to the cinema. Once home I had dinner, fitted some LED extensions to the sleeping system and then played a little more Minecraft. I read some of my book and watched episode two of Hit And Run. Somehow I decided I wanted MORE tattoo on my arm.

Day 25 – I wrote some stuff for here and emailed a company about their product. I went for a long run.

I then played Minecraft for a while and decided to have a map wall within the base area. I might go exploring tomorrow, I accidentally killed a villager and the iron golems were not happy with me, I killed them to stop them attacking me. I thought more about tattoos and what design to have for more ink on my arm. I flew from Cape Town in X-Plane and now I think I might need to do 300 mile stints to actually start getting somewhere, it has taken an age to get to the south of Africa. Work beckoned next and I logged in, wrote some emails, customised some Teams and started to organise OneNote, this would save me an hour or two upon return to the workplace. I watched a couple of episodes of Katla and also read some of my book about the law.

Day 26 – The day pretty much always starts off with a coffee and writing stuff for this site. So that’s what happened this day. After morning stuff was complete I went for a bike ride. I didn’t intend to go so far but that’s what happened, next time I think I’ll go some other route as the ride back along the river path is irritating, there are too many people. Once back I decided what to do and settled on watching Chernobyl 1986 on Netflix which was an OK film. It was a bit too long as is the fashion with Netflix films these days, they seem to suffer Netflix creep and become more than two hours. I also completed a flight from Overberg to Port Elizabeth using autopilot, now I need to find time compression.

I had a phone call appt with the Docs about aching fingers and joints and then tutored a kids over Teams. I also tried logging into my “personal” account on the whole RAFAC Bader system. There was a short email chain about ranges that we had hoped to run. Dinner with two episodes of Archer and then some Minecraft where I finished of my map and did some of the farming jobs. I saw an episode of Katla which I am enjoying for now.

Day 27 – I had some bloods taken at the surgery to see what’s wrong with my hands. There were a couple of times this day that they hurt a lot when really they shouldn’t. I then loaded the car with stuff I wanted to take to the dump/tip/refuse centre/recycling centre whatever you want to call it. The booked time wasn’t until the afternoon so I left the windows open slightly in the car so the wet wood wouldn’t smell out the car. I had some time before anything happened and so decided to get on the rowing machine for an hour. While rowing I watched about an hour of Sound Of Metal but now I need to remember to finish it! I played some Gran Turismo taking part in two online races around a wet Red Bull Ring short circuit. Both were clean races and I actually got a fastest lap in the first – very satisfying. Tip time followed by an hour when I just needed to keep busy so I filled the car up with petrol and wasted some time at Rochester Airport where I met an ex-cadet JB who was having flying lessons! I then travelled to the cinema to watch The Last Letter From Your Lover. Then it was home time, dinner while watching some Archer, Minecraft mining for gold and an episode of Katla.

Day 28 – I wrote some stuff for this site, sent a letter to Private Eye magazine, played X-Plane and had a chat with one of my sisters. I went for a run still trying to lose some weight, I suspect that I’m eating too much rice and might need to cut that down a little as part of my main meal. I went food shopping and upon return I ate my lunch. The there was time for a little Gran Turismo which was me trying to race around the Red Bull Ring mini but I got kicked from the server, in a mood for a challenge I took on the Lewis Hamilton challenge around Suzuka, I got a bronze. Most of the day I was listening to Test Match Special on BBC except for my run where I was listening to lectures about information theory and they’ve just reached an explanation of the thermodynamic property entropy. I watched some Brooklyn 99, some Australian show about fairies and elves, then I watched some Katla. Oh, I also read some more of the book on The Law, my word, it’s terrifying.

Day 29 – I wrote a letter to Bluewater management people. I will explain in these pages sometime if I get a positive response. Went to cricket and I did my 10,000 steps before cricket was over along with reading another chapter of my law book. On return to the house I played some Minecraft for a while, like maybe three hours, but damn it I enjoyed it. I’m probably going to record some walk around videos to show off the current base. All day I’ve been listening to the cricket on the radio as England take on India at Lord’s. Dinner was fish and chips. I played around with the rooming settings on my Hue lighting system and I think I fucked up a load of the automations which I might have to delete and restart, that’s a tiny bit annoying. I then read some of the book on the Law [in the UK] and watched the final episode of Katla which I really enjoyed.

Day 30 – I’m trying to write this reminder of what happened on day 30 two days after it happened and I think some of the details get lost. I mean, I can remember what I actually did in broad strokes but all the little details have gone. So, here goes. I think I tried to fix the Sonos issue with my MagicMirror but it still doesn’t seem to work very well. I am going to leave it and not worry about it. Then I drove to Hatfield Heath to see my parents. We had lunch at Harlow Mill Beefeater and also had a walk to look at a prisoner of war camp from the second world war. Upon returning home we watched the final episode [currently] of Brooklyn 99. Not sure what I’m going to watch now!

Day 31 – I was planning to have a run early this day but I got caught up trying to fix something else. Ah, yes. There was an issue with topping up pay as you go phones and it took an ages to sort out. I also tried to figure out a way to cash out some of my Electroneum as the price had gone to a reasonable level again. The last time ETN got this high I hadn’t proved who I was to the company with address and ID and so I didn’t get to cash out in time before the whole price collapsed again. In the years I have had ETN I have managed to double my meagre investment. I did figure out a way to cash out without tortuous dealings with trading websites and international money transfers. It almost felt like I was money laundering – which I wasn’t. Then travelled to Pinn’s to spend some time there with a plan to go canoeing. The weather closed in and the timing of the tide just made things a little tricky so that plan was binned. Upon return to home some games were played. I was trying to work out what to watch. I’m not that fussed by Hit And Run. I tried Them on Amazon Prime but it didn’t grab me, so I am TV show less at the moment.

Day 32 – Emailed a podcast about swans in Maidstone. I did my longest flight so far in X-Plane although I did use time compression for some of it – Maputo Itnl to Beira, Mozambique. Rather than 50 to 100 mile hops I am now aiming for 200-300 in my journey around the world. I had a run which was about 10km and then I played on Minecraft. I’ve decided to do some large scale landscaping. I snuck out to the shop for bread and then I made some lunch. I cleared out a wardrobe of old stuff. More Minecraft. Followed by dinner. Then more Minecraft, the landscaping required much resource gathering. Read a chapter of my book on the Law.

Day 33 – Woke up around 0630 following a kind of work-stress dream so decided to get up rather than go back to sleep to purge the thoughts. Backed up Minecraft world and generated map for web-viewing. I wrote some stuff for this site and then went for a quick run. I think I should use the word “short” rather than “quick” there as a shorter run would be a better description. After that I looked at my “smart casual” clothing for when I stay on RAF bases and decided I either needed to buy new trousers or new shoes. I opted for the new shoes element of that and had to go to Bluewater. There was a list of other things needed there too so it wasn’t a complete waste of time and given I purchased shoes which should go with the clothes it was probably a success. Another good thing about the shoes is that if I choose to wear them at work then my boss won’t like them as he hates brown shoes. The afternoon was dedicated to organising video uploads and playing Minecraft. I’m still landscaping my medium term base area and I’m in the – it’s still kinda fun but going to take ages – part of the build. I did my longest flight so far in X-Plane. After dinner I did some more Minecraft and then finished my book by The Secret Barrister.

Day 34 – I woke at 0400 wondering why people were moving cars around outside. Who is doing things at that time? Backed up MC world and created a map output while thinking about the best method for my underwater rail system. Played for a short while creating some of the underwater tunnel. Then I went to see my sister and her family in deepest, darkest Essex. My nephew is a Royal Marine Commando and it was good to have a proper chat with him about the whole process and Commando course. On the way home I went to Costco and spent around GBP130 on supplies to get me through the next few months. After being home for a while it was time to start reading my new book by Neal Stephenson.

Day 35 – I wrote some things for this site and then pretty much played Minecraft most of the morning while getting jobs around the house completed – such as clothes washing and weedkilling. I might have ordered a weapon attachment, it goes on a picatinny rail, to help improve my shooting and also my marksmanship instruction – thanks to my nephew and the Marines for that idea. After lunch I played some more Minecraft and realised that the track I had laid for a railway wasn’t going to work as the corners were on inclines and you need space. I almost rage-quit at this but decided I would do some farming for a bit before maybe attempting to sort this mess out later in the evening. I’m probably going to record a walk-around video of Base II sometime in the next few days. I went for a run. I then headed to the cinema to watch The Night House, the traffic was really bad and so my timings would normally mean that I make it to the filmhouse around five minutes before the programme starts the state of the roads meant I got there ten minutes after the start of the programme which actually meant I missed all the shitty adverts. Upon return home I played some Minecraft – sorting out my railway corners – and then read a little of a book.

Day 36 – I emailed the cinema about a dodgy speaker in screen 8, it makes an annoying rumble during what are meant to be quiet parts of the film. I wrote some things for this site and continue to chase a new high score in terms of communications per month. Realised I’m not going to beat the previous high communications per month as I hit 68 in May 2013. Fucking 68! I do know I was emotionally a mess in that year so I think I was using this as a distraction method. 68! In a short month! As I write this the details of Day 36 [only yesterday] are fading so the following might not be temporally correct. I played a lot of Minecraft, trying to sort out the New Holland base area and finish the landscaping plans I made. I printed out some cadets ready for a trip to Lincolnshire. I had a run. I went shopping for odds and sods at the supermarket. I watched some of Le Mans 2021, which started at 1500 BST and continues into Day 37. I watched a submarine film called Phantom on Amazon Prime and then Black Island on Netflix. I flew to Zanzibar in X-Plane seeing what fuel consumption is like at high altitudes and working out max range of the T-7N CAS.

Day 37 – Overall this day was slightly annoying. I don’t feel I achieved much, but I did what I needed to do. So, I wrote for this site and played X-Plane. Then I went for a run. After that it was ironing and polishing time of uniform and clothing for the next few days in Lincolnshire. I watched the rest of Le Mans [the race not the film] and then played Minecraft for a little while. I had booked to go to the cinema and so I headed over to Rochester for that. I went to see Reminiscence even though I knew nothing about it. On the drive home I thought one of my headlights had blown and when I checked it, it had. So, it appears I’m now in “I need to buy about four headlight bulbs” season which always happens and I honestly don’t know why. I hope they don’t break on my trip up to the north. I overate and then went to bed. I’m just feeling a little shitty, I think because of the headlights on the car. I don’t think I’m anxious about the trip north. Plus, I need to remember that I’m on the come down from quitting my anxiety pills and so a little reaction over the next few weeks is expected.

Day 38 – I packed the car up and headed down to Hythe to meet with Jase and his family. We played on the beach and had an ice cream. The sun was out and I think I got some sunburn on my head – but I didn’t try to cover up so it’s my fault entirely. What a twat. Around midday I got in the car and drove to RAF College Cranwell. In the car I listened to a series of lectures on language development and the history of words within language. I got warned in to my room and sorted out my clothes etc. I went to the dining room and had dinner and then met some friends in the bar and we chatted for a long time. It was great to be seeing people whom I hadn’t seen in two years. It was also very nice to be out of the SE corner of the country and to be SOMEWHERE ELSE. I didn’t sleep particularly well this night because it was the first night in a new place and the brain does funny stuff to you.

RAF College Cranwell
RAF College Cranwell

Day 39 – An early get up and get ready to head to RAF Syerston. Breakfast in Daedalus Dining Room and a thirty minute journey to Newark and RAF Syerston. Today was about meeting people and seeing what they do on the RAFAC National Aerospace Camp. Things I did are covered in more detail in another communication. Needless to say, I had a great time, made some new contacts and learnt a lot, because I always do. Three of us staying at Cranwell bonded and we went for dinner at a local pub called the Hare and Hounds, in Fulton. It was a lovely meal.

Day 40 – Another early get up because of marshalling duties at RAF Syerston and also warning out of the mess and packing the car. I actually had a job today and also learnt about PTT and Blue Wings. The afternoon was filled with an airshow, more in this communication. I did some more marshalling and then said my goodbyes as I was off to meet LK in Peterborough. We ate dinner at a The Cuckoo in Alwalton, it was another lovely meal. I think I freaked the waitress out when I couldn’t decide what dessert to eat and I just asked her to pick what she thought was the best. I ended up with banoffee pie and very nice it was too. I then drove home to Kent and arrived around midnight.

Day 41 – Extremely tired upon waking and spent some time on the PC along with trying to get my boiler to work – it seems OK but had made noises as if the water had been turned off for a while, maybe there were issues while I was away? I had a run and then a shower – the boiler seemed to work ok, perhaps the boiler was just having a funny half hour. I did some CCF paperwork ready for a hopeful trip to Biggin Hill, paid the import tax on a device I’ve ordered from the USA, and then watched an episode of Pine Gap [which I am enjoying even if the mechanisms of intelligence gathering are pure fantasy]. I got some time out the house as I spent an hour helping someone with their maths and then on the return I bought some bread, Danish blue and coleslaw and thoroughly enjoyed my dinner. I’d mentioned this combination during conversation at the meal in Lincolnshire. I watched another two episodes of Pine Gap, read a little and then went to bed. While falling asleep I thought about where to hold the RAFAC PAC.

Day 42 – I had coffee. That’s how most days start. I then organised where to have a tracked item left, in case I wasn’t at home. I flew, in X-Plane, to Yemen or at least an island which Yemen owns. A quick run then followed and I listened to some lectures on the Story Of Human Language. I’ve been naming my runs on Strava after pieces of learning I’ve listened to while pounding the streets. I popped into work to chat to some about a cadet trip and then did food shopping on the return home. I recorded a Minecraft video and uploaded that to my YouTube channel. Then I collected my children and chilled for the rest of the day while I grapple with a shitty boiler and attempt to get some continuous hot water rather than the three seconds and then shut down I’m currently getting. These things are absolutely great when they work correctly but utter shit and stress when they don’t. In the evening I watched some more Pine Gap and will finish it tomorrow.

Day 43 – Had cricket early in the morning but started writing a communication about education which may or may not get published here. While at Linton Park Cricket Ground I noticed a Spitfire doing trips up from Headcorn and following or being followed by a helicopter, I’m quite curious to see what that’s all about. The afternoon consisted of trying to motivate the boiler to produce some hot water which I managed and so I did all the things you would when hot water is intermittent. I emailed Mantis about rifle selection within their app and they replied really quick which was nice. I’ll probably write stuff here about them soon once I’ve got hold of a real rifle. Downloaded my Twitter data but can’t find a way to make it fit with the page on this site that already exists, will mull it over. Then it was rocket launch time, the field out the back of the house has been harvested and there’s plenty of space to aim for. I played Minecraft and entered the Nether to get some blaze rods but ended up dying loads and it made me grumpy. I lost all my cool kit. The evening meant I watched the final episode of Pine Gap and tried reading for a while but I was tired and my eyes kept losing focus!

Rocket Launch 001 - 28 08 2021
Rocket Launch 001 – 28 08 2021

Day 44 – Wrote some stuff for this website. I dropped my Skiddaw mug that I bought in the Lake District and coffee and china went everywhere, I guess I’ll have to buy another one as it was a way of measuring what mountains I’ve climbed. Went for a run and listened to lectures on the history of languages around the world. Persuaded the boiler to work for showers. Popped out to measure some new baths and get some car headlight bulbs as we are now in my Prius-Hates-Headlamp-Dipped-Bulbs season. Upon returning home I played a little Minecraft and also kinda pottered around the house doing house stuff. I scanned some books I no longer want with the Music Magpie album and then boxed them up ready to send from the Post Office. After spending time at NAC it is clear that I have to add a third screen to the PC, which I did but also will wait and see if I actually like having it there. I didn’t watch anything this particular evening, preferring to read my book.

Day 45 – Started the day with drafting some emails cadet related and then put some rubbish out into the bins. It should be bin day. But it’s a bank holiday and there have been issues with the contractors etc. Who knows? Today was mostly spent at the cricket club with the children playing a couple of games and there were end of season celebrations. Upon returning home I was aching a lot and so didn’t go for my planned run. Instead I ran around the Minecraft world doing admin type things and trying to get my tools back to a decent level of enchantment. Because I’ve used so many resources getting killed in the Nether I am going to spend some time building those things back up ready for an attempt to kill the End Dragon. Although I still need to find an end portal! I watched Tomb Raider, the one without Jolie. Then I read a bit.

Day 46 – I woke early and was slightly annoyed by that. The first appointment of the day was for a call from British Gas about a new boiler quote. It was booked for between 9 and 10 and I was told it would take around 45 minutes to complete. When it got to 0945 I looked again at the confirmation text and realised I had the wrong date by about a month. Oh well. Next we went to the park and played some cricket along with rocket launches 003 and 004. There was a parachute deployment failure on launch 004 and the deceleration on Earth-contact force the rocket to lose it’s cylindrical stability and sadly that ship will fly no more. Returning to home meant some cadets admin before getting annoyed at it all and having a nap. In the afternoon the current boiler was due to be fixed but it’s been working well for two days and as expected it can’t be fixed when there’s nothing appears to be wrong with it. In the evenings We’ve been watching the Turner and Hooch show on Disney – which isn’t bad except for the lead actors face – and The Bureau Of Magical Things. I read for a bit and the quit to bed. Not a satisfactory day for some reason.

Day 47 – I wrote stuff for this site and then went for a run. I played some Minecraft, I’m just collecting equipment and resources ready for an assault on the Nether. I definitely did not buy an ultra widescreen monitor for the PC and associated monitor stands for the other two. I had my eyes tested and there’s been a mild deterioration in my close up eyesight but not enough for me to spend more on new lenses. In the afternoon I went to the cinema. Not a lot happened in the evening as far as I can remember. I watched an episode of Archer, read for a while and then went to bed.

Day 48 – Now officially the holiday ended on Day 46 and so Day 47 should have been the first day at work but we do some shifting around of training dates and voila! 47 and 48 cheekily exist as extras. Can’t complain about that. Did 10km rowing as the weather is a bit pants and doing a different exercise action is probably sensible. Am wondering when my order from Cadet Direct will arrive and also looking forward to testing my Mantis X system tomorrow. Fixed some music on the iPhone as I had repeated songs and then accidentally deleted both versions! I don’t use iTunes for putting music on my phone mostly because iTunes is a heap of shit in terms of software and how it works. I sorted out the screens on the PC and gave the box a good vacuuming. The whole thing worked once it was put together so that was good. The afternoon was mostly some cadet admin, trying to find shirts and shorts and deciding where to order food from. In the evening I had a chat [via text, I’m not a sociopath] with Pom and we caught up a little. I watched an episode of Archer and then read for a bit.

This is communication number 1949 and so in keeping with the newish tradition here are some things that happened that year:

  • A B-50 completes a non-stop round the world flight with in flight refuelling.
  • The term Big Bang is first coined.
  • Siam changes its name to Thailand.
  • Laos is formed but isn’t independent from France.
  • The first year in which no African-American is reported to be lynched in the USA.