Summer Time

This chronicles the summer holiday 2018. Just an idea of things I did because after almost a week, when I started writing this, I’m worried I’m wasting my time.

Sat – usual Sat stuff
Sun – run, Gran Turismo and cinema to see Skyscraper
Mon – Met Jo then went swimming.
Tues – Had a run and then met John.
Weds – Mostly food and fan shopping and ice cream lunch.
Thurs – stupid hot so cleared out a bedroom cupboard and started putting together a camping box.
Fri – bought camping supplies, a start on the M’era Luna costume and cinema.

Sat – run, more M’era Luna costume work.
Sun – wrote Fooyah communications, exercises, Gran Turismo, Death Of Stalin on Netflix, played No Man’s Sky, read a book.
Mon – Gran Turismo update, daily workout complete; drive 26.4 miles. Visit Spitfire memorial museum, RAF Manston Museum and Battle Of Britain memorial, all East Kent or Hellfire Corner, GT New track 4 laps then No Man’s Sky.
Tues – travel Maldon for the day, No Man’s Sky in evening.
Weds – snuck inot school to see new classroom, Gran Turismo, British Gas boiler service, No Man’s Sky, cleaned the car.
Thurs – run, finish M’era Luna costumes, Granturismo, No Man’s Sky, travel to London to see Freakangel in Hoxton.
Fri – shopping, had a nap, packed for trip, watched film Double Team, tried to complete Nordschleife circuit experience.

Sat – got up and headed to Lake District. Lunch at Wetherby. Petrol at Morrison’s Penrith. Campsite. Made camp. Dinner, read book. Checked out parking for Sunday walk. Up Latrigg – drove up, then parked in town to walk to the Lake. Reading upon return.
Sun – Got ready and drove to car park. Then did many many peaks and returned to the car. Had a cuppa at The Lodge in the Vale. Back to tent. Showered and dinner. Read.
Mon – Breakfast at Filling Station Café, eggs florentine. Drive to Maryport via Whinlatter Pass. Roman museum then to Milefortlet 21. Tea and cake at Buttermere, Booths for some cheese and rolls then back to tent. Watched Nanette and the Spiders web.
Tues –  Coffee, drove to Langdale and completed the Langdale Pikes.
Weds –  drove home. Washed stuff and packed for Thurs. also, went to Lakeside to get fuel, food and checked EE. Gran Turismo.
Thurs –  got engine oil for car. Channel tunnel, drove to Bochum, stayed in cheap hotel.
Fri – drove to Hildesheim, queues for a long time. Pitched tent. Ate, drank, slept, ate, drank, danced in the disco.

Sat – M’era Luna day one. MINISTRY and the PRODIGY.
Sun – M’era Luna day two. Eisbrecher.
Mon – drove home and unpacked.
Tues – washing and cleaning all camping equipment. Fooyah blog posts. Went to see the Meg. Some Gran Turismo. Tour Of Duty.
Weds – swimming, food shopping, watched Sea of Monsters, walk in the park, dinner, Gran Turismo.
Thurs – rowing, watched Jumaji 2, watched Avengers Assemble, Gran Turismo, X-Plane, watched Tour of Duty.
Fri – Ebbsfleet, train, underground, monument, shard, national gallery, Trafalgar square, HMS Belfast, Kings X for fish and chips, train home.

Sat –  Scoopid for ice cream, park and walk around the vineyard and playing PS You games.
Sun – Cleaned the garden and sorted it out. Had a run in evening.
Mon – dentist, stuff to dump, watched Channel 4 sci fi thing, cinema – Spy who dumped me.
Tues – run, head to Jason’s. Swimming and tea at Foxhills. Stay at Jason’s.
Weds – chill at Jason’s and then head to Look Out Discovery Centre. Lunch. Drive to Maidstone A&E. Subway and home.
Thurs – food shopping. Dossed. Watch Psych the movie in evening.
Fri – Head in to school and sort new classroom out. Afternoon run. Thought about cinema but decided against it.

Sat – chill day. Went to watch The Festival in evening. Been watching The Expanse season 3.
Sun – run. Went to Harlow to see sister. Lunch with parents at Harlow Mill. After home, more Expanse.
Mon – Bank holiday. Morning row – 60mins. Food shopping. Home, Expanse. Finished Expanse.
Tues –  Went to school to put posters up. Then drove to Costco for lunch. Shopping and then the most almighty traffic jam. Ikea then Costco again. Home finally at 2230.
Weds – up. Breakfast. Row.
Thurs – RAF Museum, Hendon. Started Killjoys season 3.
Fri – doss morning. Watched Journey to Centre Of The Earth. More school stuff printing SoWs. Run. X-Plane.
Sat – up and headed to 5K inflatable assault course at Kempton. Lunch out at Magpie pub. Rtn. Polished shoes. Finished Killjoys season 3.
Sun – up run. Shopping. Lunch. Watched “Halt and Catch Fire”. Ironing.

So, it looks like I managed to “busy it up” but I also kinda wrote more stuff down so it just looks like I did more!

A Long Way

It does seem that every year I end up driving all around the country and continent. This summer I drove to the Lake District for a few days of mountain walking. It is literally the other end of the country from me. If I travel about 50 miles from where I live I would be in France and my destination in the Lake District is about 25 miles from Scotland.

Then I drove to the middle of Germany. This means crossing the Channel, crossing France, Belgium, Netherlands and then half of Germany to pretty close to where the old border was with East Germany. This is about 400 miles as the crow flies. I have such a great time while there that the driving is perfectly worth it.

The only place not included this summer is a trip to Cornwall, another end of this country and maybe I need to correct that.

The total for these two trips, excluding driving around while there was 1658 miles or 2652km.

Quite Warm

Well, with temperatures hitting 33C today it’s time to write some stuff about this. I mean it’s so hot I have adjusted my plans for the day to keep indoors as much as possible. The hot weather is lovely. There, I said it. I can’t remember feeling cold and I am wondering about all my cold weather clothes, but it is nice to finally have a proper summer.

It feels as though the last many years have had summers where the skies have been mostly grey. While it’s been warm, the cloudiness has detracted from the feel of a proper summer and the country has looked dull. This year, the weather has been blue skies and proper clouds. It’s been good. While I was alive in 1976 I don’t remember anything about that summer. I broke my arm and the plaster kept going soft. That is all I know, but I have zero direct memories. Having looked it up on Wikipedia that summer seemed vicious. Worse than the current one in terms of temperatures.

My main problem with this heat is social. People are going to die. There will be a bump in the total deaths because heat kills people. We know the grass is pretty brown at the moment but those human deaths will come. Whether there’ll be a big news thing about it I don’t know.

The biggest problem with this weather is it highlights the problem of anthropogenic global climate change. Humans are causing a massive change in the way the Earth’s weather systems work and it will quite likely cause wars. The current heatwave pretty much covers the entire northern hemisphere. Everywhere is having a massive issue with the heat. The 1976 heatwave was pretty localised. While weather does not equal climate we should be aware that these events seem to be coming far more prevalent than they were. most predictions tell us that the extreme weather events are becoming more common. So while those stupid fuckers in the right wing press keep saying this isn’t as bad as 1947 or 1976 they don’t seem to realise that isolated events are now more common.

In this country the winters are going to become more extreme along with the summers and it doesn’t really look like there’s a massive move to try and counter this. When we study the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere we can see that we are already past the point of no return. There will be utter damage to the climate. Humans have caused this. Humans have also known for about 50 years that we are causing this. There are heavy metal songs from the 1980s going on about climate change FFS.

Eventually these changes are going to cause a massive change to the way of life. Governments around the world should be preparing their populations for this. Everyone needs nudging in the correct direction. There needs to be less individual transport. Flying needs to be reduced. Consumption needs to be reduced. Power consumption needs to be reduced. It all needs to change. Everyone needs to understand that the things they take for granted and assume they are entitled to will be gone. The world needs to change.

I am not an optimist about any of this. I don’t think that any of the political systems currently in use around the world will do anything because of the way they work. I don’t think anyone is properly preparing for this. If I expect the worst then maybe I’ll feel very slightly less bad when the billion displaced people can’t find acceptance in any country once their land disappears below sea level. I mean we can’t even accept those refugees and asylum seekers currently displaced by the shit in the current world.

Hopefully I’ll be dead before the water wars start.

Summer Of Parking

This summer was not a good one for me attempting to park the car. It seems I’ve been a little unlucky or forgetful!

The first incident was caused by me largely not connecting the dots and being in a slight rush. I parked my car at work when I left for CCF Camp. When I did this the entire site was locked because it was being used by the Ramblin’ Man music festival in the park nearby. I managed to get into the car park and was going to park “out of the way” in my normal spot. I decided there and then that I really wanted some CCTV coverage of the car so I zoomed around and parked in the main part of the car park.

I thought little of this until the Tuesday. I was walking down to the Eden Project and I had a phone call asking if the spare keys were nearby. Could I get the car moved as it was blocking the route for a new water and electricity trench that the school needed to build. There was a few hours of consternation until I was eventually called and told that a car breakdown service had been instructed to move the car. I was relieved.

Not In The Way Anymore
Not In The Way Anymore

Bora Horza Gobuchul no longer blocked the path for the trench. I had been told about this work that was going to take place, but did not combine this fact with where I parked the car.

The next incident was parking at the M’era Luna festival. Along the journey we had received updates about the parking and rain situation and we arrived around midday to park. The queues into the car park were long and we wondered what the delay was. I followed the instructions given by the parking attendants and turned onto the field. Drive fast they said and don’t stop.

Well. That’s all very well for a manual non-hybrid car without and traction control electronics. I think we managed about 100 metres across the field before we became embedded in the mud. The car was not going anywhere.

Fucking Stuck
Fucking Stuck

We weren’t the only ones. There were many cars getting stuck including a BMW X5. Shortly after this the organisers closed the car park and managed to arrange alternative parking for the festival attendees. One of the attendants explained there would be a tractor when we wanted to leave. I was quite distressed because the car was beeping and flashing lights at me. There wasn’t anything I could do and so I turned the thing off. Andy did well to calm me, slowly my stress lowered and I managed to enjoy most of the weekend without panicking too much.

Before leaving the car park we found the emergency tow hook and I read the instructions about how to fit it and be towed. Mentally I prepared myself for the car to be broken and the steps we would have to go through to get home.

Sunrise Over Bora Horza Gobuchul
Sunrise Over Bora Horza Gobuchul – note the lack of surrounding cars

On the Monday morning, in quite a gorgeous setting, we flagged down the tractor man and he towed us out of the hole. I had to put the car into neutral which I rarely do but it all seemed to work well. As we neared the edge of the field the tractor chap unhooked us and said we had to drive the last three metres by ourselves. I’m not really sure why. I wanted a tow to the road so I had a proper surface to drive on.

Tow hook fitted and ready to go
Tow hook fitted and ready to go

I floored the accelerator and the car moved to the road. I shouted to Andy to get in and we left. A few miles up the road I removed the emergency tow hook. We headed to the UK. All seemed far better than I had expected!

The good news is that since I am now back at work the summer is officially over and I have had no more parking incidents. I even had quite a time in the Lake District and then Bradford and neither resulted in issues. My nerves have dissipated now.

429 km

It seems it is quite traditional for me to drive all over this country during the summer while also traversing others. Part one of this manic adventure was out in the south west and gorgeous Cornwall. I had a lovely time. Here are some of my best photographs, just appreciate the lengths I go to show you lovely places and things.

426 km

This quaint fishing village, now mostly tourism, has a lovely old bridge and speedboat rides.

Looe Bridge
Looe Bridge

Also, I don’t think I quite captured just how beautiful this next scene looked in real life, but I only took a quick shot with the phone rather than a proper camera.

Sunglow in Looe
Sunglow in Looe

417 km

Cotehele House is lovely. But, whenever I visit these old houses it reminds me of the blatant and appalling class difference in this country and how this is reinforced by these old “stately” homes. These rich wankers are here “to look after us” and wasn’t life simpler when there was a Lord Of The Manor. Well, fuck you British history, I hate this sub-conscious reinforcement of “place in society”. I dare you to watch Disney stories and spot how they reinforce the order of birth-right.

The house was pretty though. This picture is just the quayside so not even the proper part of the estate!

Cotehele Quay
Cotehele Quay

416 km

Kit Hill is a local Marilyn. There was a road all the way to the top, although I think I would have preferred to park at the bottom and walk up by myself.

Kit Hill
Kit Hill

449 km

Lantic Bay was a lovely secluded bay on the south coast where the blustery wind couldn’t quite reach. The sand was shingle and coarse so it hurt to walk on it, but the views were bloody lovely. The air was warm and the sea was cold. There was a short walk from the car park to the beach down the rugged cliff side and it amused me how much people were struggling on the way back up. I found it too easy and it made me want to go running more!

Lantic Bay
Lantic Bay

496 km

At Godrevy Bay I found muscles. Not undiscovered ones in my body but loads on the rocks.

Mussels
Mussels

397 km

Went on a rainy trip around HM Naval Base to see the warships from the river and a short while later we saw the Dutch Frigate leaving for the open sea. The following ships were alongside: two Trafalgar class submarines, HMS Sutherland, HMS Ocean, HMS Bulwark, HMS Albion and some RFA ships.

Dutch Frigate
Dutch Frigate

396 km

At the National Marine Aquarium I saw sharks and turtles and jelly fish and loads of pretty stuff.

Very Pretty
Very Pretty

This is a carnivore:

Green Turtle
Green Turtle

192 km

Wandered around this stone circle in the rain:

Stone Circle
Stone Circle

My first impression was that the queue seemed quite long and I tried to book tickets online while standing in the queue but the next available session was in three hour’s time. It seemed a slow moving queue to me. Then we went to the restaurant. There were four queues but the food selection was down one side of them and the system wasn’t CLEAR. It was not a pleasant experience.

As it rained we used the bus to drive us the 2km to the stones from the visitors centre. This was the only time my ticket was checked. When we got to the stones we wandered around but I am largely uninspired by them. They seem more impressive from the road as you drive by.

If you want to visit. Pay to park and then walk to the stones. If there’s no one checking tickets just walk through. If there is someone checking tickets you can still get a good view from the free-viewing-area. Don’t pay the money.

Summer Decided

There was a little debate a while ago about which music festival to attend. The decision has been made.

M’era Luna

I am quite excited about this. It should be good. Having been last year I now know where we are going and what to expect. The festival is based at the airport of Hildesheim. This town has some wonderful buildings in the centre and is one of the oldest cities in northern Germany. Maybe this year Andy and I will get into the town centre to see what it is like.

The line up has some pretty awesome bands although, once again, I’m not sure if we’ll stay for the final Sunday night band. There’s plenty of time to decide.

ML1
ML2

Roll on August.

Summer Choices

Met with Smith last night and we chatted about which music festival to attend this year. You may have read about M’era Luna from last year. It was a very good time but this year there’s more choice!

Our preferred choice was to head to Munich for the Dark Festival, but this has been cancelled which is a shame. There were a lot of good bands that we would have liked to see there.

So now there are two choices. M’era Luna at Hildesheim again or Amphi Festival in Cologne. Here’s the line up for M’era Luna:

meraluna1

Of the bands in the above list I would really like to see VNV Nation, Eisbrecher, Combichrist, Hocico and Suicide Commando. But there are more:

meraluna2

This list has a few tasty treats: [:SITD:], Noisuf-X and Centhron. So, M’era Luna has a good selection, worth travelling the 500 miles for!

Next up we have the selection from Amphi Festival.

amphi1

The list of bands to definitely see at Amphi is: Aesthetic Perfection, Covenant, Faderhead, Frontline Assembly, Mono Inc, Suicide Commando, Unzucht and [X-RX].

It’s a tough choice. The current preference is M’era Luna. Wait and see.

British Summer Time

I don’t like change. I particularly don’t like changing the clocks. Some of my distaste for this biannual event is that it means I have to walk around my house adjusting various time displays and I also have to find the instructions for the cooker because I can never remember how to change the time on it. Why does my cooker need a clock? I also don’t like the day being asymmetric for around six months of the year. Finally, more daylight in the evening means more glare on my television [I need to buy some curtains but haven’t for ten years and so the likelihood of me getting around to it is quite low].

For around six months of the year we change the clocks so that we are in British Summer Time, what our American cousins would call Daylight Saving. I find this bizarre. I like how our clocks are aligned during the winter. When it is midday the sun is at its highest point in the sky and also due south. This makes an amazing amount of sense. I am aware that local midday is different across the UK and it depends how far east or west you are from the meridian but as a general measure it works well.

What I don’t like is the notion of midday during British Summer Time. The sun is not at its highest in the sky and won’t be for about an hour (depending on where you are). There is apparently an economic argument for having more daylight time later in the evening but I have yet to be convinced that it makes any difference. The “farmers need the light” argument is quite pathetic. Farmers would just get up earlier. I am not aware of any good reason to perform this ritual mess up of my routines.

Let me explain a couple of things.

noon defn

The definition of noon is, first and formost, MIDDAY.

midday defn

The definition of midday is the MIDDLE of the day. If our clocks say 12pm [12:00] then this should be the middle part of the day. If the sun is yet to rise to its highest point and we have more daylight hours after 12:00 than we had before the 12:00 BST is NOT midday. AM and PM both contain M which stands for meridian.

meridian defn

So, meridian refers to midday which refers to the middle of the day which, to me, is quite clearly the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest.

I could almost accept us changing to be in line with other European countries as we trade and work closely with them but unfortunately they are also wrong. France is either GMT+1 or GMT+2 and given that Paris lies on the meridian they clearly have no idea about how time works.

By the way, the National Physical Laboratory recommends the use of the 24 hour clock. I think I tend to use the 24 hour clock on this site more than I do am and pm. Apparently there is no convention to indicate whether midday is am or pm. I had thought that this was solved and that midday is pm but amazingly not.

12am 12pm

If the NPL are telling us something we should listen.

I am quite aware that my bad feeling towards BST is mostly to do with my interpretation of the definitions and that other people might decide to define midday as the point when our clocks are halfway through the day rather than use the sun to define the halves of the day.

Just so you are aware the international time standard is UTC.

Universal Coordinated Time

Although UTC is synonymous with GMT and for all intents and purposes the same it is no longer a recognised standard. UTC is maintained by the scientific community and GMT is not. I used UTC as the time indicator on my tattoos.

Seeking Tractors

Here’s a picture of #1 looking for tractors in the field south of our grounds. Combine harvesters rate highest followed by pretty much anything else.

20121003-061626.jpg