Tag Archives: farnborough

Credit crunch denial?

In this day and age with some less than safe areas to deliver to, can you blame Saint Nick for swapping a reindeer powered sleigh for an SE5a armed with a .303 Lewis machine gun?

We took a walk today into Farnborough to post a letter. It’s a long trek, but the healthy option – and green! Alex walked a fair amount of the way, but his push chair was always on hand (and helpful for me as support as my back isn’t fully recovered yet).

In the main mall there was some proof that the credit crunch has not hit yet…either that, or there are some seriously stupid people out there with no idea of money and worth…but more on that later in this blog entry…

Alex had a great laugh in the shopping centre, jumping and running around like a loon! He thought Father Christmas in the aeroplane was good, but not as much fun as the hall of mirrors was!

In the passageway with all of the mirrors in, there was also a very tinny echo…which was put to maximum use by the excited screaching terror!

Now much as a shrill squeel can set a persons nerves on edge, there was something a lot worse in the mall this day… A lot, lot worse.

I couldn’t bring myself to actually photograph the full terror of what I saw, but it was enough to make Cthulhu back up in horror…

What I did take a photo of was the next level down…

Yes… Dodgy animal pictures printed onto thin shiney photo paper (cheap). This is just the start as the tacky picture is placed in a very flimsy cheap looking frame and then little plastic numbers are stuck onto it to form the dial of a clock… a cheap little AA battery clock stuck to the back of the picture is the finishing touch.

Now this may terrify you, but take a look at the price….

£25.99

Either people can see value in this cheap tat that I am missing, or there are enough idiots with zero taste out there to get the seller of this hideous crap a living wage!

Now I mentioned that there was a worse terror than this picture, and I am not kidding.

The thing worse than this was the glitter covered wolf painting with the same clock affair. One of those dodgy wolf prints you see on black t-shirts or market bought jackets but with added glitter and a Chinese tick-tock.

Pure lowest common trash… Yet people must be buying it – and that is the scariest thing of all, especially as it is likely that they have the power of the vote….

Your life, and the life of those you love is in the hands of voters who buy things like this…..

Be afraid… Be very afraid.


Assume nothing ~ Change it up

There are not many people who have had a great influence on me (besides teachers and instructors of course!), on how I am and the way I view things – as a person in myself and my career. The few that have had a fundamental influence are worth mentioning (especially in these troubled times).

Firstly, my Dad. He was a Scientist, Engineer and before retiring to run a private consultancy, he was Head of the Royal Aircraft Establishments Accident Section. Not only did I look up to him as my father, but as a role model and engineer. I was lucky enough that he was my Dad and Hero all in one.

He had a motto that has stuck with me:

ASSUME NOTHING – JUST BE CERTAIN

Although he used this in his wreckage analysis role, it is also worth thinking about in other situations – e.g: World financial crisis/radiation leaks from Japan’s tsunami aftermath/continued wars – people are getting worried (as am I), but mostly they are worried about “What ifs“.

Yes, things might get better or worse BUT there is no point worrying about these things, or pinning hopes on things that haven’t materialised yet – that would be irrational, as no-one knows the future. You can’t assume the worse or best case, you can only be as prepared as you can be.

Why fret over things that have not happened? You are suffering fear of nothing!

duneboardgame

DUNE

There is a litany to fear written by Frank Herbert (Dune 1965):

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Fear feeds on itself and starts to play with your mind and perception, which is why you should ASSUME NOTHING – JUST BE CERTAIN. Although I like this litany, I would change the last two lines. I believe that if you are going through difficulties – or just strolling through life, then you should leave gained knowledge and wisdom in your path. You need to learn from your actions, not just blindly go through life. As such, Herbert’s litany would be changed to the following for me:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be wisdom.
And I will be stronger.

Okay – so that tells me “Why worry?” – Find out the facts first, get tangible information, then you have something to deal with – but what should you do to get the facts? How do you find out where you are?

rollinsHenry Rollins holds the answer. I had an email conversation with him several years back, and then a brief chat in the flesh after a gig. I had just lost a friend – a guy who was more like a brother to me than just a friend (I am still very close to his family – I see them as an extension of my family in a way). My friend passed away in his early 20’s – just days after saying he’s be my best man. I was beside myself and had no idea what to do. I knew Rollins had lost a best friend when he was young, so I sent him an email – I didn’t think he’d reply, but I had written done some of my thoughts and questions, and that was a therapy in itself.

Rollins did reply – and his response was both one of compassion and in true Rollins spirit, a big dose of “Suck it up”.

His response was very similar to the Billy Connolly statement:

The cemetery is full of people who would love your problems

Rollins basically said that I still have my life, so I should live it, as I was still able to – sure I should remember my friend, but don’t get sucked down and dwell on the bad stuff.

Wise words indeed -and later whilst listening to his song “Change It Up” I picked out another fine view to live by…

You say your job is a pain
It’s pulling you down the drain
I think you’d rather complain
Than quit it

Now the words in this verse are about a job, but they work in all situations. People would rather complain about things dragging them down, or how unlucky they are and how shitty life is… but what are they doing about it? I say you only have a right to complain IF you are bothering to do something about your situation.

Don’t whine about your job, and then go in day after day and do nothing about it. If you are looking to get a new job, if you are really trying to better your situation, then sure, you have the right vent now and then. It’s the same with anything in life – If you aren’t trying to progress the situation, then don’t moan about it.

This old phrase comes to mind:

If you aren’t part of the solution, then you are part of the problem

Got a problem, then shut up or sort it out.

Okay… that’s the main ingredients building up for a way to approach these tricky times, Hell, in any times…

Assume nothing, just be certain: Don’t get wound up if you don’t know all the facts.

If you know all the facts, still don’t get wound up – there are many people who would love to swap their problems with yours.

Don’t moan and complain once you have the facts – just get out there and do something about the situation. Get reactive – get proactive – just get active.

If you find yourself neither going backwards or forwards, then you fall into another category all together. The phrase my late, great friend Ryan Brown used to use was this:

“If you ain’t making waves ~ you ain’t kicking hard enough…”


Bernie gets a clean bill of health

Woo!

Small victories need recognition in these rather miserable and worrying times. Bernie the Berlingo (Chris named it…) needed an MoT…more cash out, but we need the car. Luckily Bernie flew through with only a dodgy tail light, which was changed straight away. Chris had checked it over before the test, but hey, bulbs go.

Happy days then, as a clean pass meant no expensive work needed doing! Thank Goodness for small mercies!

Woo indeed!


Secret Squirrel – Crouching Beaver

Hawley Lake has an airstrip – or at least it has a disused airstrip.

Two short runways cross on top of the hill. The history is a bit tricky to trace, but there are a few ideas around.

There is a thought that it was used for special operations with Lysander aircraft. This would make some sense, as the Lysander was superb for short field work.

Other talk says Beavers and various liason aircraft/helicopters used the strip to access Minley and/or Gibraltar Barracks (which have a certain hush-hush rumoury around them anyway).

Even Harrier and helicopter tests were thought to have been carried out here, to test sand damage and filters on desert based aircraft.

I don’t know the date of strip construction – which would be of some help – but until then, it’s a rumour of history. I do know that local airfields have been (and still are) used for secret squirrel operations.


Show Stealer


Vulcan 2008, originally uploaded by L.B.

The Mighty Avro Vulcan.

It gave me such a great feeling to see this cornerstone of British aviation take to the skies again.

The awesome sound of the engines as she started her take of roll just a few hundred yards from me…..and the breath taking, ground and gut twisting thunderous rumble of the four RR-Olympus engines (like Concorde’s) as she accelerated down the runway before rotating into a steep take off climb.

Amazing.


A quick review…

Right…by popular demand here is a run down of the last few months…well…yearish…
I had a plan. Chris and I wanted kids, and I wanted that to happen away from Portsmouth. I wanted to move to my home town area (Fleet/Farnborough), as it has better schools, hospitals and general environment (like TREES and OPEN SPACE!!!!).
The plan was that we move to Farnborough, I carry on working in Portsmouth (travel daily) until I get a job up in Farnborough area. Once we were settled, we would try for a baby.
What happened was this: Whilst still living in Portsmouth I was doing some work for my then employer at Southampton Airport. An aircraft had some propeller damage and I was sent to assess it. I got chatting with the guy who was there with the aeroplane and mentioned my plan. He said his company was hiring, and mentioned that another company (based on Farnborough Airport) was also hiring. I arranged an interview at the Farnborough company. 1 month late and I was working on Farnborough Airport (working on Air Ambulance aircraft and Executive light aircraft).
Right…so the plan was working, but a little bit out of order, but hey…living in Portsmouth and traveling to Farnborough would just be like living in Farnborough and traveling to Portsmouth. It wouldn’t be for long anyway….we’d have a house soon, and then start the family.
After 3 months I had passed my probation period, so put our house on the market, as the job was now solid. After getting some interest in our house we started trying for a family. It only takes a few months to buy and sell a house, so there was no issue with timing.
FLY-FASTER
Some light hearted inflight entertainment to take the edge off of this blog post. One of my early photoshops.
BEALES estate agents and Country Wide Property solicitors….LEAVE WELL ALONE….The house move was taking far too long…we lost the first house we wanted to move into back in November as our chain was taking too long. Back in November we were told…TWO WEEKS AND YOU’LL BE IN. It took so long that we lost that first house. Luckily we found a second one within a week. REMEMBER, they said it would only take a couple of weeks to sort everything out, well it is now March….we don’t have a clue as to what is going on.
We were told in January that we would complete the sale on the end of the week. As such, I bought new beds and furniture to be delivered to our new house for mid January. I also bought a futon for the spare room, which I took straight away, as we would use this for few days until the move.
Nearer to the move date I cut up the old bed and gave my brother in law the furniture (still no thanks there, but that’s another story). Directly after cutting the bed up I received a phone call…The move was off. Lies down the chain. The move was pushed on a few days…then a week…then weeks. We have now had to re-advertise the house as Chris is now 33 weeks pregnant, and we still have no idea of a move date. Worse still, since Jan, we have been sleeping on nothing but a small futon, living in a house of boxes.
Other news….It looks as if baby was conceived on the Bisley weekend where we both won trophies for our shooting. A good weekend all round then!!!
Now I find myself still in Portsmouth, sleeping on a rock hard futon with my 33 week pregnant wife. I drive on average 3 hours a day, spending over £300 per month on things I wouldn’t need if we had moved already (Fuel, storage bills etc). Chris is tired because of the pregnancy, and I am tired due to the hours I work and the commute. We wake at 5am to feed the pets, eat breakfast and get me out of the door for a 7am start in Farnborough. I get home (on a good day) at around 7pm…so we don’t get to spend a lot of time together awake.

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