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Showing posts from November, 2008

Buy Now - Pay Later

I ventured out into the gale and the near-zero temperatures for a run along the coast this morning. What three kayakers were doing in the bay was anyone's guess; members of the Special Boat Service practising perhaps? I didn't last long as the appearance of sleet drove me back inside but from the direction of Margate, I could still hear the muffled roar from the 'Big Sky' beach races taking place on the sands. I'm not convinced that the end of November is such a great date to put on a public spectacle of this kind but I take my hat off to everyone involved in such a spectacular battle against the forces of nature.



Summer is now a long way off and there's not much flying to be had either. The embedded video is from another weekend, Radio One's 'Big Weekend' last May, where the weather was warmer and kinder and I had two aircraft sitting over Maidstone. You can see from the video two banners laid out between two sets of poles as one aircraft after the …

Sneakers

Plans for the 2009 ecrime congress seem to be coming along nicely. We now have an outstanding selection of speakers from companies that include Rolls Royce, Daimler Chrysler and France Telecom and now we need to start refining the agenda in time for Christmas.

It's that damp and miserable time of year which invariably keeps pilots on the ground. I narrowly avoided being stranded at Rochester on Sunday afternoon, when the cloud and persistent drizzle descended on the airfield but just managed to escape underneath it before sunset. Looking at the price of aviation fuel, I notice that my bill was £2,400 in the last financial year for Avgas and £500 higher for the car, which runs on diesel; so a noticeable bump in the cost of doing business which is impossible to pass on in the present economic climate.

Some things are of course cheaper. I bought a new pair of good running shoes last week, reduced from £75 to £24 which I thought was a bargain. I've found I can run again after six ye…

Unwilling Passenger

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Remembrance Sunday and I noticed that the sound of the canon from the ceremony at Margate echoed toward the war memorial on the clifftop here at Westgate.

I'm reminded of three members of my own family who took part in World War I. There was my paternal grandfather, pictured as a young officer fresh from public school, who was wounded and never spoke once about his experiences.

My maternal great grand-father, who lived here in Westgate and London and who volunteered, like the novellist Ernest Hemingway, to be an ambulance driver for the Belgian army at the very start of the war in 1914. From there, he became one of the first official war photographers, working for the Illustrated London News and survived, unscathed, retiring back to a quieter life in Westgate on Sea.

I still have his small Kodak camera, in excellent working condition, in its original leather case sitting on the shelf opposite, marked with the magazine's name on the inside.

Then there was Arthur Carr Osburn DSO, my…

Captain Snap

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'Captain Snap' was in the air for the Daily Mail yesterday, the target of interest being Heather Mills' swimming pool in Sussex.
I had been to the house once before about two years ago, when the local authority asked for some photos of an outbuilding extension but this time, there is reportedly some kind of planning dispute involving the lovely Heather's new swimming pool - I assume she received the house as part of the divorce settlement with Sir Paul - and at least two newspapers asked for photos with the Daily Mail seeking an exclusive.

Friday was the first decent break in the weather for a week and offered just enough time and sunshine to take the required photos. No sign of Heather though. If she's any sense she'll be far away in the sunshine. Captain Snap would be too but needs a larger aircraft to get to the West Indies without a stop!
Photo copyright Airads 2008

Interlude

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I just realised that I haven't written an entry for ages!

It's been a busy few weeks but isn't always so?

I've been chairing the PCI (Payment Card Industry) Europe event in Brussels and the e-Evidence conference in London. Somewhere in between I also had to sit two of the six exams I have to take for my commercial pilot's instrument rating at Gatwick.

Fortunately all of these passed without a hitch other than almost two weeks of an appalling cold caught somewhere in-between.

Today, I'm supposed to be doing night circuits at Manston and photographing Heather Mills' swimming pool for the newspapers. However, with the clouds down at around 600 feet, neither are going to take place and poor Heather will have to wait to see any aerial shots of her swimming pool in The Sun. Ironically, I was over the same house in Sussex a couple of year's ago - I think I made a Blog entry then - when the local authority asked for photographs of the extension to the barn I think.…