Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bottled for Kenya Airways

It is currently about ten to midnight, and I'm sitting (well slouching) drinking Hennessy cognac that was bottled for Kenya Airways. It is all a little surreal. Well actually the cognac is quite nice, but other than that it is a little surreal.

Let me tell you a story... Once upon a time there was a little boy who was teething, to take away the pain his grandmother used to rub brandy (well it might have been whisky or gin, but you get the point) on his gums. Now fast forward 31 years and that little boy is a fully grown (some would say overgrown) man and is sitting at his computer drinking cognac. The cognac was recently given to him by his grandmother and tonight he is drinking it to remember and celebrate her. He'll probably never find out how he came to possess a bottle of Hennessy cognac that was bottled for Kenya Airways.

Missing you...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The (Long Awaited?) First London Post

So it happened. As with all things, my American days have come to an end.

I am no longer an Englishman adrift in the sea that is mid-western America. No longer do I have the excuse (and conversational tool) of being foreign. No more can I shrug my shoulders and say that it isn't my country. For now, for better or worse, I'm home.

I always thought it would happen (my returning to England that is), but it is still quite surprising to find myself actually back in London. America was very, umm. comfortable, I can see why people get stuck there. For a while it was home, but it was never Home (if one is allowed to make such capitalistic statements).

Home is London. Home was always London. Which is odd when you consider the fact that I only lived here for 7 years, the first 3 of which it is cheating to count as they were my first 3.

So, anyway I sit here in my, vastly overpriced, rented flat looking out over the London skyline at the dome of St. Paul's (which I'm sure is part of the reason the flat is over priced) and marvel at how things have changed. Three months ago I was living in a house, with 2-3 others, in Columbus paying around 10 percent of my salary in rent. Now I live in a flat in London, with 1-2 other(s), and pay over 50% of my salary in rent. I suppose that's progress for you. It's remarkable how mercenary I have found myself becoming, and how often my thoughts turn to matters fiscal, now that I don't have any money.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The beard and groom issue

So here we are, as promised photos of a beard and a groom's party. I sadly don't have any photos of the bride and groom together, as I didn't take very many photos throughout the night (instead opting for the getting drunk strategy).

Friday, February 02, 2007

Quick updatey sort of post

So where have I been? And why have I been so bad at blogging over the last few months? To start with the latter, I'd like to plead busy-ness and tiredness and dead laptop-ness, but I probably have to put most of it down to laziness.

For the former, last I mentioned I was in Antarctica waiting for nice weather to launch our balloon. Well, the nice weather came on December 15th and our balloon was launched. For the following five weeks the balloon floated around Antarctica, at an altitude of around 37,000 metres, before finally being cut down a few hundred kilometres from the South Pole.

Due to the small matter of my brother's (Barry's) wedding in New Zealand, I actually left Antarctica on the 28th December and spent some time cooling my heels in New Zealand's alleged summer (the only two days when the sun shone were the day before and the day of the wedding, which was quite convenient). Following the celebration of Barry and Emma's nuptials I came back to lovely Columbus to wait for the data before making the big move back to London at the start of March.

When I get round to it I'll try and post a couple more photos from Antarctica and New Zealand. Including one of me with a silly beard, and one of the groom's party in all our finery before the wedding.

So in summary still alive, still more or less exhausted, and still moving to London (in less than four weeks now). On the subject of moving to London, we shall be having a leaving/assorted birthdays party at my house on the 24th February. If any friends are in town and want to come I can provide address, time, etc. closer to the date.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My Favourite Antarctic Photo

Here is my favourite photo from Antarctica, and yes that is a smoking volcano in the background.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Launch Day Take 5

So ANITA has been fully assembled for a while now, we declared flight ready almost 10 days ago and since then we've been waiting for the weather. It's not all that much fun to wait for the weather. It's particularly not fun on the days where the weather is almost good enough and we get out of bed early to catch the bus to Williams Field (it started with the bus leaving at 6:30am for the first launch attempt, then we went to 5:30 and then a couple of tries at 4:30, and now tomorrow's attempt will start with the bus leaving at 3:00am) only for the launch to be scrubbed 6 or 10 hours later. But you have to be the ready and get the payload out to the launch pad, just in case the weather (wind in particular) calms down enough for a launch. With luck tomorrow will be the day we get the thing in the air, but I thought that we were going to launch yesterday before the winds picked up, so who knows.

Still at least the food out at the LDB (Long Duration Balloon) galley is good. Matt the chef's cooking is generally the highlight of each day.

3am, I'm not looking forward to it.

Unless we launch.