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Thanet Life

I've become a little pre-occupied with my ThanetLife project, a local website, which has started soaking-up rather a lot of visits and my attention with it. I seem to have found myself in the position of running at least four active websites on different topics, which means that I have to time share between them.

My visit to Amman to review the second phase of Jordan's eGovernment project has been scheduled for the second part of this month, a series of interviews with Government officials followed by a benchmarking report I need to write when I'm finished. Jordan appears to be making all the right noises but lies behind its much wealthier Gulf neighbours in terms of internet penetration and "joined-up" Government services and so I'll be interested in what I find and ways that I might be able to help.



Meanwhile, it looks as if EUjet won't be able to give me a right seat trial on one of their Fokker 100 passenger jets for me to right a review for Pilot Magazine, insurance and regulations etc. I haven't given-up hope entirely but this month, I've got a right seat on a Lydd Air passenger flight for a day and I'm busy working on my next project, which is trying to "Blag" a rear seat on an F15 Eagle from the US Air Force. They can only say "No" and it's a nice contrast with the Stampe biplane, I'll be bumbling into Le Touquet with to write a pilot's guide to getting there this summer.

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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…

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Charlie Brown

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Clive Denny (Hurricane) & Charlie Brown (Spitfire) Pilots

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Median Saleh

I mentioned in the last post, the 1981 expedition that took in Median Saleh, the ruined Nabatean city in Saudi Arabia


A temple carved from the rock from Petra's sister city.

By coincidence, one of the most important train stations on the Hejaz railway sat next to the ruins and when Lawrence of Arabia blew the line in 1917, the trains were trapped there and are still there today, gathering dust and with "Krupp" on the engine casings.


One of the trains, sitting where T.E. Lawrence left themwith Dr Paul Garnett as the passenger

Below, you can see one of the fortified train stations that Lawrence attacked along the Hejaz railway between Damascus and Medina.



More photos Medain Saleh can be found on THIS Site - Apparently you can catch a tourist bus these days, rather different from risking life and limb to cross an unfriendly Saudi Arabia twenty years ago!