This Is Not A Healthy Level

It’s been an interesting and emotional few years to be a human on this planet. I’ve really struggled since 2016 and the UK Brexit vote. Then we had Trump, then Covid. Working through these events has taken its toll and I don’t think things have eased up at all since the start of Covid. For me the sheer incompetence of government and those we look at for leadership has been my biggest problem. In a critical time for global politics we have the dregs and shit of the current tory party “leading” this country. Anyway, rather than descend into utter madness I want to consider safe levels of CO2 in the rooms where I work.

To encourage schools to get back in in person teaching during the pandemic the government went on about open windows and flow-through of air. The concept was that if the air was flowing then the virus would be washed outside with lower chances of infecting anyone in the room – made up science I know and very few actual tests completed on this – so as a proxy for “fresh air” which was a proxy for “safe” the government introduced CO2 monitors in classrooms as a proxy for “fresh air”. If the CO2 level is high it means there isn’t enough fresh air and therefore a higher risk of virus transmission.

So all the classrooms in my place of work have CO2 monitors. Anything that follows in this communication is not a criticism of my place of work. It’s more a criticism of the entire sector and the things we have to put up with as we do our best to educate the young of today for tomorrow. The problems are endemic within the education sector because of poor design and a lack of funds.

Here is some information on levels of CO2 that I have found in many places on the internet.

CO2 Levels
CO2 Levels

Here’s what my working room CO2 monitor said at the end of the working day – and I had only had three out of five hours of work there.

CO2 Levels In A Poorly Designed Room
CO2 Levels In A Poorly Designed Room

The temperature of 19C is a sensible level. This was maintained by having the windows shut. But the problem with that is the CO2 levels have hit over 4500ppm. This is clearly into the “headaches, sleepiness etc” levels of bad gas. If they go much higher then I am at risk should I be exposed for eight hours. We all know I am a teacher. These measurements now explain why some children suffer in stuffy rooms. It explains all those headaches. There have always been stuffy rooms in schools and teachers broadly do what they are told. I will try and teach wherever I have to. It’s not like everyone can have their lessons in the best room at the time.

This measurement of CO2 has highlighted just how little we are served with traditional classrooms. The building I work in is a 21C development. But it is poorly designed with very little through-flow of air. The heating is “ceiling based” – I kid you not – there are radiators in the ceiling. To have a breeze in the room I have to open my windows and many fire doors. This is not really acceptable and I work in a good school with decent resources. There are going to be plenty of places where the conditions are much worse.

What I think has to happen is an assessment of all rooms in schools and then redesign of those rooms or buildings. I know that’s expensive. I know it’s not going to happen. I know people have put up with this for all the past times but now we know and we have to opportunity to change things. To make schools healthier and better to work in and learn in.

M’era Luna 2022

THREE YEARS. That’s how long it had been since I’d been anywhere other than the south east of the UK, Lincolnshire or Cornwall [which was twice this month]. Three years since Smith and I had travelled to Germany to see a collection of bands, dress in weird shit and have a great time. The wait was worth it. 2022 was a great year for M’era Luna and I had an amazing time. There was news to make this year’s event even more interesting: a band had to pull out and they were replaced by Combichrist!

The journey out to Germany went well. The Eurotunnel was on time and Smith and I made it to our standard hotel in Bochum with time to explore the centre of the city and get some food. Most of the centre looked like Harlow – a new town in the UK. But we did find a street with some life and many restaurants. It was a hot evening with temperatures hitting 30C. After food and a couple of drinks we headed back to cheap hotel and planned Friday.

We arrived at Hildesheim early and queued for entry into the camp site. Once in we chose a spot far enough away from the noise and close enough to the car. Then we went for a walk to see how the grounds had changed in the three years since we had been there. Friday night is normally disco night but we didn’t go to that. Instead we found a bunch of Germans who we knew and spent some time with them, drinking their beer. It was good fun. The real music started at 1100 on Saturday though.

As with previous years this is where I just copy my notes from my phone. I can’t remember every band or song. I can’t remember what I thought about them. So I make notes as I go and then regurgitate them here. What follows is pretty much, word for word, my notes. Occasionally I will add detail for particular bands as I have remembered more from those appearances.

SATURDAY

Enemy Inside – main stage -I enjoyed this. They had a female lead singer and it was rock/metal.

Enemy Inside - M'era Luna 2022
Enemy Inside – M’era Luna 2022

Rave The Requiem – main stage – I also enjoyed this, christian sounding metal. There were references to religious passages and I couldn’t tell if they were critical or supportive after that.

Ambassador 21 – club stage – industrial punk and was great. I really loved this show.

Ambassador 21 - M'era Luna 2022
Ambassador 21 – M’era Luna 2022

Schattenmann – main stage – actually really enjoyable. Heavy songs. Singer had a chainsaw. Flames from front of stage.

OST+Front – main stage – Enjoyable, very similar to when we last saw them. German new metal. Female dressed in various outfits.

Lacrimas Profundere – main stage – Waiting for Faderhead tbh. Opening bars were really good. But everything else was not. Went to sit in the shade at Club stage.

Solitary Experiments – club stage – perfectly fine but his voice isn’t strong enough. A bit boring really.

Faderhead – club stage – AMAZING. Totally loved this. This was the best attraction on Saturday.

Faderhead - M'era Luna 2022
Faderhead – M’era Luna 2022

Blut Engel – main stage – halfway through when we arrive. Everything Is Black playing. Next song had 4 girls on stage. 4 songs then left to:

In Strict Confidence – club stage – 3 good songs.

Nitzer Ebb – main stage – probably great if you are off your head. Nice beat stuff. But boring live.

SUNDAY

Hell Boulevard – main stage – they sang hit me baby one more time.

Aeverium – main stage – elements of thrash, not really. But I enjoyed it.

Unzucht – main stage – Fuchs yeah. I do love a bit of Unzucht and they were really enjoyable. Great fun.

Feuerschwanz – main stage – medieval rock shit

Combichrist – main stage – Andy and I started the pit and it was good. Thank god. This made the weekend worth it. Totally loved the show.

Combichrist - M'era Luna 2022
Combichrist – M’era Luna 2022

Rotersand – club stage – amazing. Really enjoyable. People came and thanked us for starting the pit during the Combichrist show.

Rotersand - M'era Luna 2022
Rotersand – M’era Luna 2022

Nachtmahr – club stage – good show. Two dancers.

Eisbrecher – main stage – amazing show, really good fun.

And there we have it. A great weekend. Such a shame there were massive delays getting back into the UK but that’s the sort of shit we have to put up with now I guess a bunch of arseholes lied to us. One of the best bits of the weekend for me was Smith’s realisation that paying to have a shit in the posh loos was worth it and made things soooo much better.

The Last Moments - M'era Luna 2022
The Last Moments – M’era Luna 2022

Helping Out With Things I Like

It has been a huge length of time since I last wrote on here and I’m not really sure what it is that caused this hiatus. I’ve been busy, but no busier than previously. I wonder if it’s a cognitive load thing in that certain aspects of work have been quite high loading and there’s only so much cognition I have? Who knows. I do know that this is probably one of the longest gaps between communications. I’ve just checked and the last communication and it was published or last edited on 10th January which is almost a month ago! I am horrified.

So, the reason for this communication is that I’ve been supporting independent artists again with their creation of content. This time it’s Faderhead. I pledged some money on Kickstarter for him to complete an album and I got my name in the thank yous along with a hard copy of the CD. I did this a while back for a previous album he produced. I don’t know why I’ve decided to support him, I mean I like the music, I guess it’s nice to feel involved with something like this.

Faderhead - Years Of The Serpent
Faderhead – Years Of The Serpent

Above is a picture of the CD and the note I got along with it.

This is communication number 2008 and recently I’ve been adding information about that particular year at the end. I can’t remember when I started it but the point was to count down to my 2000th comm. So, in 2008:

  • Stock markets plunge, fuelled by the sub-prime housing crisis.
  • 138,000 people killed by a cyclone in Myanmar.
  • Spotify is launched.
  • Android OS is released.
  • Sark finally abolishes feudalism.

Playing A Numbers Game With Death

It’s been reasonably frustrating to see the current government be so utterly terrible at managing the country. I guess it makes sense in some ways, people who are good at being elected to represent the population of the country don’t really have to be good at project management. They just need to be good at getting elected. Mind you, in most constituencies they just need to be good at being selected to run in those areas. When you look at it you have to wonder why people vote for Jacob Rees-Mogg or Boris Johnson. They don’t vote for those people do they? Otherwise I’m pretty sure they would have to agree that one is a puritanical prick and the other is a liar. People vote for selfish reasons and the tories seem to offer the best deal for selfish people. Politicians are the worst people to have in charge of the massive projects this country is running. We need project managers and people who understand risk.

The current policy of not worrying about the Omicron variant and letting it run wild through the country relies on a couple of massive WISHES. The government aren’t worried about taking precautions, they are a reactive group of people who don’t have the balls to enact what is right for the country. It’s almost as if being popular enough to get voted for doesn’t make you very good at the thing you’ve been voted to do, especially so with the current bunch. For the UK to succeed we need all of the following WISHES to come true:

  • Not too many people need to self-isolate due to virus.
  • Not too many people end up in hospital due to new variant.
  • The vaccination programme means people don’t end up in hospital.

I am horrified at this approach. This gamble based on WISHES. We aren’t being pro-active. We are reacting. The problem is that the reactions happen two fucking weeks too late, because that’s how viruses work. It appears that the government still do not understand any basic biology. If we are really fucking lucky then hospitalisations will remain low and this works. We are hoping for luck. Fucking luck. We are playing with people’s lives while hoping for luck. Precautions are not being taken.

Less Severe
Less Severe
It's A Numbers Thing
It’s A Numbers Thing

So, Omicron might be less severe. But we didn’t know that until very recently. We kept everything open because we are reactive remember. Let’s go with the best possible number there, 70% less likely to be admitted to hospital. 70%. This seems good. But what this means is that if we were to have a massive peak in infections any gains would be wiped out as the total number of admissions returns to bad levels. This would be bad if the policy had been to keep everything open and say have a massive surge in infections.

Massive Increase In Daily Cases
Massive Increase In Daily Cases

Fuck. That’s what has happened.

Now, I’m not claiming to be correct and I’m not claiming that we are fucked. I’m not saying the NHS is going to be overwhelmed. I’m saying the risk of that has increased massively and the government are playing a numbers game. Hoping for the best outcome. They are playing dice with the lives of the vulnerable and the unlucky. They are placing bets on being lucky and making everything look like they were geniuses. Quite clearly they aren’t geniuses. It turns out that lots of MPs are just selfish twats who don’t care about anyone:

Oppose Tougher Covid Rules
Oppose Tougher Covid Rules

We currently have a bunch of MPs who don’t understand science, are willing to play dice with the lives of the country and who maintain a liar in power. It’s a fucking depressing world we live in at the moment and I only have so much anger I can maintain. Very soon it’ll be my chance to ignore the news again for a while. I need to get away from being a realist and play my PlayStation and enter a world of happy aliens I can shoot.

This is communication number 2001. Here are some things that happened in that year:

  • This is the first year of the third millennium.
  • UK foot and mouth outbreak.
  • Race riots in Bradford.
  • 9/11
  • The war in Afghanistan starts.
  • The iPod is released.

The Matrix Resurrections

I remembered going to see the Matrix reissue when it was released and in my head it was about a year ago that I did that. Well, according to my own communication on this site I went to watch it in July 2019. Fucking 2019. Do you remember that? This means I went to see this original film twenty years after its initial release before SARS-Cov-2. Let me just repeat that, BEFORE. I’m not even sure I can remember what it was like in the before-times. Can you remember walking around and doing whatever you want without having to wonder why some cunts aren’t wearing facemasks? Can you remember a time when we didn’t have 150,000 dead in this country from this pandemic. I would ask if you could remember a time before having an incompetent and corrupt government but, they’ve been in power for a long time now and BJ was still as shit then as he is now. All he had to fuck up then was the Brexit agreement and that is going to shit still so we knew how our politicians acted.

Sorry, where are my manners? There are things we need to discuss first. The tide was pretty low as I drove along the riverside road. There are currently road closures in the village and so anywhere over “cinema side” of the local area is actually a bit of a pain to get to. As far as I know the gas people are trying to fix a gas leak somewhere along the main road into the village but someone decided to close the road as the hole is a little big? I’m not sure why it was closed but it is quite an inconvenience to many in the village. After watching the film I rated the film on IMDB and there is a communication from years ago where I discuss how the rating system works.

There are going to be spoilers straight after this tweet:

I didn’t dislike this film. I’m not enough into the canon to worry about what the fuck is going on all the time and how it affects the original storylines. To be honest I liked the original Matrix but the two sequels were shit I think. I know they had loads of money to make the films they wanted to make and they did, but I think when you try to narrow down the storylines to the point of making it make sense you end up with something that doesn’t work. Let’s face it, the Matrix looked gorgeous and has been much imitated since 1999.

I quite liked the first bit of this film where nearly every line was taking the piss out of the fact that they were making a sequel to the original trilogy. I thought this part worked really well. Normally I try and remember key points as I go through the film and sometimes [rarely] I write a note on my phone. I’ve not yet resorted to taking pen and paper but that might be worth it in the future. I also interact with a film by wondering what I will write about it on these pages. I don’t think I did much thinking about that last night. I was more concerned about a lot of things that didn’t seem to make much sense in the film.

In the film they talked about how The Matrix [game] Trinity was inspired by how Tiffany looks as Thomas Andersson sees her everyday in the coffee shop. They also explain how the game was released twenty years ago which means that Tiffany wouldn’t have had kids and possibly wasn’t married so Thomas could have approached her. There were a couple of things like this that didn’t quite make sense but you can do whatever the fuck you want with this film.

A bigger issue for me, and this is extremely similar to my complaint with Spiderman, is that Neo is told that going to get Trinity will cause a war and lead to the destruction of Io, the new human settlement. But fuck it, he’s going to get her anyway because Love. No weighing up of the death of thousands in a war, just a straight up obvious decision to go and get his beau. I did not like this aspect of the film.

I will tell you that this film looked gorgeous. It was really well made along with many themes of accepting who you are. This isn’t a surprise given the background of Lana Wachowski, the joint-writer and director. I’ve read quite a bit on social media where the general consensus is that Lana Wachowski created a gorgeous rebuff to the right wing of politics who had co-opted themes from the original film. Good on her. Fuck those people.

This is communication number 1999 and so here are some things that happened in that year, which is a newish thing I’ve been doing:

  • A fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel kills 39 people, closing the tunnel for nearly three years.
  • Columbine High School massacre.
  • British TV presenter Jill Dando, 37, is shot dead on the doorstep of her home in Fulham, London.
  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is released.
  • The sovereignty of Macau is transferred from the Portuguese Republic to the People’s Republic of China after 442 years of Portuguese settlement.

Engineers and software people spend a lot of time and money fixing the millennium bug and because of the hard work the threat of mass computer failure fizzles out. But it was because we fixed it. Not because it wasn’t really a thing.

The Labour government spend a load of money creating the millennium dome. I think it was over a billion pounds. All to get ready for the celebrations of the end of the second millennium and the start of the third but because we have a stupid year numbering system most of the world gets this wrong.

Such An Inflating Day Trip

I went to meet a bunch of people in London. The congregation was meant to be part of a stag do. I mean, it was a stag celebration but I didn’t really attend most of it. The plan was brunch, a rugby match and then whatever followed. I knew that the brunch was going to be either outside or in a well distanced restaurant and so I was happy with that but as the time approached to attend a rugby match travelling via crowded trains and being in a stadium I felt unsure about the covid-ness of it all. Now, I had been to a gig where you had to show your vaccinated status to get in and there were quite a lot of people but it felt mostly safe. I didn’t want to be in an England crowd at Twickenham.

Belfast, London
Belfast, London

Another things that’s been bothering me recently is the pay rises the government has paid teachers over the last ten years. I find this really interesting, partly as I’m a teacher and partly because I can’t believe teachers are not as angry as they really should be. Over the last ten years the government has deliberately followed a policy of austerity. This was their political choice. We now know it wasn’t necessary as when the covid pandemic hit they decided to spend a fuck-ton squared and even then the controls were so poor that BILLIONS was lost. Here’s a graph showing teacher pay over the last ten years compared to where it would be if we had JUST received pay rises in line with inflation.

Teacher Pay Rises Versus RPI
Teacher Pay Rises Versus RPI

Back to the stag. We met at a place near Waterloo station but I walked in from London Bridge station which was about a twenty five minute walk along the South Bank. It was a really nice walk and I started on the river close to HMS Belfast and then walked past the City Of London, the Golden Hind, and a lot of eateries. Fortunately I didn’t have to walk past too many of those “people who stand still for money” as they annoy me intensely. The brunch was nice and the restaurant staff were very tolerant of the pranks played on the stag.

Cityscape, London
Cityscape, London

Here are some numbers for you wrt the pay. The pay rise over the last ten years amounts to around 13.2% total pay rise since 2010. Inflation in that time has caused an increased in prices of around 37%. For comparison the CPI, and clearly you are going to use whichever inflation measure works best for your argument, has increased 25% in that time period. I used the Office for National Statistics to get my data. If my pay had increased by the CPI it would be around 46,000 now which is still clearly above what I am actually paid. In essence I have had a real terms pay cut every year for the last [over] ten years.

MP Salary
MP Salary

There’s nothing like mixing up all your graph types when you are trying to make a point but I was curious how much MPs have awarded themselves over the same time period. They’ve had a pay rise of around 25% meaning that they are inline with the lower of the inflation measures. So, the people voting to not pay public servants according to the lower rate of inflation have awarded themselves that exact rate. We all know that’s not even the best of it. Over that time MPs have given themselves plenty of expenses to be able to pay for things that they would say are required as part of the job, and I would mostly agree, but I would also argue that many MPs play the system to enrich themselves. This pay doesn’t take into account any other jobs and directorships that MPs take on.

I think the problem is that too many of us do our job because we like being a teacher. We feel a “calling” or feel we should do the things that are considered normal of us. I personally don’t think that. I don’t feel the calling and I don’t feel this job is a vocation. This job is one that is bloody hard work and no one will be there to thank you at the end of it. That’s not how all this works. You don’t get a special seat in heaven. You just stop doing this shit one day and it leaves your life. Salaried jobs are bollocks. We should be paid for what we do and in a specific time frame otherwise the organisation is stealing from you.

Comms#1985 and so here are some things that happened in that year:

  • “Neighbours” starts on Australian television.
  • First mobile phone network in UK.
  • South Africa ends its ban on interracial marriage.
  • 56 die in the Bradford City football ground fire.
  • 39 fans die in the Heysel Stadium disaster.
  • Windows 1.0 is released.

Bhutan Completed

As part of my around the world trip I have reached the Himalayas and so have visited Tibet, Nepal and now Bhutan. The last of these is relatively small and only has four airports so after landing at Paro International I decided to fly past two of the airports and then land at Yongphulla.

Bhutan Complete
Bhutan Complete

In the above image the black line is the direct route, the pink link a route leg I didn’t activate and the red line is the route I took. I’m flying a little Boeing Saab T-7, it has good feels and has the power of a military jet and so is able to cope with my rapid direction changes and approaches.

Thankfully I now have some time off work! It has been a hard few weeks and I need the rest. As if to let me know I spent all of Saturday lying on the sofa sleeping with aches and pains and general ill feeling. Even Sunday morning I wasn’t great but am feeling back to normal now, nearly, apart from a phlegm filled chest. It isn’t Covid, I’ve done many LFTs and also a PCR when I first started showing symptoms. I did the PCR using a postal service and next time I think I will make sure I go to a drive through centre, the results will be quicker.

My summer of letters has continued with a letter to my MP although nothing good will come from that. Teachers, and many other public servants, have had a massive pay reduction in real terms over the last ten years. My union, the NEU, published some graphs showing how pay had changed over the last ten years when compared to the RPI.

Teacher Pay Rises Versus RPI
Teacher Pay Rises Versus RPI

Now this uses RPI rather than CPI and I’ve been over to the ONS to see what the CPI rate has been and I can say it has hovered around 2% over the last ten years being generous to the side of the government. Using that generous rate a teacher’s pay would be GBP 44,805. As you can see even using numbers that flatter the government teachers have suffered a real terms pay loss over the last ten years amounting to a current loss of about GBP 3,000. I am not saying we are more important than other professions who have had a pay freeze and I am not saying we should be given the whole amount now. What I am saying is that the government should recognise these facts and put into action some plan to help correct these issues.

Clearly given the governments we’ve had for the last ten years this won’t happen. They won’t see the unfairness of these increases and they’ll say that recruitment is going well. I would argue that while recruitment is going well it is due to the fact that the rest of the economy is fucked and people are having to retrain after losing their jobs and everyone thinks they can be a teacher. Just as a comparison MP salaries have increased an average of 2.2% per year compared to the teachers increase of 1.2% in the same time. Oh, and they can claim fucking loads of expenses and have subsidised food and drink along with massive benefits like swapping prime residence etc.

MP Salary
MP Salary

I’ve been describing accuracy of lateral flow tests to pupils as part of a conditional probability part of the statistics course and I keep forgetting a couple of the words used to describe how good the tests are. The government likes to bang on about the specificity of the LFTs and that is generally a good high number, around 99%. The specificity tells you how the probability of you having Covid if the test returns a positive result. It therefore seems there’s a 1%, or lower, chance of a false positive result. The problematic number is the sensitivity the LFTs have. The sensitivity tells you the probability of getting a false negative, if you have the disease but the LFT returns a negative result. This is a measure of how sensitive the test is to the disease. Currently, depending on who does the LFT, the sensitivity is running at 40% to 80%. So, LFTs will only be positive on around half the positive cases. This is a massive fucking problem and one the government either deliberately doesn’t mention or is just too stupid to understand. You can’t have a policy of opening up the country when the test you are using to maintain the safety of everyone only catches around 50% of the cases. The government are fucking idiots.

This is communication number 1980 [+-1] and so here are some things that happened in the year of my eighth birthday:

  • Saudi Arabia beheads 63 people who did a bad thing.
  • 123 people dies when a Norwegian oil platform collapses.
  • The first 24 hour news channel starts.
  • AC/DC release Back In Black.
  • A fire in a hotel in Las Vegas kills 85.

Seems An Important Leg

I’ve been heading around the world in my Boeing/Saab T-7, just hopping from airport to airport. It started as a round the UK coast trip and I’m now in Nepal so I got distracted by more coastline and then mountains. This is not going to be an interesting communication as it is a list of every airport I have stopped at on this journey. X-Plane keeps a log of journeys and so I am able to write this here, also, I have a bit of paper covered with names of places and that is about to run out of space so I need to get this started:

Manchester, England.
RAF Valley, Wales.
Aberporth Airport, Wales.
Bristol Filton Airport, England.
RAF Lyneham, England.
Lee On Solent Airport, England.
Jersey Airport, Jersey.
Quimper–Cornouaille Airport, France.
Nantes Atlantique Airport, France.
La Rochelle – Île de Ré Airport, France.
Cazaux Air Base, France.
San Sebastián Airport, Spain.
Seve Ballesteros-Santander Airport, Spain.
Santiago–Rosalía de Castro Airport, Spain.
Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, Portugal.
Monte Real Air Base, Portugal.
Humberto Delgado Airport, Portugal.
Faro Airport, Portugal.
Base Naval de Rota, Spain.
Gibraltar Airport, Gibraltar.
Rabat–Salé Airport, Morocco.
Ben Slimane Airport, Morocco.
Marrakesh Menara Airport, Morocco.
Agadir – Al Massira Airport, Morocco.
Tan Tan Airport, Morocco.
César Manrique-Lanzarote Airport, Spain.
Tenerife North–Ciudad de La Laguna Airport, Spain.
La Palma Airport, Spain.
Dakhla Airport, Morocco.
Nouadhibou Airport, Mauritania.
Nouakchott–Oumtounsy International Airport, Mauritania.
Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport, Senegal.
Banjul International Airport, Gambia.
Osvaldo Vieira International Airport, Guinea-Bissau.
Conakry Gbessia International Airport, Republic of Guinea.
Faranah Airport, Republic of Guinea.
Lungi International Airport, Sierra Leone.
Monrovia-Roberts Airport, Liberia.
Man Airport, Côte d’Ivoire.
San Pédro Airport, Côte d’Ivoire.
Félix Houphouët Boigny International Airport, Côte d’Ivoire.
Takoradi Airport, Ghana.
Kotoka International Airport, Ghana.
Aéroport de Lomé-Gnassingbe Eyadema, Togo.
Cotonou Cadjehoun Airport, Benin.
Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
Ibadan Airport, Nigeria.
Benin Airport, Nigeria.
Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Nigeria.
Ajaokuta Airport, Nigeria.
Bamenda Airport, Cameroon.
Bafoussam Airport, Cameroon.
Ngaoundéré Airport, Cameroon.
Yaoundé Airport, Cameroon.
Yaounde Nsimalen International Airport, Cameroon.
Bata Airport, Equatorial Guinea.
Port-Gentil International Airport, Gabon.
Omboué Hospital Airport, Gabon.
Agostinho-Neto International Airport, Republic of Congo.
Kitona Base Airport, Republic of Congo.
Luanda Airport, Angola.
Porto Amboim Airport, Angola.
Aéroport de Waku-Kungo, Angola.
Benguela Airport, Angola.
Welwitschia Mirabilis International Airport, Angola.
Aéroport de Xangongo, Angola.
Ruacana Airport, Namibia.
Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Airport, Namibia.
Grootfontein Air Force Base, Namibia.
Uis Mine Airport, Namibia.
Walvis Bay Airport, Namibia.
Aérodrome de Lüderitz, Namibia.
Aérodrome d’Oranjemund, Namibia.
Air Force Base Langebaanweg, South Africa.
Cape Town International Airport, South Africa.
Air Force Base Overberg, South Africa.
Port Elizabeth International Airport, South Africa.
Margate Airport, South Africa.
Maputo International Airport, Mozambique.
Beira International Airport, Mozambique.
Aérodrome de Nacala, Mozambique.
Julius Nyerere International Airport, Tanzania.
Moshi Airport, Tanzania.
Abeid Amani Karume International Airport, Zanzibar.
Aden Adde International Airport, Somalia.
Iskushuban Airport, Somalia.
Abdullahi Yusuf Airport, Somalia.
Socotra Airport, Yemen.
Salalah Airport, Oman.
RAFO Thumrait Airbase, Oman.
RAFO Masirah, Oman.
Muscat International Airport, Oman.
Fujairah International Airport, UAE.
Khasab Airport, Oman.
Dubai International Airport, UAE.
Al Bateen Executive Airport, UAE.
Jebel Dhana Airport, UAE.
Delma Island Airport, UAE.
Qeshm International Airport, Iran.
Jask Airport, Iran.
Konarak Airport, Iran.
Turbat International Airport, Pakistan.
Pasni Airport, Pakistan.
Ormara Airport, Pakistan.
Jinnah International Airport, Pakistan.
Rajanpur Airport, Pakistan.
Zhob Airport, Pakistan.
Miran Shah Airport, Pakistan.
Saidu Sharif Airport, Pakistan.
Skardu Airport, Pakistan.
Muzaffarabad Airport, Pakistan.
Chilas Airport, Pakistan.
Hotan Airport, China.
Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, India.
Ngari Kunsha Airport, Tibet.
Simikot Airport, Nepal.
Jumla Airport, Nepal.
Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal.
Tenzing Hillary Airport, Lukla, Nepal.

Heading Past Mount Everest
Heading Past Mount Everest

And so this journey around the world continues. I have just flown past Mount Everest after [not quite] landing at Lukla. After passing the highest place on Earth I headed to:

Tumlingtar Airport, Nepal.

I think is almost, kind of, half way around? I have no idea. We’ll have to see what the rest of this journey looks like.

This is comms#1979 and so here are some things that happened in that year:

  • Sid Vicious dies.
  • Compact Disk displayed publicly for first time.
  • The last British soldier leaves Malta.
  • A human powered aircraft flies across the English Channel.
  • A dam failure in India kills up to 25,000.

Nachtmahr – Electrowerkz

Last night Smith and I went out! Out! To see a band! Well, two bands really but it was out and my first time in London since February 2020 when we saw Aesthetic Perfection. We got the train in and booked into our hotel room – proper full on night out! After getting changed we headed to Electrowerkz, which was quite close to the hotel and entered. I had forgotten my photo ID and the security people were very good at sorting that out as I had photos of all my ID on my phone, they accepted me fortunately.

Electrowerkz Welcome
Electrowerkz Welcome

I loved this touch of some old CRT showing a logo as we walked up the steps. It added to the feel of the place. We didn’t see the first two bands as we were drinking and chatting to the merchandise people. I think I bought some dog tags, but I have no idea where I put them, I’ll have to have a look shortly. I liked the few changes that had been made to the building and ambiance, the main floor looked really good.

Before The Crowds - Electrowerkz
Before The Crowds – Electrowerkz

Reaper is a band/person we had wanted to see for a long time as a couple of his albums are really good. A nice split between industrial and EBM. I enjoyed his set although I think there could have been some other songs added to make it greater but I guess you have to trust the artist and the things they want to play might not be what I want to hear.

Reaper - X-Junkie
Reaper – X-Junkie

I really enjoyed the Reaper set. It was about this time that I started to appreciate the new sound system in the room. I could hear all the nuance in the songs, which I knew quite well anyway, and this was a surprise as normally my hearing dies quite quickly into a gig and I can’t tell what’s going on apart from noise.

Nachtmahr - Electrowerkz
Nachtmahr – Electrowerkz

Nachtmahr were brilliant. They played a great set and the crowd really liked it. I don’t think this makes a top ten of gigs, but it’s definitely in the top half. I had a great time and danced quite a bit – I think the alcohol helped a lot with that. Overall this was a good gig. A couple of great bands and really good fun. Brilliant!

This is communication number 1977 and so in keeping with recent tradition I list below some events of that year:

  • Jimmy Carter pardons Vietnam draft dodgers.
  • The rings of Uranus are discovered.
  • Optical Fibre is used to transmit phone calls for the first time.
  • 165 Killed in a fire in Kentucky.
  • Never Mind The Bollocks is released by the Sex Pistols.

We Didn’t Even Ask

Had a trip where we swung by the RAF Museum in Hendon. It’s free to enter so it’s a great place to go. If there was payment then I would have to balance to cost with what is there and so the greatness would depend on the exhibits and the cost giving me a measure “value”. Now, I’m into aircraft and this is free. So it’s an excellent place. Actually, it is an excellent place and not by default.

Short Sunderland - RAF Museum Hendon
Short Sunderland – RAF Museum Hendon – they built 749 of these!

Now, I can’t just swan off to places like this in the work week without actually having good reason and so we did bring some cadets with us to have a look around. You might be disturbed by this but I think the motivation to leave school for some and have a day out of lessons is actually overcome by the fear that they will miss something important and, if I’m honest, we didn’t bring as many as I had hoped. It’s there choice but what have we done to education if children think a day out with friends learning about “other things” is not worth the effort?

EH101 - Hendon
EH101 – Hendon

This beast is one of the prototypes of the EH101 and it is pretty fucking big. It’s in the corner among all the other aircraft and this one is just huge. We were just hanging around and one of the museum helpers came over and asked if we would like to look inside. Well, you don’t need to ask aircraft nerds twice! So we took up the offer and wandered around the cabin – it was big enough to “wander around” – and then we sat in the cockpit as we were invited to. Really grateful to have had the experience.

EH101 Cockpit - RAF Museum Hendon
EH101 Cockpit – RAF Museum Hendon

Here’s a picture of me pulling a stupid face – I want to point out that I was deliberately making stupid faces – but I guess you can disagree with the deliberate part of that if you want.

Comms#1972, here are some things that happened that year:

  • The Godfather premiers in New York.
  • I was born.
  • A fire in a nightclub in Osaka kills 115.
  • US Officials own up to the Tuskegee syphilis study.
  • Apollo 16 lands on the moon.
  • Apollo 17 lands on the moon.