Music on Fire!

Music on Fire!

I live in a little village called Sandhurst, in the county of Berkshire in the UK. Our biggest single claim to fame is that we have the Army Officer Training establishment in the village, colloquially called the RMA (Royal Military Academy). Sadly they’ve stopped now, but they used to run a bi-annual event called Music on Fire, which was a great evening of Music, brought to life with Fireworks, with a backdrop of the parade ground/main building. A tyical british type of evening. The Forces attendees were under cover with waiter service etc – they had a multi-course very nice dinner I am sure. However, the great unwashed public were allowed in to enjoy the proceedings. Many made it an event, complete with picnic tables and candelabras, others (us) just took chairs, wine coolers and hampers blankets and enjoyed the late summer show (it used to be done in early september). Here are a few pics to give you a taste.

Impressive start!

Impressive start!

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Even the camera shake works well (!). Hope this small sample give you some idea of the energy and fun of the evening. You can quite clearly see the images being projected onto the main building. A fabulous evening – a real shame they no longer run it.

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You dont see that every day!

You dont see that every day!

We were visiting friends in Cliftonvile, just round the corner from Margate and had popped into Margate for a walk on the harbour. The local lifeboat was just being taken back to its store – unlike many RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute – completely voluntary) it didnt have a permanent home which allowed easy access to the sea. It certainly raised a few eyebrows amongst the sunday drivers!
The RNLI is a fantastic charity – manned completely by volunteers who put their lives at risk to rescue those in trouble in the sea around Britains coastline. Very impressive people.

St Julians, Malta, 2006

St Julians, Malta, 2006

We visited Malta a few years ago. Its definitely one of those places that you either absolutely love or absolutely hate. Sadly we were the latter. Nothing bad happened, the weather was great, the people friendly.. its just.. well.. we didnt LIKE it. Cant put our fingers on it. When we compare Malta to the other places we have been – it just doesnt do it.. but.. we did see an unusual sight.. a Royal Blue Ferrari… which is a bit sad.. as their is only one stretch of road on the whole island with a speed limit > 30 mph and it has so many speed cameras you can barely move, Valetta harbour was nice to meander around too.
Malta is full of history and if you havent been there, I would thoroughly recommend you go and judge for yourself.

Whats in a number?

Well, today I hit another of those annual milestones called a birthday. I’m going to set a bit of a puzzle and leave it to the discerning reader to identify just HOW old I am(much as I’d love it, not 18 or 21). I will give some clues..

  • A London Bus Route – Walthamstow -. East Ham
  • A Type of Steam locomotive
  • A company which offers  eco-friendly wildlife watching, sightseeing, and diving boat trips from Banff Harbour;

So I am feeling in a pensive mood.. not too long til the next BIG one.. retirement looms on the horizon (perhaps forced with the way things are going in the UK) and its getting to the point where in any meeting in the office I am one of the ‘senior’ attendees (OLD.. yes I get it lol). There’s been lots of changes over my life thus far. I remember the advent of FM radio, first black and white then colour TV. The almost complete demise of the vinyl LP(happily making a comeback in certaIn quarters, the swtich to tape cassettes, CD’s, DVD’s and now Blu-Ray. The explosion in the internet of things – everything connected to the Internet(on which I remember using the Netscape browser in 1994 – I still have a 4 character yahoo mail address which I have had for 20 years – blimey). Global warming, the millenium bug (lots of money made out of that one!), Commodore Pets, Sinclair ZX81, BBC Micro.. the list goes on. Enough looking back..

I wonder what the next several years will bring. You know you are in trouble when their is a report of an internet connected fridge being used to send SPAM mail! 3DTV (not much use to me only having one good eye!), Wearable tech, Cognitive computing, Smart Cars, Smarter Cities – lots of hype around the explosion in data, but lots of scary stats backed up by facts on the amount of data being generated (and analysed) by all sorts of companies to target YOU for marketing(I sometimes think John Connor had the right idea – off the grid). For sure the world of my children will be as strange to me as my stories of ‘the old days’ are to them. I think I am firmly of the PC generation.. my children are definitely smartphone generation….. I wonder what the next generation will be?

Told you I was pensive. If you got this far I applaud you reading my ramblings.. Normal service will be resumed later this week lol.

Form an orderly queue!

Form an orderly queue!

I took this at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford near Swindon a few years ago. I thought this was interesting – an F15(I think), a Boeing 737 and I’m not actually sure what the third plane in the queue is :-). RIAT is well worth a look and runs each July – if you are an ‘air’ head (in the nicest possible way) there is no better way to spend what is usually a sunny day than sitting on the grass, perhaps sinking a glass of the local cider being entertained by the static and flying displays. Their is something about the noise from the engines vibrating your whole body that just brings out the 5 year old in me. If you’re going to be in the UK in July and would like to attend – here’s a link to the website http://www.airtattoo.com/airshow – it runs 11th – 13th July. Enjoy.. I hope to be there this year!

The changing London skyline

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This morning in london, before this afternoons rain. The skyline changes every day, with nicknames being given as the buildings take shape. The ‘walkie talkie’ – extreme right made the news recently as the curved shape focused the afternoon sun to such an extent that a parked car suffered blistered paintwork and melted window trim.. Ooops.
I’m taking my wife to the O2 concert venue in a couple of weeks or so and hope to use the riverbus, which will provide an excellent opportunity for some shots from the river, watch this space. 🙂 thanks for reading…