Skip to main content
Vive La Difference

Back to the day-job soon enough but until then, I’ll make the most of the good weather we’ve had so far during the Easter weekend break.

Today, my wife and I hopped over to Le Touquet for lunch. The original idea was to fly up to Little Snoring outside Walsingham in Norfolk but it seems that the local airfield is now closed to visitors, which came as a shock.

France is rather nearer, forty-four minutes, although you wouldn’t think so, as the horizontal visibility was very poor today from 3,500 feet over the channel.

A stiff cross-wind at Le Touquet made landing the aircraft rather interesting and I’m grateful for the hundred or so hours of tail-wheel experience which taught me a great deal about the defensive handling of small aircraft when they want to skid sideways.

Le Touquet had a micro-climate of its own today, almost 25 Celsius in bright sunshine and the ‘café society’ was in full swing over lunch along the side streets. I never cease to wonder why in the UK, we pay ‘through the nose’ for a decent meal and yet just across the channel, a good meal can be had for £15.00. The truth of the matter is that here in Britain, we are taxed and exploited into a state of frozen apathy which explains why in contrast with our European neighbours we have a lower quality of life. If one enjoys something, food, cigarettes, alcohol, television, driving, then it’s taxed almost out of reach. In fact, Sex and breathing have only escaped Gordon Brown’s Puritan attention, because there’s no reliable means of slapping a tax on either activity, yet.

So it’s out of Le Touquet at 5’ O’clock French time with an aircraft stuffed with charcuterie, baguettes and Camembert. Twenty minutes into the flight and half way across the Channel, it becomes hard not to notice the presence of the cheese, slowly warming in the baggage compartment behind me. It’s a welcome relief to drop the aircraft back on to the grass at Maypole Farm, if only to let the French cheese out to breathe, before it escapes and claims asylum on its own.

Back to writing my next Computer Weekly column tomorrow I expect.


Popular posts from this blog

Mainframe to Mobile

Not one of us has a clue what the world will look like in five years’ time, yet we are all preparing for that future – As  computing power has become embedded in everything from our cars and our telephones to our financial markets, technological complexity has eclipsed our ability to comprehend it’s bigger picture impact on the shape of tomorrow.

Our intuition has been formed by a set of experiences and ideas about how things worked during a time when changes were incremental and somewhat predictable. In March 1953. there were only 53 kilobytes of high-speed RAM on the entire planet.

Today, more than 80 per cent of the value of FTSE 500* firms is ‘now dark matter’: the intangible secret recipe of success; the physical stuff companies own and their wages bill accounts for less than 20 per cent: a reversal of the pattern that once prevailed in the 1970s. Very soon, Everything at scale in this world will be managed by algorithms and data and there’s a need for effective platforms for ma…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.

I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…