All entries for March 2007
March 17, 2007
I’ve just read something on BBC Sport which, for a couple of seconds, actually made me feel sick.
From this page:
“Cristiano Ronaldo is set to sign a five-year £28m contract and remain with Manchester United. (The Sun)
However, it is reported Real Madrid are ready to step in following the rejection of Ronaldo’s £140,000 a week wage demands at Old Trafford. (The Guardian)”
£140,000 per WEEK?!!
Will someone give the silly boy a smack in the face and wake him up to reality? It makes me so angry. Not only would a week’s salary at that level pay off all my (rather substantial) debt – not only my pilot training costs but my student loan and overdraft as well – and still leave me enough to buy a posh car in cash, put a deposit on a house and give me about 10 grand in spare change, but it’s the fact it’s that hateful, arrogant, cheating, whinging little arsehole who’s demanding it. Goodness knows for how many months or even years a week’s worth of that salary could keep an African village in food and clean water.
Or perhaps, unfortunately, this is reality. Football is going down the drain at the moment. It’s not the game it used to be – there’s too much money being pumped into and thrown around by the top four clubs to the detriment of every other in the league. It’s about time people like Cristiano Ronaldo woke up to what the game actually means to the fans, the people who effectively pay his wages but will soon be priced out of the game. It’s unsurprising to see how attendances have generally dropped – football is too expensive and it’s contracts like this which cause it. I find it quite upsetting to see that players and agents feel they can happily demand this sort of money, it’s absolutely immoral. But what can ever be done about it?
March 12, 2007
Right, it’s far too long since I last blogged. In fact I haven’t made a flying-related entry since first the React flight after I passed my PPL, so I’ve got a fair bit to waffle on about! Basically at the moment I’m back in England, having flown back on March 1st. I’m currently in the second of two weeks off; next weekend I’ll be heading down to spend two weeks of ATPL Theory revision/cramming at Bristol Ground School and after that – in the week before Easter – the first seven exams.
The flying has been quite hard work since passing the PPL; obviously, being quite far behind, there have been a lot to cram in to try to catch up. Technically I should have finished the single-engine flying by now and be ready to move on to the Twin Stars when I get back, but I’ve still got about 16 flight to go on the Cessna yet. It’s doable in about 3 weeks if the weather’s good, so I have definitely made up some time over the last month. One reason for the lack of blogging over the past month has been because it’s been so busy. Not only have I fortunately been scheduled loads of times anyway, but the planning side of it takes quite a while, not least because we’re often limited as to where we can go by the weather (cloud has been a major issue at times this summer). It can sometimes be tricky picking routes that don’t keep passing over the same places all the time! Also, you sometimes have to make late changes to what you’ve planned so I’ve spent a fair amount of time behind the planning desk of late. Some of the flights are quite draining; being given mid-air diversion after diversion by your instructor puts you under pressure and you have to learn to get through the process smoothly but quickly. I’m getting better at it but it’s hard work. It certainly teaches you to think more quickly.
There have been some nice days though and it’s been great being able to take passengers up now I’ve got my licence, particularly as I’ve always made sure they’ve brought a camera! For those people who haven’t got the benefit of Facebook access, here’s a few of the best pictures I’ve had taken in flight (mostly courtesy of Mr. Power and Mr. Lee):
(note the bouncy castle… this was just turning final for runway 18 on the Saturday afternoon we had the party at Clearways.) And a cheesy one to finish:
Here’s a meme that Naomi’s been nagging me to finish for ages! It’s taken way too long. I’m a busy man!
1. How old will you be in five years?
27 going on 28. Scary thought.
2. Who did you spend at least two hours with today?
Nobody as yet, but I’ll be spending about 10 hours with John, Hodge and Rich later on when we go out for a “couple of pints”.
3. How tall are you?
4. What do you look forward to most in the next six weeks?
Going down to uni for a week, seeing Naomi, going to the brass band area contest, having plenty of decent beer.
5. What’s the last movie you watched on DVD?
Well, I’m watching Tomorrow Never Dies on DVD at the moment while I’m pretending to do work.
6. Who was the last person you called?
7. Who was the last person to call you?
8. What was the last text message you received?
Jim trying to convince me to get a “symphonic hair cut” for the area contest. It’s not happening.
9. Who was the last person to leave you a voicemail?
My mum, trying to get through to me when I was at the baggage belt at Manchester Airport.
10. Would you rather call or text?
Either is good, although text gives you more chance to think what to say!
11. What were you doing at 12am last night?
Fiddling with my computers, nothing particularly exciting.
12. Are your parents married/separated/divorced.
13. When was the last time you saw your mum?
This morning when she stuck her head around the door before she went to work.
14. What colour are your eyes?
16. What are you wearing right now?
Jeans, jumper, t-shirt – the usual when you’re sitting round at home.
17. What is your favourite Christmas song?
Carol-wise, it would be O Holy Night – particularly the cheesy version I have on my computer. I like all the stuff you find on a typical double Christmas album though.
18. Where is your favourite place to be?
At home, in my own room. Or in the cabin of my Cessna 172 at 3000ft!
19. Where is your least favourite place to be?
Tricky one… anywhere dodgy and dark where I feel my personal safety is threatened. Also, I can’t stand Stansted Airport and unless the flight is really cheap I’ll go out of my way to avoid it.
20. Africa-New Zealand-Japan?
Well since I’ve just been in NZ for 7 months and I’m going back for another 3, I’d have to say one of the other two. Although I haven’t really seen much of NZ on the ground. Plenty of it from the air, but I haven’t had enough time to get out and explore the sights.
21. What do you think you’ll be in 10 years?
Hopefully a captain! But just being happy and settled with a family will do me.
22. Do you tan or Burn?
Burn, severely. I can not wear less than SPF 30, and when I go to very hot places like the Caribbean I have to take SPF 60. I’m that hopeless at tanning.
23. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
I can’t really remember… I think I was most scared of people breaking in to the house and trying to get me!
24. What was the last thing that really made you laugh?
Hearing about a certain three unnamed people mooning at a certain restaurant in a certain town not far from University.
25. How many TVs do you have in your house?
Erm. 5 I think, although one is in the garage and not being used. We’ve got more computers than TVs though – 8 at the last count, plus enough parts lying round to build another complete one.
26. How big is your bed?
Just a bog standard single one – not really enough room for a double. Very comfy it is too! I love my own bed!
27. Do you have a laptop or desktop computer?
Both. Don’t know what I would have done without the laptop in NZ – in fact I would have had to buy one if I hadn’t got it for my birthday. Built the desktop one myself, only just got it working again after not working for a year – a combination of dodgy parts, people messing me about and being away for so long meant I never got round to fixing it. Turned out, as I suspected, I’d been sold a dodgy motherboard which Aria then told me they tested and found to be working fine. They’ve just lost a previously loyal customer. It’s all about Dabs and Ebuyer now.
28. What do you wear to bed?
T-shirt and boxers usually. I have woken up wearing the night before’s clothes a few times. Nothing imaginitive.
29. What colour are your sheets?
30. How many pillows do you sleep with?
31. What is your favorite season?
Summer, because it’s best for flying!
32. What do you like about autumn?
33. What do you like about winter?
Snow and Christmas. Thinking about being inside in front of a warm fire watching a classic Christmas film with the house all decorated.
34. What do you like about the summer?
Nice weather, long days, being able to go out late without a coat!
36. How many counties have you lived in?
Two – Greater Manchester and Derbyshire. That’s if Greater Manchester is classed as a county – I’m not sure it is. Otherwise the first one would probably be Lancashire.
37. What cities/towns have you lived in?
I’m not quite as well travelled as Naomi! Only three – Stalybridge, Middleton (between Rochdale and Manchester) and Chesterfield.
38. Do you prefer shoes, socks, or bare feet?
Socks inside the house, shoes outside. I hate walking round in bare feet personally. The Kiwis do it all the time, which I find very strange. It’s not uncommon to go shopping in town or something and see kids walking round with no shoes on. I don’t like shoes inside the house though – it wears the carpets out more quickly and makes them dirty.
39. Are you a social person?
Yes! I hate being stuck on my own, it’s boring. I like to have people around me. Sometimes it’s nice to have your own space; there are times when I’m just generally annoyed with people and I want some peace and quiet but most of the time I’m much happier when I’m with others!
40. What was the last thing you ate?
A “Fat Tony’s” pizza last night, which in my opinion wasn’t worth 8 quid.
Why are there so many questions missing?
42. What is your favourite ice cream?
Anything posh really. I’m not too fussy with ice cream as long as it’s not cheap and nasty.
43. What is your favourite dessert?
Anything chocolatey. My mum’s own chocolate cake is probably my all-time favourite. The chocolate brownie with ice cream I had yesterday at a restaurant in Kenilworth pushes it close though – that was delicious.
45. What kind of jam do you like on your Peanut Butter and Jam sandwich?
Peanut butter and jam? No thanks.
46. Do you like Chinese food?
Very much so. Mmmm… how much do I want a Wing Wah’s or Oriental Star now I’ve read that question…
47. Do you like coffee?
Yes, very much so. Black coffee with one sugar is the way to go.
48. How many glasses of water, a day, do you drink on average?
Not enough, I’m more likely to drink orange juice, Vimto or coke. Coke is bad, I’m sure they put something in it that makes you more thirsty for it. I can get through a 2 litre bottle in an hour and still feel thirsty. Very bad.
49. What do you drink in the morning?
Normally either orange juice or a cup of tea or coffee. Or sometimes, if I’m late and I can’t be bothered to dirty another glass and need to wash up, I’ll just stick my mouth under the tap and drink water! Haha.
I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that whoever wrote this thing can’t count.
51. Do you sleep on a certain side of the bed?
Any will do me. I go out like a light so I’m not really bothered which side of the bed I’m on. Just give me a pillow, duvet and nice mattress and I’ll be gone almost straight away.
52. Do you know how to play poker?
Yep, I’m not great at it but it’s good fun to play as long as it’s not a stupidly expensive buy in. With mates and a few beers it’s a good laugh.
53. Do you like to cuddle?
Yes! There’s nothing like the warm feeling you get from a good cuddle!
54. Have you ever been to Canada?
Yep, went after my GCSEs with my good friend Paul. We stayed with a good friend of his mum’s in St Catherines which is south of Toronto and just north of Niagra Falls. Brilliant holiday, that was – had a fantastic time.
55. Do you have an addictive personality?
56. Do you eat out or at home more often?
At home. I like home cooking. I can’t afford to eat out very often.
This is just silly now!
58. Do you know anyone with the same birthday as you?
Step forward Music Centre Administrator, Mr. Owen Lloyd!
59. Do you want kids?
One day, and preferably while I’m young. I want them before I’m 30. Not at the moment though – got ages to go yet!
61. Have you ever gotten stitches?
No, I’ve never cut myself seriously enough to need them.
62. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Er, yes. First year of Uni, pub bowling. We won’t go into that story again – it’s been recounted endlessly now!
63. Do you prefer an ocean or a pool?
Pool really, but it’s mainly because I don’t like getting sand stuck all over my feet. I like to be able to get out of the pool, get back on my sunlounger and carry on reading without having sand all over my towel.
64. Do you prefer a window seat or an aisle seats?
On a bus, an aisle seat – I don’t like being crushed up to the window by a fat person, which is what normally happens. On a train, I like a window seat – I like to be able to see what’s going on outside. On a plane, I used to swear by having a window seat and was gutted when I didn’t get one. These days, however, in my days of jetting backwards and forwards to Auckland, I much prefer an aisle seat. I’m going to have a window seat up there as a career so I’m rather less bothered about seeing out of the side. On a long haul flight it’s much better having an aisle seat; I hate having to ask people to shift so I can go to the toilet, especially when there’s two randoms sat there.
65.Do you prefer manual or automatic?
Depends really. I think I prefer a manual, but it depends on the car and the gearbox. If I was driving something big and posh, like my uncle’s new Discovery, an automatic does go well with that. If it’s a piece of crap like the Toyota Platz we drive in NZ with an equally awful automatic gearbox which does whatever it feels like, then I prefer a manual.
66. What is your favorite thing to spend money on?
Food! And computers and gadgets. I like spoiling Naomi as well!
67. Do you wear any jewellry 24/7?
Nope, not me. Not really a jewellry type of person.
68. What is your favorite TV show?
Top Gear, without a doubt. Totally and utterly brilliant.
69. Can you roll your tongue?
Yep! I used to do it all the time when I was a baby, apparently.
70. Who is the funniest person you know?
Well, there’s a few people… at uni it has to be the Middleton/Wee-man pairing when they’re together. At CTC it would probably be Matt, who always makes me laugh.
71. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
I have a few who sit on my bed who have always been there since the day I was born. Carebear and Pinky are my oldest two. There’s a few others that have appeared down the years, but not many.
72. What is the main ring tone on your phone?
Entrance of the Gladiators. I also switch to “You Are My Sunshine” and Lloyd Webber’s “Variations” occasionally.
73. Do you still have clothes from when you were little
Probably – my wardrobe and my bedroom are so ridiculously full of unnecessary old stuff that I just won’t ever chuck out that I’m sure there’s some stuff from when I was little in there.
74. What red object is closest to you right now?
The Valentines card I sent Naomi – I’m in her room and it’s on the shelf above me.
75. Do you turn off the water while you brush your teeth?
To avoid being abused by Naomi when she reads this, I’d better say yes.
76. Do you sleep with your cupboard/wardrobe doors open or closed?
I really don’t tend to notice but since I close them after getting what I need I think they’re probably closed.
77. Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
I really don’t understand these stupid questions. Neither, obviously. I can’t give any other answer to that.
78. Do you like someone?
Yes, of course. My lovely girlfriend.
79. What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
80. Have you ever written a love letter?
If soppy messages in Valentines cards count, then yes.
81. Can you change the oil on a car?
Well I can’t change it as in drain the old stuff out, change the filter and replace the oil – that’s what mechanics are for. But I can top the oil up if necessary.
82. Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?
No. I got a parking ticket once for a careless bit of parking in the middle of the countryside.
83. Have you ever run out of gas?
Yes, we were having a BBQ the other week and the gas ran out. Now if you meant have I ever run out of petrol, the answer is no.
84. What is your usual bedtime?
Between midnight and 1am. Earlier if I’ve got an early flight the next day.
85. What was the last book you read?
I really can’t remember. I’m reading Peter Kay’s book at the moment though.
86. Do you read the newspaper?
If there’s one lying around I’ll read it. I don’t buy them regularly.
87. Do you read any magazines?
Again, depends what’s lying around. I used to buy Airliner World fairly regularly before I started my flight training but I’ve had to cut down on unnecessary stuff recently because of money issues. I’ll always steal a copy of FHM, Zoo or Nuts off one of the other lads if they’ve got it.
89. Do you watch soap operas?
When I was still at home I watched Corrie, Eastenders and The Bill all the time.
90. Do you dance in the car?
I assume this is an American questionnaire then. Over here, we don’t all drive stupidly oversized SUVs and Hummers and stretch limos where you can stand up and have a disco in the back. You try dancing in a Ford Fiesta.
91. What radio station did you last listen to?
Radio 2, I think.
92. Who is in the picture frame closest to you?
One of Naomi, Lu, Kelly and Julia on Brasssoc tour in Newquay.
93. What was the last note you scribbled on a piece of paper?
No idea. I don’t remember these things. That’s the whole point of scribbling them down isn’t it?
94. What is your favorite candle scent?
Again I don’t know. I’m not a girl.
95. What is your favorite board game?
Hmmmmm… I’ll go with Trivial Pursuit I think.
96. What are your favorite pair of shoes?
I don’t have a favourite pair. Again, I’m not a girl. I have one pair of shoes and two pairs of trainers and I don’t have a favourite – they’re there to do a job!
97. Was your first kiss good or bad?
Ah, that takes me back… I seem to remember it being pretty good!
98. Who was your favorite teacher in high school?
Hahaha it’s got to be Mr “Moe” Wainwright. A-level Physics was just legendary. So much banter and dry sarcastic humour it’s hard to believe we got any work done. Some people actually didn’t do any work, ever.
99. What is the longest you have ever camped out in a tent?
A week with Brasssoc. And that’s long enough.
100. Who was the last person to give you butterflies?
Erm, me during my PPL flight test every time I thought “shit, I’ve failed now” when I did something wrong. I didn’t fail, fortunately.