The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the month “April, 2014”

Spike. A band to watch in Kingston

Spike are a band led by Tom Hodges, muisican at night and blacksmith by day. The only problem is that they live in different corners of UK so they play together twice a year. Last saturday at The Willoughby Arms in kingston we had that pleasure. Photography was a bit of a black art as there was almost no light, in fact the few atoms of light that did descend came from the screen behind the band that showed excerpts of films of photos. So the trick was to shoot when a white part of a film was showing, when a red part they looked like extras from Doctor Who. Excellent band, excellent evening and excellent beer. A real pubby pub. Go and see them next time. The female support band at the end? There is no explanation!

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LH487 Engine on fire. Where best to land?

One of the more interesting apps is FLIGHTRADAR. Late sunday evening one of the twitter accounts I follow, Flight Emergencies, told us that flight LH487 had squawked 7700 meaning ” emergency”. The plane had taken off from London city airport heading to Basle. The usual reason for most emergencies seems to be those of a medical sort. However on this occasion an engine had caught on fire and the plane landed safely. The Guardian reported this story with a few more perhaps not so important facts the next day.

By chance having followed the flight on FLIGHTRADAR I took a few screenshots of the plane’s routing. As can be seen below, something happened over Gillingham , the plane circled there, then headed in a route suggesting it was returning to London City Airport, then turned north and landed at Stansted. I am no aviation expert but this does not look like a route that the plane would normally have taken if it was landing at Stansted in an emergency situation such as a fire. Surely a more direct route. My guess is that its original destination of London City Airport was altered to Stansted. Some more important information comes from an article written almost a year ago May 2013.  The answer may come from questions raised by Richard Tracey. This is what was reported:

Richard Tracey, London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth, has written to Heathrow authorities to ask why the BA aircraft with its engine ablaze was routed to fly back into Heathrow last week rather than being diverted elsewhere.

Richard’s questions followed worried enquiries from Wandsworth councillors Rosemary Torrington and James Maddan who represent the riversideThamesfield ward on the flightpath.

He wrote, “I represent Wandsworth and Merton GLA constituency comprising around 500,000 people.

“Can I ask why Heathrow/BA decided to bring in a plane in flames right over central London rather than landing it in a country airfield like Farnborough or some such safer location.

“Could you please provide me with an answer promptly.”

He received a prompt response as requested from Abigail Morris, Heathrow’s Government Relations Manager: “The normal procedure in these circumstances if for the Captain to decide what is the safest course of action, and this is what happened in this case. This is an approved procedure.

I appreciate you wanted a quick answer, and I hope this covers that request, but happy to meet and discuss the procedures in more detail alongside our BA colleagues if this would be helpful.”

Richard Tracey has reported back to his Conservative colleagues on Wandsworth Council, but still they feel that, as the blazing aircraft flew over Hertfordshire and Essex before returning to Heathrow over east London and then the densely populated west London boroughs, a decison should have been taken to divert it to one of the less populated areas with an airport

So in the case of LX487 this seems to have happened but seemingly not in a rush. All speculation but a probable explanation.

What also has stoked interest is that this was the second Swiss International Airlines Avro RJ100 to have a serious engine problem taking off from London City Airport. On March 27th a similar sounding engine fire and explosion prevented a plane taking off, LX437 from London City Airport to Geneva

LH487 copyright chris bushe

copyright chris bushe




LH487 copyright chris bushe

copyright chris bushe

Brentford Fans of Real Football! Conga and Pitch Invasion at Milton Keynes

Brentford fans have had plenty to grumble about over the last decade but the last few years have seen the club spiralling upwards at a frenetic pace. Crowds this season have almost doubled and the supportive atmosphere is almost palpable. Promotion to the Championship was finalised on a very Good Friday and the away game at Milton Keynes was at best a celebratory exercise. Somewhere in the region of 3,500 Bees fans made the trip and from visual inspection that seemed to make up at least 50% of the crowd. The crowd was given as over 10,000 though.

The game was almost irrelevant as the fans sang and played their way through the game. A conga down the aisle, a happy small pitch invasion at the end and a few amusing songs about the joys awaiting MK Dons next season with visits to Fleetwood!

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A Trip to Milton Keynes Dons

There are many opinions about MK Dons and few of them favourable. Visiting their stadium today for the first time was a fairly fascinating experience.

  1. The ground although well signposted as it has no floodlights when one arrives it is really not at all clear that it is a football ground. There is a hotel at the front of the stadium and to a casual observer one is arriving at some multiplex DoubleTree Hilton hotel.
  2. For mere mortals there is no parking at the ground, although as the ground is within a major shopping area, how this is policed is not clear. What however is clear is that getting out of the shopping area parking after the football game might need a lifetime investment.
  3. The ground from the outside looks dull. Black and 50 Shades of Grey. Why?
  4. There are decent KFC and McDonalds on one corner but no signs and effectively hidden from the starving fans
  5. The ground inside was superb. I cannot fault anything about the inside other than the relative lack of toilets and the fact that the toilet floor was covered with some unspecified water, liquid and substances. Not good.
  6. Parking was actually easy opposite the ground in the industrial estates. Escape did take maybe 20 minutes though at the end of the game.

All in all, one of the best grounds I have ever been to.

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Paintings of Brixham by Vincent Van B

Painting IMG_7533 IMG_7538y Daylight Greenways

The Seagulls of Brixham

Sounds like a new rock band. And do not get them mixed up with Eagulls who frankly were the worst band I have ever heard at the recent Teenage Cancer Trust, with the saving grace being their performance was free. Avoid. and to give context these comments come from someone who not only liked Sex Pistols but played their records as DJ.

Anyway the point of this post is to demonstrate the great photographic potential of these perennial and greedy birds, who have real character and look at you in the eye!

IMG_7515 IMG_7517 IMG_7517f IMG_7519 IMG_75192 Juvenile Gull

Concern over Breast Cancer Charity Value

We all would like to rid the world of cancer and most of us donate to some forms of cancer charity. Marie Cure and Cancer Research Uk are amongst usual options. I am slightly troubled by the constant flow of plastic envelopes through the door collecting clothes etc for charity. A quick look at the front cover says ” Recycling in support of AGAINST BREAST CANCER”.  We are then asked to donate our unwanted clothes. This would be instead of going down to the high street to donate to any number of charity shops there. The registered charity number is 1121258. All looks an option. Turning the envelope over there is another more troubling story. “Recycling clothes company Ltd, will donate £75 to AGAINST BREAST CANCER  per tonne of goods received”

A quick search as to how much exactly a tonne is,finds this.

The number of tons a car weighs, depends on the size of the car. Compact cars can weigh from one ton to one and a half tons, while SUV’s can weigh upwards of 2 and a half tons

So donating clothes, which is what this company actually want, will donate 75£ for a ton of clothes, the weight of an average compact car. Does it not seem that if that amount of clothes were donated directly to the charity shop, the amount raised would be considerably in excess of £75.

I leave it to you to judge. My preference would be to give clothes and donations directly to the charity shops in the high streets.

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The Only Way To Stop Brentford Scoring


Brentford get promotion on an exceedingly Good Friday

Having followed Brentford for 50 years days like this are rare and rarely are they better. Looking at the maths just before lunchtime it became apparent that Bees had a chance of being promoted yesterday if they won and results went their way. Both happened. A tense game but perhaps more easily won than score suggests 1-0, a penalty at that, and Bees also missed another at the Ealing Road end…..

But the outpouring of happiness could only be seen in a small club over achieving and now wondering how much further we might go? We are no smaller a club than Fulham. Indeed in those days when Fulham flirted with relegation from Division 4, their crowds were in the 3-4000 mark and Bees rarely got anywhere as low as that in comparable times.

What has happened? Well Mark Warburton has happened. A manager in his first job taking over a third of the way through the season. Without doubt he improved the play and the players. He signed only a small number of good players instead of dozens of me-too’s. My own view that may not be shared by all is that he is a far superior manager to Uwe. That is a compliment and not a put down to Uwe.

These photos below show the exact moment we thought we had won promotion ( in fact because of that crazy Wolves v Rotherhams game, ending 6-4 eventually, we were a little premature).

Just enjoy and share these photos!

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A nice cover version WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS by GREENDAY. Two youngsters.

Take a listen and give it a like on YouTube. These two thirteen year olds have no tuition but sound superb. one singing and one on guitar!




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