Dad and I were at a loose end one day the last time I was back in Scotland, and he off-handedly mentioned the National Museum of Flight as a possible destination. Then he told me they have a Concorde there, and that was that.
By coincidence, I’d had an episode of omega tau sitting in my podcast app for a while titled “Flying the Concorde”, so I listened to that on my flight back to Melbourne. John Hutchinson, former Concorde pilot, provides the commentary.
Then I discovered that Haynes - famed publisher of automotive repair manuals - published a Concorde Owners' Workshop Manual, which I immediately ordered from eBay. It’s obviously not a workshop manual in the traditional sense, but it’s packed with stories about Concorde’s conception, the relationship between the French and the British, and gloriously technical details about some of the aircraft’s systems and operational procedures.
Anyway, I’ve rambled on a bit here without really saying anything, but if you’re remotely interested in aircraft or engineering or just finding out about amazing feats of human perseverance (the thing was built fifty years ago) you can do a lot worse than following any of the three paths above: museum, podcast, book.
(Not many people know that I studied aeronautical engineering for a couple of years before I switched to computer networking which, as my boss at time pointed out, I “should have done in the first place”, and I’ve always had an interest in big aircraft. Things with turbojet engines. It fell by the wayside because there was too much oil and not enough avionics.)
I think snooker is a great game, and would watch it for hours and hours on television. It’s a game of the mind, and has a pretty simple set of laws and scoring system. If your opponent is at the table there’s absolutely nothing you can do.
However, I found out a couple of weeks ago that it’s not so great to watch in person. This is a photo of John Higgins (the eventual winner of the tournament) being interviewed by the tournament director at the 2015 Australian Open.
It was very cool to see how they televise snooker though.
I received a letter from a chap who calls himself the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection the other day:
On behalf of the Government and the people of Australia, I am pleased to inform you that your application for Australian citizenship has been approved.
It was never really my plan to become a citizen of Australia, but then I didn’t really have a plan when the University of Sydney came calling back in November 2010. In many ways becoming a permanent resident and then a citizen was just the natural, logical path to take.
Australia has been home for quite a few years now, and will be for the foreseeable future. I’m not ready to call myself Australian quite yet - I’m still Scottish.
But make no mistake - labels, logic, and lengthy rants about the process aside, it’s a wonderful honour and a privilege to have made it to the final step. I’ve been warmly welcomed by Australians at every step.
Thanks for having me Australia!
One more fun post to round out the mini-series of Craigrossie-and-Scotland-related stuff. This is me, in the same spot, but about twenty years earlier.