2018 album news

Lifted (in part at least) from the BBC 6 Music article 18 albums we’re looking forward to in 2018. As ever, their selection does differ somewhat from mine, but there is still some correlation.

I heard the “new” Manic Street Preachers single International Blue for the first time yesterday (hey, it’s been December) and I was instantly hooked. Described – accurately – as a sister song to this immortal classic:

…it promises much for their Resistance is Futile album, due early April.

We’re also “promised” offerings from Sleaford Mods, Muse (who knows what we’ll get this time: I’m going for a glam rock orchestral rave electronica classical piano opus), hometown boys the Arctic Monkeys and the rest of those Belle and Sebastian EPs.

That’s a lot of potentially great music to look forward to. 2018 could be almost as good as several of the previous years have been.

Flights

For some reason, it seems that I like planes. Not in a Let’s Go And Stand At The Airport For Days On End And Note Down Their Registration Numbers way, but definitely in a Since We’re At The Airport Let’s Go And Have A Coffee Somewhere We Can See The Runway From way. It’s an interest, not an obsession.

Of course, the only obsessive bit of this interest is the Airbus A380. Scarce in Cape Town thanks to our thin taxiways, but always a pleasure to get on in Dubai and go to Manchester. This (mild) obsession resulted in me following British Airways A380 pilot Dave Wallsworth on twitter. I mentioned this to you on here almost two years ago.

Captain Dave  has now released a pair of YouTube videos showing exactly how an A380 takes off and lands. Yes, it’s a bit nerdy, in that it’s 10 minutes (each time) of real time footage, and it seems that aside from a few short words and actions, the crew don’t actually seem to do very much*, but it’s also annotated so that each thing that they do do is explained clearly.
If you have some spare time (and who doesn’t in early January?), it’s worth a watch:

And then, should you so wish, there’s the landing to look at as well.
WARNING: You will end up in Johannesburg at the end of this particular video.

One thing I did notice in both videos is that there’s an awful lot of looking out of the windows, presumably for other planes. I’m not sure if I find this comforting or not. Sure, a final check left before heading onto the runway seems like a pretty good idea, but should it really be necessary? I suppose that it takes minimal effort and it could make a huge difference, but I do wonder if it ever has. A bit like me looking left when turning onto the dual carriageway this morning, so as not to hit the utter twat of a cyclist going the wrong way. (An incident that was apparently entirely my fault with only a few months until the Cycle Tour, obvs.)

Having flown on these beasts several (or more) times, albeit never on a BA one or into Joburg, it’s really interesting to see what happens up front when we’re sitting in the back having our headphones and blankets collected and trying to find where our shoes have disappeared to.

 

* almost certainly because they’ve done an awful lot of things previously to make sure that they actually don’t have to do very much during this ten minutes.

Sneron

We came back from Cape Agulhas a day early. The weather was not looking like it was going to improve, the traffic looked like it was going to be horrendous and it’s actually been good to have a little bit of time at home before I head back to the laboratory tomorrow.
In actual fact, we only really lost a few hours, given that we only left late yesterday evening.

It meant that we could still get out for 5km along the beach at Suiderstrand, grab a photo of a windswept Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea):

…and have a lunch with some truly terrible service in L’Agulhas before heading off.
And we were still home before sunset. Cape Town summers, ne?

Rather than sit inside and blog all afternoon, we went for a family picnic in Kirstenbosch. And now I’m off to build some of this with my boy. So this is all you’re getting for today.

See you tomorrow. Same time, same place, right?

Resolve

Happy New Year, readers!

I’m generally not the sort to go around making New Year’s Resolutions (although, yes, I have done it on here in the past). But if I want to change something I am doing, I don’t feel that I have to wait until January 1st to sort it out.

However, actually there are a couple of things that I am doing that I feel I might want to change, and today* seems like quite a good time to do that.

So: fewer plastic bags this year, get my knee fixed this year (I have an appointment with the surgeon next week) and get fit(ter) again, and more photography, drone flying and blogging [audience groans] this year.

I’m sure that there was something else as well, but it escapes me for the moment. Probably the effect of all that brandy on my brain.

And no, cutting down on that isn’t the missing item on my list.

 

 

* well, “today” really, because this is one of those break from the blog posts.

2017 Blog Stats

This year, you – dear 6000 miles… reader – have been served a total of 420 posts (an average of 1.15 per day) comprising of an incredible 95,957  words (an average of 228.5 per post) from 4 different countries (an average of 1 every three months, dur!) on this site.
I know – the countries bit seems a bit lame with amongst all those other big numbers – but they were actually often the most exciting bits.

November was (for some reason) my most prolific: 11,337 words in 40 posts. (Only one country though.)
What was I thinking?
Mainly stuff about nurdles, apparently.

Join me then next year, when there will be plenty more letters arranged into generally correct and meaningful order.

Have a safe and enjoyable New Year.

6000 out.