An apology and a ride on a cushion of air

Such a shame I didn’t have time to continue the advent calendar thing. The run up to Christmas became far too manic for me to do anything regular and weekend after weekend just had me doing non-internetty things (like World of Warcraft). Anyway, a Christmas and birthday was had during the hiatus. Which was nice.

So today I used the birthday present that Amazing Wife of the Future bought me. It was a Hovercraft Experience at High Cross Hovercraft in Leicester. Aparently hovercrafting is much more popular than you think and there are competitions and courses all over the UK. Someone asked whether you could use a hovercraft on a canal which would be really cool if you ask me. Sadly you can only use hovercrafts on tidal waters/estuaries and privately owned bodies of water.

Anyway, here is a picture of me looking at a hovercraft with a bunch of people, because, dispite knowing that the event was today, I didn’t remember to charge my GOPRO+3 and Amazing Wife of the Future’s iPhone 5 ran out of battery as did my iPhone 4s. Such is life.

Looking at how to pilot a hovercraft in the rain.

Driving (or should that be piloting) a hovercraft is a difficult thing to do really. First off you’ve got to put your weight into the turn you want to make. I suspect this didn’t matter on the old cross Channel hovercrafts that ran from Dover (if you went on that can you confirm that passengers didn’t all have to lean into the turn?) but on the smaller individual hovercrafts you have to kind of do the opposite of what you might do with riding a motorbike, that is, lean into the direction you want to go.

Following a bit of training I did two loops of a circuit in the pissing down rain which was great fun before returning to a drier but bored Zoe. A good day, a fab experience and another thing off my bucket list.

Let’s see….Modes of transport I have done:-

Helicopter
Hovercraft
Car
Motorbike
Push bike
Pram
Scooter
Sit on lawnmower
Cruiseship
Airplane
Surfboard (partially)
Rowing boat
Bus
Train
Cable car
Rollercoaster

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Holiday 2012: Part 2–Day2 Plymouth

 

Ah Plymouth.

So when I was a kid I had a healthy interest in lighthouses. This was piqued by stories in a school book regarding the Eddystone Lighthouse on Eddystone rocks just off the coast of Plymouth.

In case you were unaware the Eddystone Lighthouse has been built four (arguably five) times. The first was made of wood and got washed away during a storm. The second caught fire and melted onto the people trying to put it out, the third developed cracks, the fourth still stands (with modifications such as helipad). The whole romance of the sea, mystery and adventure surrounding lighthouses just fuelled my desire to become a lighthouse keeper. The third lighthouse, Smeaton’s tower, was dismantled and rebuilt on the Hoe for shits and giggles  as a kind of public monument to those lost at sea and a museum of lighthouseololology. Or summat.

Smeaton's tower

Anyway because the tower had been rebuilt on the Hoe, it had always been a place I’d wanted to visit. So when the weather turned for the grot on the Tuesday we decided to continue our previous nights walk along the Hoe after we had found somewhere to eat for breakfast.

Our choice for breakfast was Little Chef. My map of Little Chefs (well…the map on their website) was a bit crap. The two identified on the map had either gone, as in the case of the one at Saltash, Cornwall  or it had the wrong address (as in the one supposedly to the east of Plymouth). So we thought stuff it, and went for breakfast in a quaint cafe in the Barbican district as long as we walked it off.

Our next intention was to go to the National Aquarium. But because of the crap weather the queues to get in were round the block. So the walk to the Hoe took priority.

Plymouth Hoe

Walking round the back of the Royal Citadel we made our way towards the Wheel. I wanted to see the Smeaton tower but I wasn’t prepared to pay £3 each just to go up some stairs and down again. Instead we looked at the other monuments and Zoe offered to pay for a ride on the Wheel.

 

 

IMAG0212

Despite the rain and the clouds there were some good views from up there. I never knew Plymouth was bombed like Coventry during the Blitz. It was interesting listening to the commentary though. I liked how the avenue was designed to be a pathway from the station to the Hoe. It’s a shame that the architects who redesigned Coventry didn’t have similar artistic skills instead of a passion for concrete.

So after that we went into the town centre where I bought a new bag, a nice shirt and some new trousers. I had intended on wearing the trousers that evening but Zoe suggested I waited because the wet pavements would have made them mucky.

 

That evening we dined on fine fish at Platters. We both had white bait for starters and the seafood mixed grill for mains – Five types of fish, grilled and served with a mountain of chips. Ace biscuits!

 

Ice Ice Granny

Today’s view looked something like this..

Lunchies

There was frost on the inside of the windscreen it was that cold. Conscious that today’s picture was a bit shit I nipped up to the 5th floor so that you could see a frozen ROYAL Leamington Spa.

Chilly

Other adventures today helped me realise that not only am I wasted in my job, but I am also, in a big headed fashion, possibly what the modern British education system needs to educate the young and stupid. On two occasions I witnessed first hand how inept some of the college staff are.

Let me first highlight, if you, in some future or current capacity, need to get an accountant, I suggest you ask them where they did their AAT exams. If your investigations discover they studied at Warwickshire College…fire them immediately or look elsewhere. Purely because the accountancy teaching staff in the college are a bunch of idiots. Secondly, the fact that the fashion lecturers, in this day and age, require “immediate assistance” to show them how to double click on a desktop shortcut, must prove that someone like me should be made head master as soon as I’ve qualified as a teacher. Seriously, these people are only a light illustration of the total lack of IT knowledge amongst the teaching staff here. And I thought NEW College in Pontefract was bad.

Finally, those that actually pay attention should know that my contact details are, as always, stored at the very first entry in this journal. It might be worth remembering that this year I moved from the wilds of Yorkshire to the madness of the West Midlands.

What was supposed to post today

At lunch time I usually sit in my car and eat. Today was no exception, however the view through my window was quite remarkable with all the hoar frost.

Anyway, I thought I’d snap it and attempt to upload it using an Android app I hadn’t actually used yet.

The result, as you no doubt saw, was a picture of blood. Meh

Anyway, I thought what I would do is try and take a picture every day showing the changing views 😀

Here is today’s

Rain rain go away

Dear Arid Places in Africa,

We appear to have your rain. Please can you come and collect it before we get washed away.

Much Love

Gnomepants

I have a hole in my sock.

In true form, once I’ve given up all hope and moved my attention onto a new thing, the old thing seems to pick up and wiggle it’s bum at me.

Soft fruit should be compulsory.

My big toe is cold because of the hole in my sock.

Dear uncomfortable seats

Stop hurting my back

Much Love

Gnomepants.

Why do fairy tales promote cruelty to old people?

New job search related bobbins on stegzyblogspot

Snoh

It took me an hour to drive the 5 mile journey home from Barnsley last night. Mostly because of the snow but also because of the dense traffic and increasing number of road closures due to the construction of the new Cudworth Bypass (which only just bypasses Cudworth and serves little purpose other than to carve up countryside).

boring post with geographical references nobody will be interested in

BBC News & Look North

The cringeworthy Charlie Stayt and Susanna Reid were being particularly awful on Friday morning on BBC Breakfast. Everytime I switch on my telly on a Friday morning I just see them being vacuous, poorly researched and generally crap at their jobs. Now it would be big headed of me to say that as a media & television graduate I would be a million miles better than them so I won’t. Instead I’ll say it as it is. A skip full of decomposing monkeys would be a million times better than them.  Their interview technique and loud brashness just make BBC News look and sound like it’s presented by morons. Which, conversely, it is.

What’s worse is the local news. In case you’ve been hiding in a box in Sumatra for the past two weeks, Yorkshire has been under a blanket of snow and ice recently. For the past week everyone’s favourite Tango lass, Christa Ackroyd (who had the pleasure of meeting me face to face last year), has been presenting the evening show from the comfort of outside her house. Every bloody story has been about the snow. How it’s effecting the region and how schools have closed and how some postman used a surf board to get from one side of his village to the other and so on and so borkingly forth.

That is…until Wednesday of this week, the snow almost melted…but then Harry Gration, who had also been presenting the evening programme from outside his house, announced “The snow causing CHAOS to the region has started to go but new problems affect the region with…”

Can you guess what it was?

Can you?

No?

“….Black ice!”

Black ice. Not terrorists. Not earthquakes. Not mutant radioactive snails. Black ice. Chuffing black ice.

The terror meant that people crossed a road on their hands and knees. These same people were featured on the programme and Harry Gration presented the article as though the Queen had died.

It seems like those that produce the news have been going through a really dry patch. I imagine that we will hear more and more about Haiti for the next 2 weeks unless something worse happens. Of course…they could switch to this story.