Skip to main content
Stormy Weather

“You’ll have to find it yourself”, says I , referring to the number of Google searches pinging this website for the name of the Website I refer to in my Computer Weekly column today. To be perfectly honest, it’s not worth a visit unless you want to feel sick and ashamed of yourself and the human race and the depths we are prepared to plunge to in the name of so-called entertainment.

My wife just reminded me “There’s a ton of rain on its way”, a change from yesterday when I was frying on the hammock in the garden. To be fair, I’m rather glad of the poor weather today, although the humidity is a pain. Without it, I would have been tempted to leave my study for the sunshine and would not have managed to have run-up the first part of a very long and “exciting” PowerPoint presentation on NHS IT and procurement for Dublin in September.

On Saturday, I took my daughter, Charlotte, over to Le Touquet and the Aqualud water park for the day. I wonder how many children it can take before it collapses under its own weight? The French very obviously don’t have the same health and safety concerns as we do in England and the polished artificial surface in the water park echoes to the rhythmic thud of children and adults slipping on it every sixty second or so, with some very nasty impacts as a consequence.



Certainly, Aqualud had the longest lunch queue I have ever been in. Forty five minutes to buy a hot dog and fries for the two of us for fifteen euros. Next time I’ll eat in the town on the way down to the beach.

Le Touquet on Saturday morning was once again hidden by sea mist. The two of us refuelled at Lydd, taking advantage of the VAT and duty-free Avgas and then pointed the nose straight across the channel and the localiser for Le Touquet’s runway 14. The ATIS were announcing poor visibility and special VFR permission into the airfield, which was keeping a proportion of the regular Saturday traffic away and by mid channel I experienced a strange optical illusion where I couldn’t see any line between sea and sky. In fact, I pointed to three dots and said to Charlotte “Do you see the three other aircraft”, which in fact turned out to be ships. As used as I am to flying over the sea, this was really quite disorienting and I fell back on the instruments to tell me what was what.

Ten miles out, I started a slow descent from 3000 feet to intercept the runway localiser but at five miles and still above the cloud the tower decided to change the runway to the opposite direction, 34 but kept me coming-in for an overhead join. At around 1,500 feet I aimed for the thinnest lump of cloud and continued the descent, “Cool”, said Charlotte not realising that at around 800 feet, I was starting to wonder where the cloud would end. In fact, we found ourselves clear at 550 rather lower than I’d like before joining the circuit to land.

No shortage of bicycles to hire for 10 euros and we cycled through the forest on the fifteen minute trip into town, just in time for the sun to break through. What followed then was three hours of madness in the water park and some quick wine shopping on the way back before starting-up the aircraft for an almost perfect trip back to Kent which seemed even warmer than Le-Touquet.



The Sunday Times reports that more and more Britains are buying-up property around Le Touquet and the Normandy Cote Opale and to be honest, I’m very tempted to move across myself. Take a visit one summer’s day and maybe you’ll understand why.


Comments

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…