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Friday 5th February 2016

 

Friday the Fifth of February at Four ’o’ clock in the aFternoon and aFterwards at Great Fosters in 1993 was For us a Fabulous and Fantasmogorical day.

 

A happy anniversary to Tim and Julia and a speedy recovery to Tim (he slipped on the ice in New York and broke his leg). Must have been outside number Fifty Five on Forty Fourth St, probably at Four Fifteen in the aFternoon.  F……!

 

It was * Freezing on Friday February 5th.

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Monday 8th February 2016

 

Fame at last!  I’ve been asked to write another article for the spring edition of our local Magazine, it’ll be another story about the history of Oxshott, as being an official member of the Old Farts of Oxshott Club it seems that there are those out there who might like to hear more about old Oxshott – I have a copy deadline to meet so I had better get on with it.

 

Talking of old farts I can’t believe they can make a TV series about a bunch of old farts trying to survive a few weeks in India i.e. ‘The Real Marigold Hotel’, whatever next?  It’s a pity Jan Leeming had to stoop so low as, like many others; she is one of my favourite people.  I think she cut a particularly sad figure in amongst so much debauchery and filth, I think I’ll drop her a line to cheer her up.

 

Talking about TV programmes (if you must) I think ‘The Brain with David Eagleman’ is amazing.  I’ve always been in wonder at the complexity of our brains.  Who are we?  What is memory?  What is consciousness?  What is personality?  What is emotion?  He often uses the analogy of a large city at night filmed with time lapse (he didn’t include all those aircraft on Flightradar24 flashing across the sky) and if you can grasp that then our brain is a million times more structured and capable – get it?

 

I might return to this but right now I’ve got a deadline to meet and an extension to build.  Talk later. Love and hugs, Bob.

 

Thursday 11th February 2016

 

I am not a slow driver, so I am told, so why is it that 90% of drivers insist on driving up your exhaust pipe?  I reckon that part of the problem is that brakes, steering and road holding capabilities of cars these days are too good.  If we learnt to drive with dodgy brakes, dodgy steering and bald tyres we might think twice about getting too close.  So keep your distance you mindless, inconsiderate ********…….. not you Sam – you can get as close as you like.

 

There comes a time when you can’t do what you usually take for granted and yesterday for me was that time.  After taking Henry for a walk I re-fitted some heavy patio doors having trashed them the day before, I then shifted a railway sleeper single handed (except with the help of 3 cricket stumps) that was before 10am.  I then drove 20 miles along narrow country lanes with some cretin up my exhaust pipe.  I then managed to expertly put together some fence panels that had been trashed by the wind so you wouldn’t know the difference and I think there was something else but I have forgotten what it was, usually I would remember.

 

Friday 12th February 2016

 

It seems that not a lot of people are reading this unlike Jan Leeming’s blog which is far more interesting and readable than this one so if you want to check it out click HERE.  In the meantime I’ll just keep busy with minding my own business.  

 

Tuesday 16th February 2016

 

Yesterday after taking Henry out I drove to Tunbridge Wells via the M25 and A21 with absolutely nobody up my exhaust pipe so obviously there are lots of lovely people out there reading this blog, all the way there and all the way back no tailgaters – couldn’t believe it.  Not much traffic.  Good visibility.  Lucky Bob?  Or was I driving too fast?

 

The reason I went to Tunbridge Wells was to pick up Joe’s ashes, I think (I know) he enjoyed the ride.

 

Thursday 18th February 2016

 

Probably nobody much interested in what I did yesterday (me neither as Lottie would say) so I won’t bother but today is another day.  Have a nice day.

 

Why can’t we have a referendum about whether or not we want a referendum? I thought we had decided who makes the decisions at the last general election.  Next it’ll be a referendum on whether or not we want a third runway at Heathrow or the HS2 or Trident or a curried pigeon for dinner.

Yes? or No?

 

Friday 19th February 2016

 

The eyes have it.  Yes I know it should be the ayes but phonetically it should be I’s or perhaps the ize but what does it matter so long as its pigeon curry?  I think ‘The Brain with David Eagleman’ BBC4 is getting even more unbelievable, just think of it inside your head is the most complex 3lb of something yet to be fathomed, hopefully never.  Think about it.    

 

Sunday 21st February 2016

 

Think about what would happen if you knew what I was thinking and I knew what you were thinking, doesn’t bare thinking about, or what would happen if we could predict even a second into the future or live a second in the past but we can’t can we?  So, it’s only the present that is everything – right?  Think about it.  By the way it can be bare thinking about or bear thinking about – either is good as Lottie would say.    

 

Monday 22nd February 2016

 

If you didn’t see the programme then it’s getting a bit complicated, you see Dr Eagleman explained that the brain, in order to function completely, needs other brains to communicate with otherwise parts of the brain don’t develop properly, in other words it needs ‘human contact’, plenty of evidence for that in the Romanian Orphanages.

 

So the closer we are the better – love and hugs, Bob.

 

Wednesday 24th February 2016

 

Just for the record I have worked harder than ever for the last couple of days, evidence is just beginning to show.

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The plan is to transform this pointless, draughty, rotten conservatory into a 6m square luxury living space - for Lottie.  Watch this space.

 

And yes Bob's Blog has gone technicolour.

 

Friday 26th February 2016

 

Don’t you get incensed when you pick up the phone and it’s one of those recorded messages?  Yesterday I had one that sounded like my daughter and I tried to engage in conversation but she wouldn’t shut up…………..not sure what to say next except that both my daughters are lovely.

 

The ‘Brain’ with David Eagleman has reached new visions of incredulity, last night he suggested that your brain is capable of existing outside of the body and will in the future be able to control all manner of functions via electro-mechanical devices but he never mentioned pro-creation.  I think I’ll write him a letter.  He also indicated that you should be able to buy plug in ‘chips’ for instant knowledge.  I needed one of those back in 1961 when I failed my H.N.C.

 

Talking of 1961 one Saturday night I found myself dancing with a young lady at Surbiton Assembly Rooms, it was a ‘spot’ waltz where the music stops and you are asked a question and if you have the answer you get a prize.  On this occasion the question was ‘When is the next year to read the same upside down as the right way up? Like 1961?  I won the prize but I bet you don’t know the answer.  I might let you know tomorrow.  

 

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Sunday 28th February 2016

 

Yesterday was a day of achievement, firstly Dan (my son) and I demolished the conservatory – very satisfying, you should try it sometime.  We both suffer with bad backs but only when we stop doing things so next task is to knock down that brick built porch section, looking forward to that.

 

Also completed my article for the Oxshott Mag’ which will be published in the spring but I might let you have a preview if you are good.

 

The answer to yesterday’s question was 6009 – can’t remember what the prize was but I do remember my dancing partner had big feet.

 

Monday 29th February 2016

 

A bit 'utchy' today. It’s a word that, to me, means freezing but nobody else seems to know what it means even Google knows nothing so where did it come from?

 

Don’t forget girls today you are allowed to ask your favourite person a question.

 

For a sneak preview of my latest article for FEDORA Magazine click HERE.  

Wednesday 2nd March 2016

 

Got a bit bored yesterday so started reading my own blog and if that’s not a sign of something serious I don’t know what is.  No doubt there will be a pill for it.  The extension for Lottie is ongoing but we are now in a position to hand it over to the builder.  Let’s hope it goes smoothly.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

I note that we have a couple of people returned from space after almost a year in the International Space Station; can you imagine what it must have been like?  All those sun rises every day – wonder if they had as many breakfasts?

 

I’ve had lots of requests from people who want to hear about my first job way back in 1955 when I left school at the age of 16.  That’s a lie but I might do just that.  What do you think Sam?    bob@walktowork.co.uk

 

Thursday 3rd March 2016

 

Sam tells me that ‘there is nothing in this world that she would like so much as a beef-steak pudding’ so I’ll take that as a yes.  In the meantime demolition complete thanks to Lottie’s other grandfather who comes from Dudley and likes knocking things down and building things up, but that may come later.

 

PS The 'beef steak pudding' quote comes from Martin Chuzzlewit if you didn't know.

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Friday 4th March 2016

 

I’d quite like to write about my first job but that’s all in the past and probably of interest to no one so sorry Sam I’ve decided to write about the future instead, that is if there is one for us old farts.

 

It seems that for one particular old fart, a certain Mr Murdoch, even at 84 a future would seem to be assured, hopefully.  What he doesn’t realise is that young Jerry Hall had her designs on me a few years back but I slipped through her net – don’t believe me?  Well my daughters had a toy shop in Richmond just along the street from Jerry and she used to drop in from time to time buying armloads of toys for the kids, on more than one occasion I, being an unpaid porter, found myself helping her with her purchases.

 

Jerry and I had a few quiet words underneath her car boot lid and she went on her way……could have…….should have……I hope that Mr Murdoch realises how close he came to being second best.  Phew!

 

To be sure (I have an Irish great grandmother and an Irish grandfather) the future for all of us, without getting too philosophical, is a great mystery, even 6 seconds from now – think about it and by the time you have thought about it you will be living in the future.  QED.   Maybe I will write about the past because once upon a time the past was the future – think about it. So, does that mean that the past, present and future are all one and the same thing?  Sounds feasible don’t you think?  Maybe we could call it the now because the future will, if you are lucky, at some point become the now and the past is only the past if you measure it in time but maybe there is a fifth dimension which cancels out time and the past also becomes the now and then where would we be?  Probably late for work again.  

 

Saturday 5th March 2016

 

There was a time when it was the now about 15 earth years ago when I found myself with two young ladies wandering around Carmel, California, now we all know who lives in Carmel don’t we?  Well this tall guy came wandering up to me and said ‘Hi Bob, would you mind if I take a picture?’ or it might have been the other way around, anyhow I said thanks Clint but I’ve already got one and he wandered away looking dejected and disappointed.  I’ve been kicking myself ever since.  Now that was definitely a case of the past, the now and the future all rolled into one as if I could kick myself I would still be kicking myself.  Just think of it, I could have introduced Clint to Jerry, now that would definitely have been a match.  Sorry Jerry.

 

How about this for an explanation of the problem.

 

The six-tense language Kalaw Lagaw Ya of Australia has the remote past, the recent past, the today past, the present, the today/near future and the remote future. Or, Tenses that refer specifically to "today" are called hodiernal tenses; these can be either past or future.

 

So there we have it?  

Sunday 6th March 2016

 

The past is much more interesting – Sam will be pleased.

 

Coming to terms with having to work, to me, was not easy; my plan to join the RAF on leaving school came to a grinding halt at the weekend interview at RAF Halton when I was offered Aircraft Structures and not Aircraft Engines as an apprentice.  Barrack room life also didn’t exactly look pleasant so the RAF and I agreed to part before we even got started.  So where now?

 

My grandfather was a foreman sweeper up at a local engineering firm called Cottage Laboratories Ltd on the Fairmile at Cobham, he put in a word for me with the boss who offered me a 5 year engineering apprenticeship starting at £2.18.4 a week (two pounds eighteen shillings and four pence or £2.92p).  For that I was expected to work 40 hours a week, including Saturday mornings.  I already had a taste for engineering from 3 years at Kingston Junior Technical School from where I emerged with one GCE in Geometrical and Mechanical Drawing – not a good omen. I hasten to add that I could have, should have left with many more G.C.E.’s but didn’t.

 

With hindsight I should have shopped around a bit more rather than blindly accepting the first job offered but my input from any other source, parents, family, school, career guidance was non-existent.  So Cottage Laboratories it was.  They were a part of the Plessey Group and were engaged in experimental under water communications which was on the ‘secret’ list.  The facility had a workshop (or model shop), a drawing office and various electrical/mechanical/chemical lab’s where I was assigned to at various intervals.

 

My mode of transport to and from work was a Hercules Kestrel racing bike which had already taken me to far off places, like Eastbourne for instance, there and back in a day with nothing more that plimsolls, a cape and a sandwich.

 

So, at 8am on my first Monday morning in October 1955 I was assigned to the ‘Model Shop’ to learn all about cutting, sawing, grinding, turning, shaping, bending, drilling, filing and measuring metal.  I was issued with a grey ‘lab’ coat, introduced to Bert, Stan, George, Bernie and Frank the Foreman who asked me to file a lump of metal – accurately.  I completed the task at about 3.30pm and got ready to go home but suddenly it dawned on me that I had to stay until finishing time which was 4.30, I never, ever got used to the idea of staying at work if nobody asked you to do anything – a situation which was going to bug me for the next 50 years.  Asking for something to do, for me, didn’t come easily.  Was I different from others?

Monday 7th March 2016

 

I don’t think so; it’s just that I was hardly ever interested in my work, even though I was bloody good at it (my opinion).  Being good at something doesn’t mean that you are interested in what you are asked to do.  Others around me seemed to have a genuine interest but maybe they were better at acting than I.  Maybe I was mismanaged, most so called managers that I worked for seemed to be there because they’d been there the longest, could shout the loudest, knew how to be obnoxious or just plain bloody minded certainly not because they had any management skills.  I never aspired to being in any manager role preferring to flit from one job to the next in search of something interesting – which I did for the next 50 years.

 

So, having emerged from my apprenticeship in 1961 with a range of skills in machining, metalwork, wiring, soldering, designing, drawing, dreaming and playing the banjo in the company band I sold my skills to the highest bidder which was a sweaty drawing office called Cotton and White in Walton-on-Thames.  I went from £6 a week to £13 a week over night.

 

My mode of transport had advanced to a 1952 soft top Morris Minor via a Lambretta LD 150 scooter, a 1929 Morris Minor and a 1933 MG J1 Salonette all of which contributed to my failure (just) to gain an HNC from College as I found that fiddling with engines was far more interesting than any work or college.  Familiar?  Also I had (just) missed being conscripted into the forces as conscription ended in 1960.  Phew!

Tuesday 8th March 2016

 

Up until now I had been protected from the pressures of the ‘commercial world’ but suddenly at Cotton and White all drawings had to be done yesterday, lines, circles and printing had to be neat, tidy and readable and ‘Brian the manager?’ always had a pile of work in his in tray, so no excuses.  My printing at this point I admit was amateurish and hardly readable so following ‘a word in my office’ I had the choice of smartening up my act or leaving.  I was already pig-headed enough to want to impress this little **** so I chose to impress.  I set about changing my attitude and style which was just enough to impress Brian but prevented me discovering a new life free from the clouds of pencil dust.  Like a life above the clouds as an airline pilot.  Or anything that didn’t involve a drawing board or a pencil – but I was still good at it (still my opinion).

 

So good that Brian sent me out to various client companies on contract to draw up all sorts of details for of all manner of bits and pieces for furnaces, plant, radar installations, printed circuit boards and even aeroplanes.  Now here I might just have discovered an interest!

 

It’s now 1963, I’m on £24 a week and the old soft top Morris Minor is still going – just.

 

How about this for a profound ode to the Drawing Office

 

Arranging lines from A to B

Sometimes curving most times not

Corners of perfection like drifting logs of ash upon the grate

Or maybe letters, endless letters

But not to read

Only nonsense for those to criticise and never, ever see the care.

Wednesday 9th March 2016

 

The next couple of years I found myself seeking out drawing office jobs involved with aircraft like the BAC One-Eleven, the VC10, the MRCA (Multi Role Combat Aircraft which was cancelled by Harold Wilson), the Gadfly (a two seat Gyrocopter that never got off the ground) and Concorde.

 

The Concorde drawing office at Weybridge was huge, rows and rows of drawing boards all presided over by George the manager who came to work on an old ladies bike, never looked pleased and could shout the loudest so obviously the right man for the job.

 

At the beginning of 1966 an outfit called CDI (Comprehensive Designers International) came to town, they were an American company who had won a contract to design the wing for the Lockheed C5A Galaxy transport aircraft.  They set up shop in a tower block in Southall called Phoenix House and began to recruit all those who could sharpen a pencil and preferably knew their port from their starboard and the difference between their butt lines, water lines and station lines, although not necessarily.

 

Most importantly they were paying the magic £1 per hour which attracted my CV.  My mode of transport had now moved on to a 1959 Riley 1.5.

 

I almost enjoyed my time at CDI, the attitude to work was different, it was the Yankee ‘can do’ form of management which was sometimes childish, like the ‘Zero Defect’ badge awarded to those who were never late or never made cock-ups but at the same time refreshing.  The aircraft itself was the largest at the time, I was assigned to the aileron which was huge, the wingspan was 222 feet (70 metres) and the wing flex at the tip was 26 feet (8 metres) just a couple of statistics to whet your appetite but if you wish to know more click HERE.

 

My time at CDI prepared me, and many others, for a move to the USA which I took up in September 1968 to work for Boeing in Seattle on the 747 wing at $5 an hour.  The job was a Design Engineer on the permanent staff which meant a ‘green card’ visa and all expenses paid for me, my wife and 18 month old daughter.  Forgot to mention I got married at 9am on Saturday 15th October 1966!  The honeymoon was a night in Littlehampton and back to work on Monday – well I was on a £1 an hour!

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Modes of transport

 

1953 Lambretta LD 150 XPL 43                 1933 MG J1 Salonette MG 2409                  1952 Morris Minor XOL 958                1959 Riley 1.5 XYR 190.

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Thursday 10th March 2016

 

Working for Boeing in the design office at Everett just north of Seattle on the 747 wing leading edge, in particular the VC (variable camber) flaps was, for me, challenging, satisfying, rewarding and enjoyable.  I was frequently required to check out design problems on the assembly flight line so found myself inspecting the whole aircraft before ‘rollout’.

 

Management seemed to know what they were doing problems were shared, we were all ‘on the same side of the table’ and not ‘across the table’ unlike previous D.O.’s in the UK where confrontation and being on the defensive was the norm.

 

Circumstances dictated that we only managed to stay a year which was just as well as a few months after I left Boeing laid off 70,000 people as projects were cancelled and orders were down.  Many of my colleagues were caught out having put down roots which caused all sorts of hardship so we were lucky.  There’s a long story here about our time in Seattle but maybe some other time!

 

Incidentally there was a young 14 year old lad living not far away who was destined to change a few things for Seattle, his name was Bill Gates.

galaxie

Mode of transport around Seattle.  A 1962 Ford Galaxie, ANV 150 she survived trips to Vancouver, Mount Rainier, The Cascades, The Olympics and an insurance write off (not my fault) but she didn't give up.

galaxie 2

Friday 11th March 2016

 

On our return to the UK at the end of 1969 I found myself scanning the Evening News for vacancies and noted that the Petrochemical and Offshore Oil Industry was paying top dollar for designers and draughtsmen.  Not knowing much about pipes at the time I sent my CV along to Stone and Webster in Red Lion Square.  At the interview I was shown something that looked like a pipe so I said ‘that’s a pipe’ and Dennis the boss said ‘when can you start?’ and so started many, many, many years in piping design offices dotted about London and the Home Counties.

 

Most of the work I have to say I found utterly boring but the boredom did lead to all my crazy inventions, details of which you will find earlier in this blog also I have to admit that the bank balance was mostly healthy.

 

In my later stages of employment I tried hard to avoid getting sucked in to CAD (Computer Aided Design) but eventually succumbed to ‘The Screen’ in the mid 90’s and ended up as the inevitable zombie – familiar?

 

PS  Am I Arthur or Martha?  And is it Wednesday or November?

Tuesday 15th March 2016

 

Yesterday I sent a reminder email to all (most) of my contacts to let them know I was still alive and blogging/breathing.  Thanks to all who replied – glad you seemed to enjoy.  Just a few of the responses –

 

Definitely my lucky day!  Much fun reading your Blog Bob, but too much laughter is not good for my open radical prostatectomy! 

Thanks Paul – get well soon – looking forward to a ride on your Orkney.

 

Fame and fortune beckon.  Thanks Tim – getting a bit late for that.

 

Brilliant Bob, very enjoyable.  Thanks Maureen.

 

Would you believe, I found much of your diary quite interesting and rather funny. Thanks Brian – only ‘quite’ and only ‘rather’!

 

Eat your heart out, Jan Leeming! Brilliant, Bob. Thanks Lucy (Lucy designed my logo).

 

Bob, I was just reading through a few of your posts on your blog.  They are great. Thanks Becca.

 

I am in awe!   Thanks Viv. Not sure where it comes from.

 

Seems your still punchin’ stuff out.  Thanks Mike

 

Amazing Blogg!!!  Loved it and good catch up. Thanks Debby.

 

Fascinating Bob I had no. Idea you were so clever. Thanks Naomi..

 

Call me an old romantic if you like but last Saturday was the 50th anniversary of Marcia and I meeting for the first time, it took place at her flat in Ladbroke Grove.  I pasted this in a card for her -

 

1966 - 2016

 

To my dearest Marcia,

 

On the occasion of

The 50th anniversary of our first encounter

Which is Saturday 12th March 2016

(i.e. right now, at this moment)

I would like to say a simple thank you for everything.

It is fortunate that, for me, and for many others

That ours was not a ‘Brief Encounter’.

 

Lucky Bob

 

PS Would you like a lift to Surbiton?

 

Had it not been for the fact that she needed to get to Surbiton on that Saturday morning to deliver a brick truck (still got it) for her niece’s first birthday things might have been different because on the way to Surbiton she fell in love with my Riley 1.5!

 

Wednesday 16th March 2016

 

When I started writing about my first job I didn’t expect to get through my whole career in a few paragraphs but it seems that that’s all it took.  There were of course a few diversions along the way like my last job which was teaching DIY skills to the female inmates of a high security prison near Ripley.  All they were interested in was learning about the drainage system – I can’t think why.

 

Or my second to last job which was a Lab Assistant at Parkside School teaching young lads a few tricks of the trade in the workshop.  One task I was given was to get them involved in Water Rockets which I relished; all you need is a Coke Bottle, a cork and a car tyre valve.  What you do is fill the bottle a third full with water, pump air into the bottle via the valve and eventually the cork pops out releasing the water and fires the whole contraption skywards – perfectly harmless.

 

To find out more click HERE for the annual Water Rocket Challenge which is at held at The National Physical Laboratory in Teddington on Wednesday June 15th.    See you there?

Friday 18th March 2016

 

I don’t suppose for a minute you will read this blog from page 1 but if you do, apologies for repeating myself.  Just read through it again and the old memory has failed in a few places.  Sorry.  It must mean that everything’s been said.   Except of course if I write about the future, the only problem is that I learnt last night that in five thousand million years from now our sun will become a red giant and then a white dwarf and then a black hole and then a super nova and then a neutron star so unless we strap on a few water rockets to our planet and get the hell out of here we’re likely to end up toast.  

 

Which reminds me, I haven’t had any breakfast yet!

 

If you do manage to get along to the Water Rocket Challenge you will find enthusiastic teams of school kids, students and anoraks all pushing the limits of the technology.  This one (courtesy of the NPL) is only one of hundreds of attempts at reaching for the skies – half of them explode on the launching ramp and soak everybody within 50 yards.  Great fun.  

water rocket 2

Sunday 20th March 2016

 

Well today is supposed to be the first day of Spring but here in Cobham it’s grey, cold, damp and miserable the annoying thing is that a couple of thousand feet above me I know the sun is shining and with any luck later today a ray of that sunshine will be coming through my front door ‘Gandad, why haven’t you finished my extension?’  ‘Yes Lottie, we are waiting for the bricks’ ‘Can’t you use my Lego bricks?’, now that is a good idea – wonder where she gets all these good ideas from?

 

Also today back in 1868 my diary tells me that Jesse James robbed a bank and got away with $14,000 in gold.  Don’t forget to check your lottery ticket and have a lovely day.

 

Tuesday 22nd March 2016

 

In recent years the sight of a ‘high vis’ volunteer’ armed with a speed gun checking your speed in sensitive areas has become more noticeable, particularly in and around Cobham.  Known as a Community Speedwatch Campaign, the operative has no powers to arrest but merely informs the police which may result in the culprit ‘receiving education’.

 

In my mind this can lead to yet more unnecessary confrontation and a ‘them and us’ attitude which, let’s face it, we are all sometimes ‘them’ and sometimes ‘us’, also speed limit signs are all over the place, confusing and changeable.

 

Technology these days is mind blowing so what’s the problem with speed limits being transmitted to your smart phone, radio, music system, GPS, speed control system (we called it a governor in the old days) and preventing any speeding?  In other words control is taken away from you unless you behave.  Bit of a wrench I know but you’ve already done exactly that if you are sitting in a bus or train or boat or airliner, so what’s the problem?  Cruise Control has been with us for years so all it needs is a slight tweak.

 

'Speedbird Uniform Charlie reduce speed to one sixty knots, over’, ‘Roger, Uniform Charlie’.

 

Thursday 24th March 2016

 

Talking of ‘Uniform Charlie’, why not apply the same technology to all aircraft during the landing and take-off phase?  At the moment all speed, height and direction instructions are voice transmissions via the VHF radio which can lead to miss-understanding and confusion due to the variable sound quality, the various accents of all the users also many on the same frequency trying to talk at the same time.

 

The present Air Traffic Control system especially here in the UK is incredibly, incredibly safe and reliable but wouldn’t it be even better to take out that voice component?  I’m sure it must be possible and even been thought about but so far not implemented.  So why not?  Could de-stress a few controllers as well.

 

Back in ’79 when I was first required to use the radio in my Spitfire (sorry Piper Warrior) at Fairoaks Airfield, before the days of headsets with integrated microphones, when the aircraft had a speaker in the roof and a microphone hanging on a hook on the instrument panel, I used to drop the microphone regularly when trying to put it back on the hook after making a call.

 

‘Uniform Charlie, Uniform Charlie, do you read over’........................ ‘Now where’s the stupid *** going?’

 

Last night I saw a programme about gravity and antigravity, a whole hour devoted to old farts pursuing their dreams of defeating gravity.   About 40 years ago Chic and I had the same dreams and we came up with a device which we were convinced would do the trick, even filed a patent.  It wasn't until I made one in the shed and discovered that some guy called Newton had been there, done that and got the tee-shirt that we realised that our invention was pants.

 

Saturday 26th March 2016

 

A Happy Easter Egg to all who happen to be reading this, which is not many according to my Google Analytics.  Don’t forget to put your clocks back, sorry forward – thought I was in New Zealand for a moment.  We are now enjoying the Spring Equinox which, if you didn’t know, is the time when all parts of our planet experience equal day and night, in other words that means that the top half is now heading nearer the sun and the bottom half is heading away from the sun.  The problem is that if we build any more wind farms the resultant force, according to Newton will mean that the planet might slow down (or speed up), wonder if they have thought of that?

 

‘Uniform Charlie, reduce speed to 67,000 mph (58,221 knots) over.’ ......................................................'Uniform Charlie, do you read? over'.

globe

Now while I am in an instructive mode imagine this globe sitting on your table, it is 1 metre diameter – quite big - probably wouldn’t get it through the door, anyway at this scale the thickness of the usable atmosphere is less than one millimetre, imagine, that’s less than the thickness of a 1p coin, not only that the amount of Oxygen in that veneer of atmosphere is only 21%.  Something to think about next time you put your foot on the gas?

 

And your question for today is.  At this scale, how far away is the sun?

 

Sunday 27th March 2016

 

The answer according to my calculations is 11.77 km or 7.29 miles which means from where I’m sitting the Rising Sun is in Surbiton – but it’s closed, it got consumed by fire in 2006 so there you are!

 

Couple of programmes on TV last night about my favourite person (sorry Sam) Charlotte (Lottie) Bronte including a new version of Jane Eyre, a bit disjointed I thought. I wonder if Jane would like a ride on this, I happened to spot it when I was wandering around Arundel last Friday; it is on my bucket list.  Not Jane the Harley!

 

Monday 28th March 2016

 

I’ve decided to take the Harley experience off my Bucket List because I’d probably fall off so instead I’ve decided to buy a Virtual Reality head set so I can experience everything on my bucket list, including a cup of virtual coffee with Charlotte.

 

We’ve got storm Katie battering Cobham at the moment, it’s virtually impossible to walk up to Waitrose to get a pot of virtual marmalade?

 

Tuesday 29th March 2016

 

Bob's Blog has now moved on to page 9, please click HERE for more thrilling episodes!.

 

Thank you.    

Harley

BOB'S BLOG PAGE 8

 

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BOB'S BLOG PAGE 8

 

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