Author Archives: Les Bessant

July 2014 round-up

Another month seems to have crept to a conclusion, which can only mean that it’s time for ths:

Weight

More random fluctuation this month…

July 3[1]: 214.1 pounds (15 stone 4.1 pounds, 97.1 kg)
July 28[2]: 214.3 pounds (15 stone 4.3 pounds, 97.2 kg)

That’s a statistically insignificant rise of 0.2 pounds (0.1kg).

Eating

Well, if you exclude the tail-end of my holiday, the last three nights in Bristol and that Curry Train night out[3], I’ve been reasonably behaved. Lunch has more often been a single sarnie from the shop over the road from the office.[4]

Exercise

I’ve done a fair bit of walking, especially over the last few days in Bristol.

Posting

This exciting report brings the monthly total to 40, which is more or less average for this year.

Stuff

Did an air show, did an office move.

[1] First weighing of the month
[2] Last weighing of the month
[3] Err, that actually accounts for a moderately large chunk of July
[4] Often because of a lack of time…

Stuff Report – 31 July 2014

Steps taken: 4,740

Aaaaaand that’s the Bristol job over. Dealt with a few things (not move-related), caught up on emails form the last few days, then left in plenty of time to catch a train to Wales for a long weekend.

A couple of iPhone photos for today. On our way back from Las Iguanas last night, I saw St Mary Redcliffe glowing in the evening sun

St Mary Redcliffe

St Mary Redcliffe

Camera: iPhone 5s
Aperture: ƒ/2.2
Shutter speed: 1/160s
Focal length: 4.12mm
ISO: 32
Location: 51° 26.9552′ 0″ N 2° 35.4785′ 0″ W
Taken: 30 July, 2014

And before returning to the hotel, we had a look at the ruined Temple Church – almost destroyed in World War II bombing, and kept in that state. However, the severe lean of the tower is original…

Temple Church

Temple Church

Camera: iPhone 5s
Aperture: ƒ/2.2
Shutter speed: 1/120s
Focal length: 4.12mm
ISO: 64
Location: 51° 27.118′ 0″ N 2° 35.21′ 0″ W
Taken: 30 July, 2014

Stuff Report – 30 July 2014

Steps taken: 14,689

Woo, hoo, job done, etc.

Our Bristol relocation project was successful. All kit safely moved, reconnected, set up and working. Our suppliers were all helpful and did what they were supposed to do at the right times, and it was all done earlier than we’d feared.

So this was followed by a good dinner at Las Iguanas. This involved a decent walk each way, which contributed to the step count.

I’m now relaxing in the hotel with a wee drinkie[1] supplied by Aaron[2], before I go to bed.

I make no apologies for showing another Red Arrows photo today:

Break!

Break!

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/7.1
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 104.9mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

[1] Rekorderlig – a Swedish pear cider with added strawberry and lime. Nice
[2] Hi Aaron  :wave:

Stuff Report – 29 July 2014

Steps taken: 15,660

At the end of what feels like a long day, my weight remains a mystery, but would you look at that step count? That’s what happens when I have to walk from hotel to office (old), from office (old) to office (new) and  back several times, then walk from office (old) back to hotel. By the time we’d done all that, both Aaron and I were weary enough to say in the hotel for dinner.

And another fun and long day tomorrow.

Here’s another photo of the Red Arrows:

Red, White and Blue

Red, White and Blue

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/9
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 128mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

More fun from the spam queue

Most of the attempts at spamming this site are silently swallowed by Akismet, as you might expect. But occasionally, it lets one get through to the moderation queue where I get to read it and decide if I’ll publish it or not.[1] There aren’t enough of these for it to be annoying, and just occasionally a particularly lovely example of the art of automatic translation appears. Well, I hope it’s automatic translation (quite possibly done in multiple passes). I’d be quite worried about any human who could come up with this:

What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how concerning unpredicted feelings.

[1] Hint: generally not

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 July 2014

Weight: 214.3 pounds (15 stone 4.3 pounds, 97.2 kg)
Steps taken: 10,919

Down again today, which isn’t a bad way to start a week of weightless reports. I’m back in Bristol for a fun[1] office relocation. The day started with me getting to the office early so I could make a flying visit to Darlington to connect some things and get other things talking to each other. Having done that, I got back to Newcastle in time to leave to catch a train, this time accompanied by my highly-trained staff[2]. After an only slightly delayed journey, we arrived in Bristol, checked into my second home the Novotel, utilised our free drink vouchers in the bar[4], then had a walk to Pizza Express for some food, and possibly a wee drop of wine. And now we’re  back in the hotel, ready for a fresh start in the morning.

Today’s step count is largely due to walking to the station (twice!) and having a moderate walk in Darlington.

Today’s photo is another one from the Sunderland International Air Show 2014 – these are the RV8TORS, whose name derives from the model of their aircraft:

RV8TORS

RV8TORS

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/800s
Focal length: 200mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

[1] For a particularly odd value of “fun”, that is.
[2] All of him[3]
[3] Hi Aaron  :wave:
[4] My loyalty card does come in handy

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 July 2014

Weight: 215.2 pounds (15 stone 5.2 pounds, 97.6 kg)
Steps taken: 2,134

Hmm, slightly up today, but not by enough to be alarming.

My main tasks for today were getting the washing done and catching up on the ironing. I had to do it today because of some travelling in my immediate future. But I did have time to go out and do some minor shopping. Well, that was the plan. I left home and started to walk up the road. After a short time I felt a few drops of rain. After a few more seconds, I felt a lot more drops of rain, which soon turned into quite seriously heavy rain, at which time I turned around and went home again. It was heavy enough that I had to put my trousers in the dryer. It rained heavily for, err, not very long, but by the time it stopped I’d decided that I didn’t really need that shopping that much and stayed at home.

Today’s photo is another one from yesterday’s air show. This is the RAF’s Torcano trainer, which despite having a propeller at the front, is what they use to train fast jet pilots.

Torcano

Torcano

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/13
Shutter speed: 1/500s
Focal length: 200mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

Red Zero?

The Red Arrows use a simple system to designate which pilot is which. The leader is Red One, with Reds Two to Nine making up the rest of the display team. Their ground-based co-ordinator, commentator and generally useful person is Red Ten. But I think they may have a new recruit. Either that, or they were just photobombed:

Red Zero

Red Zero

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 70.5mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

 

Sunderland International Air Show 2014

As I mentioned in yesterday’s report, I managed to get it together to get to the air show. The fun started at 12:20 with the RAF Falcons parachute team doing their precision landing on the beach, having jumped from 12,000 feet. Here they are in their usual stack formation:

The stack

The stack

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/7.1
Shutter speed: 1/900s
Focal length: 86mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

Next came a display by two Dakotas – like the commentator, I’d never seen two of these flying together before:

Dakotas

Dakotas

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/22
Shutter speed: 1/125s
Focal length: 115.9mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

Eardrums were endangered by the next item, an RAF Typhoon doing its usual incredibly fast climb and generally being thrown around like a plane a fraction of its size.

Bird Scarer

Bird Scarer

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/800s
Focal length: 200mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

Then came the Blades, all former Red Arrows pilots, whose signature move is called Crazy:

Blades: Crazy!

Blades: Crazy!

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/20
Shutter speed: 1/250s
Focal length: 134.5mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

More followed, including two displays by Lynx helicopters (I have to say that the Black Cats display was much better before they were cut to a single machine), the RAF’s training aircraft Tutor and Torcano, acrobatics by the Twister Duo and the RV8TORS, a Vampire, and much more[1].

One of the highlights for me is always the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, once again appearing with the classic line-up of Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane. There’s something about the sound of six Merlin engines, not to mention the sight of these planes…

BBMF

BBMF

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/18
Shutter speed: 1/250s
Focal length: 55mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

And there was more! More aerobatics! Wing walkers! A Sea Fury! The RLNI doing a rescue demonstration[2], and this nifty autogyro:

Autogyro

Autogyro

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/22
Shutter speed: 1/125s
Focal length: 148.5mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

The show ended with the usual incredible display by the Red Arrows[3], which included moments like these:

Coming down

Coming down

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 200mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

And

Over the top

Over the top

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/6.4
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 200mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

In this bit of nicely mirrored manoeuvring, you can see the new tail fin design released for the team’s 50th anniversary season

Mirror!

Mirror!

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 200mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

Some of their routines happen so fast that if you blink, you’ll miss them:

And they're off

And they’re off

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 121.8mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

And that was that. More photos will be appearing over the coming days, as I gradually work through the huge number I took[4]

[1] More photos will be appearing later…
[2] The planned appearance by a Sea King helicopter was cancelled for “operational reasons”, but the guys in the water put on a good show
[3] They’re opening today’s show
[4] I made a lot of use of the X-T1′s high speed continuous shooting mode

Weight and Stuff Report – 26 July 2014

Weight: 215 pounds (15 stone 5 pounds, 97.5 kg)
Steps taken: 7,461

Hmmm, oddly up today. I would have expected a slight drop after a long day out, but never mind.

This weekend sees the 26th Sunderland International Air Show, an event I like to get to most years. But this year, I was wondering if I’d make it – the weather forecast suggested that today would be better than tomorrow[1], and as I’m going away on Monday, leaving it for tomorrow might result in Les in headless chicken mode sorting out his stuff before leaving, which is never a good idea. But somehow I managed to get out early enough to get the small bit of shopping I needed (a quick Frankie & Benny’s breakfast may have been involved) and get home in time to get a moderately early (though still packed) Metro to Seaburn. Last time, I was a bit later, and couldn’t get into my preferred location at the front of the lower promenade, which resulted in getting some great photos of people’s heads as they walked past me. Anyway, once off the Metro, I did my usual trick of passing all the slow moving people in front of me and managed to get a good place, near the commentary box. I was settled by 10:45, which was a bit early considering the show wasn’t due to start till 12:20, but within half an hour, the section of promenade I was on was pretty damn full of people.

The show was its usual excellent self, but I’ll put that in another post. Oh, but you’ll be wanting a photo for this post, won’t you? This is what happens when your camera is set for short exposures for fast-moving jets against a bright sky and you point it at a slow-moving bird against relatively dark water. I actually like the way this looks…

Expecting to fly?

Expecting to fly?

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/13
Shutter speed: 1/800s
Focal length: 200mm
ISO: 200
Location: 54° 55.9098′ 0″ N 1° 21.997′ 0″ W
Taken: 26 July, 2014

 

[1] Though this seems to have changed since I looked, mutter