So what have I been up to of late? Just general life business I suppose, you know, van building (I have a transit I’m converting into a ‘stealth camper’ of sorts), aerobatic flying and general Pitts Special flying, mountain biking, looking for work…
Yes, I did say looking for work. Depressing as it is, the only way I’m going to be able to keep up the flying and attempt this mad career change thing (which, incidentally is still a notion open to options…current thinking is centring around possibly trying to get a commercial license and flight instructor rating, although I’m investigating everything else I can think of too), is to get more engineering work. More contract days would be ideal and we shall see what happens.
If anyone knows of anybody in need of a Radio Engineer, then let me know, please!
Also partially related to the career change and flying thing, is my latest major acquisition – the ex-police Ford Transit I’ve just had a bed built into the back of. It’s fabulous! I’ve always wanted a van camper, ever since I can remember seeing one a few years ago on a climbing trip. All hardcore outdoorsy people seem to have them – climbers, bikers, guides etc. Up until now I’ve never been able to justify the extra cost of owning and running one (over the cost of running the estate car), but with plans afoot to do more consecutive flying days, it makes no sense to be driving backwards and forwards to the airfield everyday (a 2.5 – 3hour round trip), and hence the van has become a hugely sensible option. It will also give me somewhere to chill out before and in between aerobatic flights AND somewhere to cook dinner/brew tea etc, thereby also saving on the amount I spend in the cafe. It all makes sense, honest!
The current build project, now that the bed is mostly done, is the ‘mountain bike quick access storage’ thing. I have some cunning ideas in the pipeline and some interesting bits of hardware on order, so hopefully in a week or so it’ll all be sorted and I’ll be posting up a complete set of ‘pimp my ride’ style photos for you all to yawn at.
Speaking of mountain bikes, this weekend just gone Matt, Philip and I finally managed to get over to Bwlch Nant yr Arian (near Aberystwyth) to try out some of the trails there, and I must say we were mightily impressed. Stunning views, a great little cafe, brilliantly fun sections of fast, technical singletrack, scary exposure and relatively sociable fire-road climbs all made for a fantastic day out. We will be going back I’m sure!
Fantastic view from the cafe deck. The Red Kites are great to watch too.
Somehow, despite deliberately taking the camera with us, we failed to get any good photos on the trails, but the big grins on our faces here tell the story – a truly fabulous day out on the Pendam and Summit Trails
Oh yes, and I probably should just mention that flying-wise, plans are afoot for me to be competing at the Tiger Trophy up at Sherbern-in-Elmet (near Leeds) on the 16th and 17th of September. Hopes are that I’ll be able to enter the Beginners category again on the Friday, and also enter the Standard on the Saturday. So right now I’m studying like mad to make the very most of my flight time in training over the next couple of weeks. I love it.