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.

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.