Inverted Layers

As mentioned previously in these hallowed communications I do feel privileged to live in this area. I don’t really live here by choice but the countryside is lovely and quite varied. The view out the back of my house is open and wonderful. I can see over the fields, down to the river Medway and then the rising hills of the northern edge of the Weald Of Kent.

I try to make the point of looking out over the fields first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I get to see the world change colours through the seasons and every now and then I see some amazing things; hot air balloons, satellites, Spitfires, migrations etc.

Yesterday there was a phenomenon I hadn’t seen before. A layer of mist had gathered over the fields in the hollow just north of Bushy Wood and looked spooky. That wasn’t the strange thing.

Spooky Mist - wide (ish) angle
Spooky Mist

When you look more closely at the layer of mist you can see another layer hovering above. It’s clearest to the right in the picture this side of Bushy Wood.

Mist Layers
Mist Layers

If it’s still not clear enough for you then I’ve circled the thing below:

Inverted Mist
Inverted Mist

It’s quite fascinating and I guess I was impressed enough with it to go and take a photo and then write about it on here. I don’t think it’s something I’ve observed that often because it stuck out at me and really made me try and think about what is going on. I didn’t come up with any answers to that. I did want to get out there and walk through to see what it looks like from within though, but I didn’t. I’m saddled with things like work that I’m required to do.

One day this view will be gone because, as far as I know, then entirety of what you can see in the pictures will become houses. The local area council have a requirement for houses and rather than put them anywhere near the more expensive areas of the borough they have decided to build on fields at the northern tip of their area. The bit no-one cares about.

TMBC Planning
TMBC Planning

From the above diagram you can see where the development is planned relative to where all the money is within the borough. Anything south of the M20 has plenty of money, it’s the posh bit. The area within the circle is mostly working class small villages filled with Victorian houses. The road connections are poor and they plan to build ALL OVER THE FIELDS. There are plenty of brown field sites around where the local industry has died but I guess that’s more expensive than developing fresh green fields into housing.

Now, this is where I struggle a bit because I know that development is needed. I know that these things are required. I’m happy for changes. If they wanted to put wind turbines in those fields I’d be happy. If they wanted to make a small development I’d be happy, I mean it might improve the parking around here. But they plan to put in 1,514 dwellings. I suspect there are only a couple of hundred in my village at the moment. Have a look at the following map:

Bushey Wood Development Area
Bushey Wood Development Area

That little pink bit in the middle is the existing village. That purple bit? It’s all the development area. Fucking huge isn’t it? Also, the lower part is flood plain. As I said earlier I don’t want to be a NIMBY but it needn’t be that large. This is a lovely area of the countryside. Not in twenty years I fear. The character will be altered beyond belief. It’ll change the whole feeling of the area. I want to point out that a small development, maybe even doubling the size of the village would be more acceptable. Not this monstrosity.

The area of land is owned by Trenport. Want to know how you know they could be dodgy? They don’t have a website. Google it. There isn’t a Trenport website. There are some other development sites but nothing about the company itself. The registered office address is:
2nd Floor 14 St George Street, London, W1S 1FE
I suspect the company is into some clever tax planning because there are another seventeen companies based at that single address. Trenport is a private entity. I suspect it’s a cleverly structured company to reduce its “tax burden”. The company seems to be owned by that Barclay family who live on Brecqhou and have ruined the politics of Guernsey. Please see the magazine Private Eye for more information about the Barclay brothers and what they do to locals.

I have very little faith in the borough plan and that any company behind the development will pay its fair share of tax.

Safes

You know when you are out and see something a little different? Well, that happened to me last October time while I was at Crowborough. I spotted an old safe in a storage area and I thought it would make a pretty good picture, probably in black and white to give it that arty look:

1st Safe - Crowborough
1st Safe – Crowborough

Then you start seeing safes everywhere! So, I’ve decided that whenever I see a new one I’ll take a photograph of it. Here’s another I saw in the Maidstone area:

2nd Safe - Maidstone
2nd Safe – Maidstone

This next one was sneakily hiding in a school staff room in Tonbridge! I probably looked a little odd getting this photo and I didn’t move stuff around so it’s not the best photograph.

3rd Safe - Tonbridge
3rd Safe – Tonbridge

My final safe for now was in my room at RAF Halton, obviously. I guess it’s just in case you bring some top secret materials back to study in your evening? Nope, that would be illegal. I’m not sure why it’s there but it’s still pretty cool.

4th Safe - Halton
4th Safe – Halton

I think there will be more, I’ll keep looking as I travel around. It’s fun having a stupid hobby like this one.

Sand Castles

Redsand Forts

Yesterday I sailed out from Queenborough into the Thames Estuary to see the Redsand Forts. My ship fo rthe journey was the X-Pilot captained by Captain Chris, they weren’t worried with formalities. It was meant to be a four hour trip to see these abandoned aircraft defenses.

X-Pilot
X-Pilot

After a safety brief the four passengers including me boarded the vessel and made ourselves at home. What really happened was we dumped our bags in the crew room and sat outside for the journey. The tide was waning, there was little wind, the skies looked kinda moody and the seas were slight. To make it a slightly more perfect trip it would have been nice to have glimses of sunlight for the photography but I was happy.

The boat departed Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey and headed out past Sheerness to the Redsand Forts. These were built in the second world war to aid the anti-aircraft defenses of London. There are a few sets of Maunsell Forts in the estuary but I was booked on a trip to see just the Redsand ones.

Approaching Aliens
Approaching Aliens

These forts were designed by Maunsell and towed out to the different sand banks in the Thames and sunk. They were crewed by over two hundred members of the army. There are pages about them on Wikipedia and the general Web. I won’t go into too much detail about their history in this communication because you’ll find much more information elsewhere, this is a good page.

Redsand Forts
Redsand Forts

These beasts spring up out of the shallow waters and tower over the flowing sea to impress. They are such incredible structures. Four reinforced concrete legs followed by the I-pattern beams and metal walls. I do wonder how cold these were in winter! Most of the walkways are gone, can you imagine having to move from one to another?

Roof Garden
Roof Garden

In the above photograph you can see the two story structure and the roof. One of the towers is further away from the centre and I wonder if that’s where they kept the ammunition. It would be fascintating to see movie footage of these in use.

Redsand Forts looking like Martians
Redsand Forts looking like Martians

Above is my favourite photograph, I love the way the water looks so still and the towers look like little toys. I think we were lucky with the seas. As I said earlier, a few rays of sunsine breaking through would have made this a perfect photography day.

Departing the Forts
Departing the Forts

On the way back to port we passed around the SS Richard Montgomery. We had made good time out of the Medway because of the waning tide and so we had the chance to add to our excursion which meant a chance to encompass the ticking-time-bomb that is the Liberty Ship Richard Montgomery.

SS Richard Montgomery
SS Richard Montgomery

You have to love a sign that says:

Danger. Unexploded Ammunition. Do Not Approach or Board This Wreck. By Order.

If it goes up there will be a massive bang, a huge cloud and plenty of water heading to the shores on both sides of the estuary. There are plenty of warnings around this wreck including yellow bouys, red bouys, signs and an exclusion zone on the charts.

This trip was great fun, a wonderful experience and very good value. I really enjoyed it.

Here’s how they were planned:

The Truth

It’s wrong to lie.

It’s your honour.

These are both slightly different ways of saying the same thing I think. We expect people to be honourable and largely I think that means that actions should match the words that people say. We expect people to essentially tell the truth, to speak words which are not false.

I’d considered this a lot over my life. What is “honour”? What does it mean to be honourable? How can we measure this aspect of life? I spent quite a while thinking about it from a religious point of view. People have died for what they say they believe. People have been tortured and not rescinded their stated views about which god or set of beliefs is theirs.

I don’t entirely understand that. I think that is because I have a level of un-belief beyond most. I don’t believe that god is real and therefore it doesn’t matter what you say about it. It doesn’t matter what magic spell you whisper before you go to bed, none of it will do a thing. If I was required to, I would lie about my belief to continue living, but ultimately I know that doesn’t matter. St. Peter isn’t going to be waiting for me to tell me I fucked up by lying about my belief.

However, we expect people to be honourable. We expect people to tell the truth. If we are to accept what people are then we need that level of trust that we see them how they really are. Which means the truth.

If you want to be in a relationship, whether friendship or romantic, then it’s likely there needs to be truth for the relationship to be trustworthy. For partner A to rely on B a level of trust needs to be developed, this requires actions to match up with words that are said [I think I’ve just sold the religion issue I mentioned earlier, I have to relationship with religion or god and so don’t care].

How can you trust someone who constantly lies or rebuts you with little lies?

[An aside on little lies – we all make little lies. Lying is a very early trait of humans that is learnt. People are remarkably good a lying. It’s why it’s hard to tell if someone is lying or not. NEWS ALERT – LIE DETECTORS DON’T WORK.]

So, lying. Little lies are things that make life a little more comfortable and seem to have few side effects. We use these constantly as people to make our lives a little easier each day. It’s easy. It’s learnt behaviour.

Proper lies are a different matter. How can you trust a person who lies about things that matter?

[Another aside – “things that matter” is a continuum and and the level of consequence will be different for different people.]

You can’t develop trust if someone lies about what they said or what their actions were or what happened. Without trust you don’t have a relationship. These had been my thoughts until about three years ago. I’d been bemused by the idea of honour because I thought about it mostly framed within the religion question.

So let’s talk about politicians.

We now have world leaders who lie. Blatantly.

We have always expected politicians to be slimy bastards. We have always know that politicians or other people in power are expected to do things and then try to explain what they did in the slipperiest terms so that the “spin” is that they look good. We have always expected politicians to not lie. I don’t think we expected them to tell the truth all the time but we don’t expect them to lie. We expect them to squirm their way around the issues and leave the question unanswered while they sit in the knowledge that they “got away with that one”.

We have always a vague level of honour amongst politicians that at least they wouldn’t outright lie. They might skirt the issue but, when pressed, they would be “honourable”. That’s why in the past politicians would resign straight away from their government post if they were caught lying. They would understand that the measure of trust has been reduced to zero with those lies. They would resign as a politician though, of course not, they’d still be selected by their local party because people are stupid.

Then you get tow main things in the western world.

TRUMP

BREXIT

The vote for Brexit was based on lies and influence from foreign agents. Even when caught out politicians like Gove and Johnson just carry on. They haven’t resigned. They haven’t apologised for the lies they told. They are still in their jobs and still in power. The level of trust between the public and those politicians and politicians in general has been eroded because of the lies told and still being told by the pro-Brexit groups.

Trump lies. All the time. Demonstrably. He’s also a racist, white supremacist. However, he lies. Constantly. How can there be a level of trust with this man? It doesn’t matter what he says because he’s lying or doubling down and his actions don’t match his words. There is still a massive industry of news in the USA and the world that hangs on his every word because of his position of power in the world. Yet, he lies. There can be no trust.

The way to hurt Trump the most would be to remove the press corps from him. To remove him entirely from the news cycle, except for Fox news I guess, that would hurt the narcissistic orange man-baby.

What’s worse is that his approval ratings are STILL HOVERING AT ABOUT 40%. It’s clear that some of the public don’t care about what he says or that he’s lying. They just know he’s “their man”. Fuck This Shit.

Also, those local party selection committees, for Gove and Johnson and all the others who have blatantly lied, they keep electing those lying arses to represent their constituency in parliament. Those people are selfish fuckers but I think I shall leave my derision for them for another day.

It’s only when things mess up that you realise just how good things were for you I think. I don’t think the Blair/Obama governments were perfect but it is quite clear that they were better than the world leaders we have today. Man, this world is depressing at the moment.

Lincs. Views

Having spent a few days in Lincolnshire I can confirm it is gorgeous and horrifying at the same time. The roads are too straight, there aren’t any hills, and the doesn’t seem to be any traffic after 18:00 hrs. In the time I was there I only saw some hills when I left East Kirkby and headed to Horncastle. There were hills and corners and all sorts of roads, it was actually quite exciting. I didn’t stay in Horncastle for long as I wanted somewhere to eat and it didn’t look like the town for me. I headed instead to an American themed diner at Langrick which I had driven past a few times and it was nice to stop and appreciate the views.

Langrick Bridge
Langrick Bridge

On my first evening I went to the cinema in Boston and there’s a communication covering my thoughts of Colette here. The next day I watched some Typhoon action at RAF Coningsby and then went for a tour around the Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight hangar at the other end of the airfield. It was interesting.

I then drove to the International Bomber Command Centre, a memorial to those who died as part of bomber command, which was based in Lincoln. I drove past RAF Waddington but there wasn’t much going on there. Just three E3-D sitting on the pan.

International Bomber Command Centre
International Bomber Command Centre

There’s an amazing view over Lincoln from the IBCC. In this next shot you can see the castle and cathedral looking through the monument which is as tall as a Lancaster bomber is wide.

Lincoln from the IBCC
Lincoln from the IBCC

That evening I had dinner booked in Prezzo in Boston. I’m not sure what I think of Boston yet. It’s kinda of pretty in places but an utter dump in others. Cheap petrol at the Asda superstore though.

Meridian
Meridian – East Kirkby

On the final day of my trip I took in RAF Marham in the morning. There was a NOTAM out for a display and it turns out there were five Tornados practising their formation flying ready for the last-last flypast. Before that as I left Coningsby the C-47 took off in light fog shortly followed by two Typhoons. As they passed in front on the sun their shadows cast over me at 150 knots which was really cool.

After Marham and a refueling stop in Boston I went to the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at the ex-RAF base of East Kirkby. They have a Mosquito and a Lancaster there along with tons of bits and pieces from the war. It was lovely and sunny and there was definitely a certain atmosphere at the place. Really interesting.

River Witham
River Witham

Finally I had a meal at the American Diner at Langrick, next to the bridge. It’s such a strange place. I do wonder how people find their way around these parts. There aren’t any hills to use as hints to where you are and the sky is so big.

Langrick
Langrick

Sleepless Night

Every now and then over the last nine years or so, since I’ve had an iPhone I’ve been trying to find the audio of a song called “Sleepless Night” by Dokken. It had to be the live version from the album “Beast From The East”. I’ve reviewed this album elsewhere on this site and you can read that here. It looks like I wrote that review in 2013! So, this morning, I once again did a search for the audio of the song Sleepless Night (live from Beast From The East).

I found a version! This song wasn’t on the CD release version of the album when I bought that and so all I had was the record version and the tape I had made of it. I found the song on YouTube and I have no idea if it is there legally or not but now at least I can listen to it while it remains on that site. I’ll just have to figure out how to find a decent CD copy of the song for quality ripping purposes.

You can listen here for now if you want, until it gets taken from YouTube. Listen for the pause just after the solo and then wonder at the screech as George Lynch re-enters the main riff. I love that bit.

It Seems A Lot

A little while ago Sony Entertainment made a video giving a run down of my time on the PS4 and you can see that in this communication. I guess these types of videos don’t take a huge amount of effort to produce and they might even have started on Faceshit, I don’t know. However, the other day Strava came up with one for me. I use Strava to track my running and other exercise. This year I’ve also done some rowing on the erg and a little swimming.

Here’s my Strava video:

Christmas Views

Although these weren’t taken on Newtonmass Day they were taken in the 2018 season and in the area of the Medway Valley. Not sure what they say about this area though.

M20 Bridge and Medway
M20 Bridge and Medway

Illegal Biking Monument
Illegal Biking Monument

Old Barracks Remains
Old Barracks Remains

Medway Low Tide
Medway Low Tide

Actually, two of them do point to the idea that the Medway valley area is rough as fuck.

Merlin

A couple of nights ago I was watching television in the evening when I could hear the sound of a large or low helicopter. I didn’t move but consulted 360 Radar and observed that it was a Royal Navy Merlin helicopter flying over. It struck me as a little odd but not enough to make me move. I see Apaches and Chinooks a couple of times a year and given there are DIO training areas in east Kent there’s reason for the activity.

Turns out I was rather wrong.

Mirror Headline
Mirror Headline

The next day there was quite a bit of news about the Special Boat Service or maybe the Royal Marines on social media although most of the mainstream press kept away from it. I probably should have followed the Merlin on 360 Radar a little longer, but my television show was deemed more worthy.

Stairway To Where?

What is going on here? If you look at these stairs there doesn’t seem to a whole lot going on. They are down the side of a bridge over the river Medway. You can’t see that to actually get to this point you have to climb over some armco from the path but that’s not my biggest issue with them.

Stairway To Failure
Stairway To Failure

If you look more closely you will see that there isn’t a route to the left at the bottom of the stairs. There is just a slope. No flat path for walking on. Just slope. I don’t understand what the intentions of the designer were. The fence implies there should be a wlakway. The reality is there isn’t one. Maybe I’m just not meant to be there.