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Down Under

I see that I'm getting referral traffic from my Wikipedia entry, possibly from people who wish to see whether I really exist or not. Maybe I'm only a figment of my own imagination?

With ecrime 2008 finished, I've six months before I have to start working with the team on planning ecrime 2009 and inviting speakers to attend. This year was seen by many as the best yet - certainly the best attended - and took a tremendous organisational effort from everyone involved. I would really like to see the Home Secretary pay us a visit in 2009. To date, we have had MPs' Jim Paice, Vernon Coaker, Caroline Flint, James Brokenshire and David Davis and by the time it comes around again, perhaps government will have adopted a firm new policy on the subject?

Up and coming, I've got Milan, Talin and Frankurt conferences to work on, with the first of these coming-up very quickly indeed.

With strong winds forecast for tomorrow, it looks as if the banner-towing is out for tomorrow but the really big publicity stunt for next weekend has now been booked, with a large sheet banner to match, so I may yet be blogging on Her Majesty's pleasure.

My good friend, the head of the Australian Hi-tech crime unit has suggested that I go and live and work "down under." Now that's a tempting thought with summer still several months away and no swimming pool in the garden! "You can get a seaplane instead and sell tourist rides around Sydney harbour."

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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…

Merlins over Thanet

Marooned, temporarily at Manston this afternoon are the Merlins over Malta team on the way to the Mediterranean for a display to mark the historic Second World War defence of the island.


Charlie Brown

Unfortunately, the weather over Thanet is appalling this afternoon and the Spitfire and Hurricane can’t get airborne again until it clears, so the celebrity Battle of Britain aircraft pilots, Charlie Brown, Clive Denny and their team-mates are contemplating an evening among the fleshpots of Margate.


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

I’m rather hoping the weather it will clear through though as they have to get to Jersey before dusk if possible and I have to take some photos of the Spitfire and Hurricane for Pilot Magazine and I’ve always wanted a chance to get in either aircraft!

An Interview with Charlie Brown

They just got off, squadron scramble or what? They were ready and gone in ten minutes towards the nearest patch of blue sky!

An interview with the legendary S…
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!