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In Search of Justice

So far June is turning into a disappointment, at least where flying weather is concerned. I had to abandon a marriage proposal over Canterbury yesterday on account of the low cloud and the drizzle. One feels desparately bad for the client but even trying one's best and warning that "It's very iffy", the ordinary man in the street doesn't understand what's involved in the operation and that I'm certainly not going to risk crashing an aircraft in a futile attempt to "pop the question."

I suspect it's all because the public are used to stepping on board the occasional Easyjet flight to Barcelona, whatever the weather and expect to arrive without incident. There's a world of difference however between a Boeing 737, flying at 35,000 feet with tens of millions of dollars of instrumentation and a Cessna 172, flying ten feet off the ground trying to "hook" a banner in poor visibility and a strong crosswind. The one involves mostly pressing buttons the other flying by the seat of the pants!

Anyway and in contrast, other than a flying job on the island of Guernsey later this month, I'm giving a speech to the Ministry of Justice's conference at the QEII centre in London. I've never 'Done' the QEII before, always been a spectator and recall seeing Bill Gates wander in, ten years or so ago to deliver a speech. Ironically, the day after, it's back on with the flight suit and off to the Channel Islands, so the split personality catches-up all over again.

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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!
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