Saturday, 30 June 2012

I hate to paint

The title says it all.  We are currently getting our house ready to sell.  There has been a lot of tidying and decluttering going on.  This weeks job was painting.

My wife thinks painting is easy.  She grabs a roller, finds a big wall and off she goes, infact she enjoys it.  I have less of a rosey view.  It is all the tedious jobs that I hate.  There is washing down the walls, filling holes and sanding.  The placing of drop sheets and taping up of switches and windows.  Once this done then the painting can be done.  First cutting in the edges, painting around the windows and plugs ready for the fast action roller.  These are the jobs that take hours and by the time they are done I really can't be bothered. 

Now the next part I hate is here, cleaning up.  Yes, I am now left with paint brushes, rollers, pots that need to be cleaned, dried and packed up again.  Drop sheets folded and floor cleaned.  Luckily this time there were no ceilings involved and so there was minimal cleaning up of me required.

But after all is done, all the painful task and boring jobs comes the best part.  Now I can sit back, relax, admire the result (and some fantastic rolling) and listen to the sound of a beer opening and the taste of the cold refreshing hops.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Aaaghhh Not Penalties!

It was all over the moment the ball left Ashley Youngs boot. Half a foot lower and it would have thundered against the inside top of the net, and England would have kept an advantage. By the time Ashley Cole stepped up the body language said it all, and I, like all England fans new it was over.

Cats were thrown, dogs kicked, wives hid, grown men cried and children didn't understand what was going on. Yet again penalties had crushed the dreams of a nation (though to be honest if Italy could shoot straight it should have been over long before that). 

Again there will be national morning, the result talked about in the pub and on TV, but the reality is the penalty curse is growing into a self perpetuating myth that players are scared of. So what started this? Why are crucial games decided on a game of nerves? Why deep down do we love, yet hate it?

It is exciting, a sanitized version of Russian Roulette where players pull the trigger. The weight on the players shoulders are immense, it's time to prove your worth. We want the player to score, to mock him if he misses and cheer when the keeper saves it.  My father in law still likes to remind me how close he was to catching David Beckhams penalty from Euro 2004 that ended up in the stands. But it wasn't always this way.

FIFA introduced penalties in 1970 at the request of the Israelis after they were eliminated by a coin toss. Yes after 120 minutes off football, games could be decided by a coin toss or drawing lots. Could have saved everybody the bother by doing that before the match.

The shoot out had been used before that in many games. The Yugoslavian Cup used them as early as 1952, the Italians a few years late (perhaps that's why they are good at them). As a way of deciding a match it is fair, it seperates the men from the boys. They are cruel to fans and players but if it is not your team it is exciting.  For a player that lone walk to the spot must be terrafying unless you have the confidence to do it.  Really it should not be hard, walk and kick it hard at the goal.  Don't try anything flash. Placing it in the corner, just outside the goalkeepers reach looks good.  Deftly chipping it in as the goalkeeper goes the wrong way, looks good.  But these techniques and many other show pony moves like the shimy up to the ball or a stop start run up make you look an idiot when you miss (and often you do).  Just look at the keeper and smack the ball towards the centre of the goal, nine times out of ten he will miss during his hero dive and your reputation in safe.

This morning watching England lose again on penalities I yelled obsentaties.  I dropped my heads in my hands.  I cursed and muttered and new it was all over.  But as I did this I new that tomorrow I will have forgotten who missed, but the player will know, and they must live forever knowing they are a failure.  As a long suffering England fan I can take comfort in that.

Note; PensPlanesandProcrastinations does not condone animal cruelty in away, verbal cruelty to professional football players is fine. 

Friday, 22 June 2012

Euro update

Ding Dong the Dutch have gone! What a fizzer, pre-tournament front runners gone without a point. This goes to prove the universal truth that no good sporting team play in orange. Greece, proving much more resilient than its economy. They have shown a strong defensive resolve and showing some of the form which surprised everyone eight years ago. However their fairy tale will end against the Germans. Czech Republic have out done all expectations after an opening day loss to Russia. The less said about the Russians, and my prediction, the better. Ronaldo is finally living up to the hype and Portugal are looking better than anticipated. A narrow loss and some solid wins on the back of flowing play mean they are now a real contender. Spain, not as good as they think thought they were? Certainly they haven't been as convincing as they were two years ago. However they are still one of the best in Europe and will make the final and find their rhythm. Italy should make the semis, but again not a realistic final contender. Go England! Expected to struggle to get out the group, but no, they topped it. Not entirely a convincing back four but did the job. There is a belief in the team and if they stick to the game plan they may just wear down Italy in the next round. France, struggled and will not be happy dropping points against England and again failing to trouble the scorer against Sweden. A great step forward for them, actually making it out the group after recent tournaments. So my early prediction stands, Germany v Spain final but keep your eyes on Portugal.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Interviews lead to baldness

OK, so there is no actual scientific link between interviews and hair loss. In fact I'm not sure there is any correlation, but there should be. I know when they time came for me to do my interviews for airline jobs baldness was a concern, lots of head scratching and sleepless nights.

There was a recruiting boom on, it was a golden age for expansion, it was pre- September the 11th (you all know the one). I had enough flying experience to make my application viable for both regional airlines and major airlines. I didn't really care who I worked for, if it had turbine engines I was happy.

Quackadoo Airlines were my preferred company (names protected to keep HR happy). I had passed the first stage, a cruel day of psychological exams (as if being a pilot wasn't proof enough of a mental imbalance), hand eye co-ordination and a myriad of other test made to send your brain numb. Even to this day I can't see a cube without mentally unfolding it see what pattern it would make. Now the wait. If you progress, a phone call, if not, a letter a few weeks later. A few weeks later the phone rang, progress to stage two.

Now I had the joy of a ride in the flight simulator and a grilling in front of the firing squad. Many of my friends spent money on a practise Sim ride, I wasn't that rich or forward thinking. I did play a lot of flight Sim to prepare though. Most of my friends stressed about the Sim ride, but me, I was actually a sea of calm. I went in with a philosophy that this may be my one chance to fly a 747 and I was going to enjoy it, and I did! I think I grinned the whole time.  I was probably still grinning when I walked into the panel interview, but not for long.  Any job interview is a nervous time.  I was on one side of the desk, the men in black on the far side, I'm sure their seats were raised above mine for effect.  Let the questions begin.  It was the standard tell us about your self, tell us some history of Quackadoo, and "what you don't know the answer, are you an idiot" kind of questions.  In amongst this a few tell us a story of how you stuffed up, or embarrassed yourself questions.  An hour later I thought what a bunch of @%&$* and was on my way.  Again my destiny was a letter or a phone call.

It was a phone call, I could breath again.  Well actually I was breathing as Boing!, a regional airline also gave me an interview the day before.  There process was similar, only much more friendly.  The medical was fun.  Poked and prodded, breathe in, breathe out, turn your head and cough, tell me when you hear a noise.  After a brief heart scare due to an incorrectly placed sensor I was done.  Again a letter or phone call.  It was a letter, but hope was not lost, I was on the hold file.

Eventually Quackadoo said I was indeed a suitably qualified nut case and able to fly their aeroplanes. I had made it, I had also made it to Boing! as well.  All I had to do now was pass ground school and training.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

What is it?

Have a guess what this is? Go on. Dare you.

This is a bun warmer, and part of my breakfast ritual, let me explain.  Being a Brit I love a good full English Breakfast, loaded high with artery hardening Bacon, Sausage, Eggs and of course Fried Bread.  However, luckily for me and my cardiologist this is a very, very rare occasion.  Most mornings its toast.

We have a great toaster that is set for a perfect light brown slice.  It was a gift for our wedding nearly eight years ago.  On top, is this little wire rack the booklet said was a bun warmer.  Every morning for nearly eight years I have taken it off, put it to one side whilst toasting.  After breakfast and when I tidy up, I put it back on top of the toaster. The other day, I thought to myself, WHY? Why do I remove and re-attach this wire metal frame everyday?

Not once have I ever used it.  I have never placed a bun, bagel or baguette on top.  I have never warmed a hot cross bun or any other bread related product on top of my toaster. Yet when I stood over the bin with it in my hand I could not bring myself to throw it away.    Luckily for me, my wife, who until she read this thought it was a toast rack, has disposed of it for me.

Today's question is, do you have a bun warmer and have you ever used it?

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Getting airborne

Let me continue now if I may with the story of my career.  Apollo Bay had been a great learning experience and a chance to get airborne regularly, but the summer was over and tourist scarce.  Luckily one of the instructors at the main base in Geelong was moving on to bigger and better things, his replacement would be lucky old me.

For the next four years I would be based in Geelong, and they were four fantastic years.  I worked with some great guys who became life long friends, and had amazing experiences.  I flew aerobatics, formation, chased fires and searched for blue whales.  As I think back when I started I was timid junior Instructor with only a few hundred hours, by the time I left there I was a confident, experienced pilot (as much as you can be experienced).

At first the job was slow, winter is not the best time to fly, but there was plenty to do.  Everybody believes the flying job is glamorous, but in the start when there is not much flying there is a lot (and I mean a LOT) of photocopying, aeroplane washing and lawn mowing to be done.  Put in the hard yards and you will get the rewards.  I still fill honoured that I was allowed to fly the Tiger moth, doing joy flights and to teach on it, such a fantastic old machine.  I was also fortunate to fly regular passenger services living on King Island where the beef, cheese and locals were all great.

Many adventure were had and funny stories made, many will be blogged at later dates.  After four years though I needed a change, I had to fly somewhere new and I had done as much as I could in Geelong.

Moving on is always scary.  My next move was to the South of Sydney, somewhere I had never heard off and never flown.  After six years of flying around Victoria I would have to learn a new landscape and new people.  The Gong was great.  I was encouraged to grow.  I became a Senior Grade 1 flying Instructor and teaching people to fly in all conditions in multi-engine aircraft, I was at the top of the rung of Instructing and doing flights all over the place but after six years in small aircraft the small pay was hurting, and the fires of ambition were still burning.  It was time to find a job with a major or minor airline.  I had over two thousand hours of flying, now I had to convince them to employ me...

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Say Cheese

You may remember a post a few days ago, if not here's the link Anticipation, where I was working on a new project for a friends birthday.  Well there birthday has been and gone, it was a great party and today I finally finished the present.

She loves cheese, so I had a vision of a cheese plate, the idea was a wood disc with a mosaic in the middle of a red V (her man is a mad St.George Illawarra Dragons Rugby fan).

I started with a disc of unknown wood picked up somewhere at sometime I don't remember.  It is probably some kind of Eucalypt.  It was already round, well sort off, so I just trued the blank with a rough gouge and smoothed with a scraper.  I had attached with a faceplate so flattened of the front.

As I wanted to inlay it with the mosaic I removed a centre recess 8mm deep leaving a rim.    I then finished the edge and sanded to 1500grit before applying some Shellawax.

I removed the disc from the lathe, sanded the back (it was already flat).  Next step was to assemble the mosaic.  Unfortunately it looked bad, really bad, unbelievably bad.  My concept was all wrong.  Due to the hard nature of the wood I thought I would leave as is, but first there were a lot of  wholes to fill (a mixture of epoxy resin and coffee grounds should do the trick).  This could take a while, fill, sand, repeat.

I was worried about protecting the wood, then it hit me! Why not use a glass panel to protect the wood?  A quick call to the local glass shop and they could see no problems and the glass was ordered.  If I had known I was going to do this from the start I would have made the recess 250mm not 246mm wide and probably 6 or 10mm deep to match the glass, however 6mm left only a small 2mm lip, which could easily be fixed.

The glass arrived today and luckily I had measured right and it fit snugly, but easily removed for cleaning.  I remounted the wood to the face plate and sanded and applied shellawax again for a great shiny finish.

Now I just hope they like it!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Stretching my wings.

After my rant from the other day I shall get back to the story of me and flying.

Twelve months had passed since gaining my commercial pilots licence. By now I was expecting to be flying everyday and flirting with female flight attendants by night, not stacking shelves six days a week. There had been a hiatus in my career and something needed to change. I had been working to a plan that had involved working in the supermarket to save money before a great northern Australian adventure. Unfortunately a nineteen year old and his money are easily parted, especially when out drinking at the weekend. As I said something had to change.

 In Australia as a new pilot looking for a career you have two real choices. Choice one; hang around the capital cities, become a flying instructor and hope you get some passenger carrying work (charter work). Choice two; head north and hope to gain work carrying tourists and locals around the Northern Territory. I am an ex-Pom and hated heat, so choice one it was.

A friend of mine was about to start training as a flight instructor and they had space for another on the course. I wasn't sure how me and teaching people to fly would go, but I wanted to fly so much the better if someone else was paying.   The flight Instructors rating took eight weeks, maybe more, of full time study. We practised giving ground lectures to each other, and lessons in the aircraft. I am not sure who decided it was a good idea to let us practise in the air with each other. I certainly never came across a student as woefully inept as we were when playing students. Eventually we were finished and now qualified flight instructors, very scary, we could now teach others to fly. However, even with a new addition to my license I was still unemployed. But not for long.

The flying school I had been training with had a joy flight business located on Victoria's Great Ocean Road, and had a vacancy. The pay was poor, well very poor but it was that elusive foot in the door and my career could begin. Apollo Air was great. I lived in a tent on the airfield over a fantastic summer. I was given a free run to chase up business and run the show, all I had to do was pay the cash in at the end of the week. It wasn't a busy job, and I was lucky to do 10 hours flying a week, but it was fun and I was getting paid to sit in the sun and fly. Soon summer was over and the business would close for the winter, fingers crossed there would be a vacancy for me back at the main base.

It may seem above that my motives to become a Flying Instructor were not the greatest.  I was in it for me and for my career.  However over the next five years I loved every moment of teaching others to fly, and was said when it would eventually come to and end, even now eleven years later I still miss it.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Pliers, phones, and missing body parts

It's been a strange, strange, bang your head against a wall kind of day.  I wasn't going to blog today but here I am.  This is not part two of learn to fly, this is vent, a rant.  Hang around my blog long enough, and I'm sure there will be more.

Firstly I had to remove a strip of metal from my car. Easy job, two minutes, done, happy.  Jump in the car of we go, drive, drive, drive, swerve, clunk! "whats that?" "no idea".  Drive, drive, drive, bump, clunk! "whats that noise Hun?' "no idea".  Park car at shops, lock and walk off, quick glance over shoulder, D'oh!!!!  Yes I discovered the clunk.  In my joyous and smug mood of the easy car fix, i had missed one tiny detail.  In a true miracle the pliers I had used, and subsequently left on the roof of the car, after 40 minutes of driving were still there.  I believe this must be due to the amazing grip of the rubber coated handles.  However my wife believesthat it has something to door with her smooth and faultless driving.  I will let you decide.

Reeling from this shock start to the day it was time to shop.  Now there is a little stand in our shops that sells mobile phones.  Many moons ago, well a bit over a year and a half I asked them to put my name down for an i-phone.  They were out of stock and would it would be available in three months.  I wanted a phone now, so went else where.  Today I decided to ask how much longer the wait would be.  The clerk quickly accessed the computer and said there was no record of my order.  This leaves me to wonder, are some people so lazy as to not do their job, but that desperate to look like they are that they would fake type my details.  It seems to me if you are going to go to the trouble of pushing keys you may as well press the correct ones.  Perhaps it just me?

Finally the car service.  I hate getting the car serviced.  I had that gut feeling it would be bad, but no, it had to be done.  There were a few glitches needed fixing, some of them they had looked at before.  The phone rings and the jury have made their verdict, get ready to sell a kidney.  I know parts are expensive, i know labour is expensive, but for the cost quoted these parts must have been made by rare pygmies out of gold and jewels.  What snarks me is the problem they said needed me to get ready to shed body parts, is something they had previously ruled out last time I said the car was clunking (and no it was not pliers).

Normal services back next time.

Learn to fly

Most life defining moments can be easily remembered.  I don't remember mine.  It happened when I was three years old.  I flew in a plane for the first time.  We lived in England and Dad had been asked to come to Australia for a year to work at his companies head office.  It must have been something about 20+ hours in a 747 that gave my life direction forever.  For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a pilot, and through fortune and a little hard work that is the path I have been able to follow.

Today my blog will take a quick look at the start of my flying journey.  I had always wanted to fly but it was always a dream.  A chance advert in a school news letter led to my first lesson.  A local flying school ran a flight camp to immerse young minds in flying.  I was 16 years old and very nervous the first time.  I think I was more worried that after thirteen years of dreaming it wouldn't be what I was hoping it would be when I took to the air in that little Cessna 150.  I shouldn't have worried.  Thirty minutes was all it took for a life time addiction to truly take hold.  I new there and then I would get my pilots licence.

Everybody said you had to be smart to be a pilot.  They said you had to work hard at school.  They said you had to be good at Maths and Physics.  I can tell you now, they were wrong.  Don't miss understand me, when it comes to intelligence I have some game.  I can add and subtract, and passed high school physics, in fact I worked very hard at school.  What I will tell you, and anybody else who asks, is  you need commitment and determination, lots and lots of it (and a bucket load of money as well).

Once I finished high school I spent a year full-time studying and under taking flying lessons.  It was a fantastic year.  The day I was sent solo for the first time was magic.  I can still remember my instructors words "I hate your shirt, I'm getting out".  The company I was training with taught me a lot about the harsh realities of aviation and how not to run a business.  We were blessed though with some truly fantastic and dedicated instructors who became great role models to me.  Even though they were often shown the rough end of the pineapple they worked hard teaching me all I needed to know (I still see some of them around the traps as I fly and always say hi).  I made some great friends, all who have gone on to airline careers (despite being told by the owner we would all go nowhere).  I gained my commercial licence two months after my eighteenth birthday, three months before I passed my driving test.  This had been the easy part.

This story has far more to go but that's for another day, you'll just have to come back to read it.  Feel free to leave a comment about what your dream career is or was.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Euro 2012

Any body else a football fan?  As a kid I was mad on the game, then again most children in England were.  These days life is far too busy to get too involved in following the ins and outs.  I still love to watch the game but now am restricted to watching my son in the under 6 games, and a little of the youths and amateurs if I have time.  But it is Euro 2012 and I feel like I should be excited.  The cream of Europe's footballing elite getting together should be something to celebrated, but some how it normally falls short.  Their should be a great fan fare but instead in the great southern land it is ignored (games being played between 2-6am doesn't help).  Euro should be celebrated for the staggering number of strange results, how did the Greeks win in 2004.

This years tournament held in Poland and the Ukraine should be straight forward.  If form and talent are anything to go by you might as well hand Spain the trophy now.  But upsets can happen.  The biggest problem the Spanish face is themselves.  European champions, World Champions, they already have it all.  Rumours of in-fighting between the Barcelona and Real Madrid players could just be enough to put them off balance. 

I should be singing up the praises of England, but I cant and won't.  I have been excited too many times before only to watch dire and pathetic displays crush the hopes and dreams of me and a nation.  All I can hope for is that we won't resort to a long ball game and trying to defend for 90 minutes even when we aren't winning.  With a new manager comes hope, but having seen his past form as a club manager the glimmer of hope is small.  Should England make it to the quarter finals the chance to play Spain or Italy is not tempting my taste buds.  All I can say as I set my VCR before bed is please, please, please no penalties.

Who else then is in with a shot?  Well with a competition which sees some of history's greatest players (in political terms, not on the field) face each other there could be some old scores to settle.  Germany will march to Poland confident they can make the finals, and could with a favouring wind come back victors.  Their clinical play and ability to always perform well on the big stage certainly means they cannot be ignored and my tip as runner up.

Russia will and have all ready shown they mean business and will challenge but will be hard pushed to get past the likely semi-final with Germany.  Italy always a favourite but too much controversy off the field and chats to their bookies mean they are probably only an also ran this year.

Who will be this years surprise.  Well France should make it to the semis, but if we are looking for outsiders there are a few.  Portugal, can they make it past the final hurdle and out of the shadows of the Spanish?  It will rely heavily on  everybody forgetting about Ronaldo and remembering one player does not a team make.  Host Poland will struggle, but home field advantage will mean a lot, don't be surprised if along with the Ukrainians the push big teams all the way.  Finally Denmark and Holland can make it out of the also rans, I don't think they will but I have been known to be wrong.  So I guess that means Greece, Czech republic, Republic of Ireland, Croatia and Sweden can pack their bags now as they wont be in action after the group stages (somebody please pick up the hotel bill for the Greeks).

So having predicted the winners I guess their really is no reason for me to subscribe to pay TV to watch live matches when only Vampires dare be awake, and cry when the inevitable happens to England.  But I am a sucker for punishment and probably will.

Who is your tip for Euro 2012Leave a comment and let me know.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Fortress of Solitude

Every man needs his space, his area, his fortress of solitude.  It could be a garden shed, the toilet, his car, but it must be somewhere, preferably with a beer fridge.  My shed alas is to small, we only have one toilet and there is always a visit from a child to say "hello" so that is out, and the car belongs to my better half.  For me it is the far wall and a half of my garage.  This is my place, my mess and everybody else better keep clear.  This is my wood working area, and this week it shrank.

Shortly we will be selling our castle, and moving into bigger and better things, so sacrifices have to be made to make the house attractive.  This week it was the garages turn for a spruce up, and as most normal people don't keep wood lathes and a small forest within it, it had to look more user friendly (apparently you should be able to fit two cars in there).  This was a great chance to tidy the area, remove the 2cm bits of wood I had hung on to, just in case they were needed.  Tools that had sat idle for years were boxed up (so I will probably need them next week).  I have tried to bring it back to the bare essentials, a wood lathe, a drill press, band saw and toolbox (plus some wood and pen blanks, polishing supplies, stereo and beer fridge).

Three days later, 160Kg of rubbish deposited at the tip, a boot load of boxes placed in storage and it was done.  The garage looked clean, well until I started turning a friends birthday present.  It certainly looked bigger, the car fit easily and I felt lighter.  Although it does not feel the same, my fortress had taken several morphisications to feel right, it still feels usable (and that is the important bit!)  Gone is the clutter and dread of having to rummage for things and upsetting spiders in the process.  Now I can move and be creative, whilst hiding from the family and allowing sanity to return. 

Now I must keep it clean and tidy and dream of the new house, with bigger garage that I can create a new fortress of my own, and fill with a newer, bigger assortment of toys.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


I love starting a new project. I think what I love most is the anticipation of what might happen. 

This is one of the wonders of wood turning. You look at a block of wood and like a label less can from the supermarket you just don't know what is inside. I have just started a new project, well started to think about it anyway. I have chosen the wood and even mounted it. The real question becomes what will appear as I peel the wood away. Will my ambitions fall short of my abilities (it often happens). Will there be a beautiful colour or feature as I turn the wood, or will it disintegrate into match sticks with a careless stroke of the tools? As I said its all about the anticipation, and a little inspiration and perhaps some perspiration.  I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Going Soft

No this is not an article about little blue pills, or the rumour going around that they are required (well I presume there is a rumour from the emails I get, and to clear it up all is fine in that department).

 No, I was dropping off little man to school today and thinking, its too cold for this (and soon to be wet).  Then it suddenly hit me, after nearly twenty years in Australia I have gone soft.  Cold was never something that bothered me growing up in London.  I mean we regularly went to school when temps struggled to make high single digit figures (even in the snow-mums choice, not mine).  We went to watch football (real football, round ball and no prima donna's of the Premier League) when the temperature was hovering just above zero, and usually raining.  In fact the chance of snow and rain just added to the adventure of a football game, certainly it encouraged you to put on your boots and head down the park for a kick around.

So why now when it is hovering in low double digits am I complaining of the cold, and thinking that the next ice-age has arrived.  I know if you live in Melbourne anything under 20 degrees means you need a scarf and an Arctic survival suit' but here, South of Sydney, folks are more hardy.  There were no big jackets requiring a planning permit in the play ground.  A few fool hardy souls were even in footy shorts, me I was travelling light too.  Perhaps it is the fact that I was fifteen and my memory has faded.  Perhaps we did wear enough clothes to make us look like the Michelin Man (double socks was often the go).

 When did I change?  What temperature do I now need to head for the thermal undies and hot water bottle under my top?  I'm sure perhaps its just an age thing, but perhaps too many warm summers and mild winters has turned me soft.  Certainly if football training were on tonight I would be strapping into an immersion suit with a high vis coat so they could easily  find my frozen body in the newly formed Australian tundra.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Is anyone out there?

Testing, testing, 123, is there anybody out there?

Hello and welcome to Pens, Planes and Procrastinations!  This is my blog, and as Seinfeld said its really a show about nothing.  There I go lying already, it is about many things, the many things that make up me.

First point of order.  I was born and bred in the UK with a Comprehensive school education which means I cannot spell and my grammar is awful.  I will put out a blanket apology now for this and move on with spell checker as my friend.

Well what can you expect from PPP?  I guess an explanation of the name could help.  Pens.  I have always loved a good pen.  The feel of something strong and comfortable in your hands, whats not to love.  I also have an interest in woodwork and have combined the two to make my own pens.  So I will talk about these and shamelessly plug my Etsy store, but I will also talk about my adventures in wood turning and my many, many disasters.

Planes.  I love aviation, have done since I was three.  Yes I was an anorak wearing dork standing at airport view points with books of registrations (in the days when such things didn't get you arrested as a terrorist).  This has led to my career path as a commercial pilot.  It is a great profession despite the attempts of management along the way.  So you can expect a bit of my adventures.

Procrastinations.  I am a master couch potato.  I have a motto, "why do today what can be put off until tomorrow".  This area covers most other things.
So that's it, a whole lot of nothing mixed with a bit of everything.  There is so much more I could tell you but that's for along the journey.