Welcome to the 16th year of the millennium.


I wasn’t going to say the clichéd Happy New Year, its a bit late for that. Hence the alternative title for this piece, which is as usual ramblings about me, life and the universe. I can’t believe that a year ago I was swimming in the Great Barrier Reef off the eastern Australian coast, so where has that year gone. I also pass another milestone in 8 weeks when I officially become a pensioner. Excuse me! How do that creep up?

No, I’m still 41 in my mind (the amount of hair I have and the creaky joints belie that!), but to actually get to 65? No way José. On January 9th I celebrated the day I joined the RAF in 1968, that’s 48 years ago for Gods sake! And I left that in 1997, almost 20 years ago, again whaaaat! The point is that time creeps up on one and flashes by without you realising it. If I last that long I’ll be 80 in 15 years, yet the last 15 years which I started as a mere boy of 50 seems like a split second. Lots has happened in that time, like it does to everyone so maybe that us the problem. I was thinking to myself that the longest period of my life was when I was stationed in Germany for 3 1/2 years, it seemed to go on forever. Yet 3 1/2 years ago I was an Olympic Games Maker (see previous entries), and that time has indeed gone very quickly, so quickly it’s frightening. Do other people feel the quickness of life passing by? Judging by conversations with people of all ages, yes it does. Are the days and minutes getting shorter? Is the earth slowing down or speeding up? (Can’t decide which would shorten time). It must be something like that, or time would remain constant as you get older; but it clearly doesn’t.

The outpouring of grief for a aging rock star, the overblown media coverage, extensive appraisals of their work. In one case, definitely a one hit wonder who was more known for his performing style than his extensive catalogue, on the other hand an iconic and long established composer and stylistic performer who produced many hit records. Although both were roughly the same age, David Bowie had considerably more success than Lemmy from Motorhead. But the amount of social media where people seem to think Bowie is part of their family is absolutley incredible; unlike with Lemmy who had a harder edge altogether. Granted Bowie was a musical genius, a producer and he wrote some iconic songs. He was also a skilful actor, and an iconic and quirky performance artist. At 69 he would not have been well known to many of the younger element of the music listening public, and some of his later stuff, like his final album Blackstar released on his birthday last week was not a patch on his earlier stuff and smacked of just wanting to get something out to celebrate his passing, which he presumably knew was coming soon. But I admired Bowie’s work and have a couple of his albums, so why aren’t I wailing and knashing my teeth at his passing? Because death happens to us all, no-one is immune and its an inevitable part if life, its sad he’s gone but all the tears and outpouring of grief is going to bring him back. I’m sorry for his family, and hope they alone can cope with his death, the rest of don’t need to. As to Lemmy, well he had a loyal and supportive following, but is only remembered for the iconic ‘Ace of Spades’, which is to be fair one of the great anthems of our time, and Lemmy was a great exponent of it with his tilted head back singing style singing up into an angled down microphone. He said it was so he could look up and not at the audience, at least that sounded genuine. My surprise is that he lasted to 70, despite until a few years ago drinking industrial quantities of Jack Daniels, and chain smoking many daily cigarettes. So a typical rock and roll lifestyle, it didn’t seem to curtail his life that much, so yah boo sucks to all the who think a microbiotic, gluten free, taste free diet will prolong their life more than if they follow these diets. Good ole Lemmy, he lived his life like he didn’t care what anyone else thought, and when told of his diagnosis, he reportedly said fuck it I’ve had enough or words to that effect. Coincidentally David and Lemmy both lived in New York. Something in the air? Thunderclap Newton don’t live there I don’t think.

Great for Tim Peake doing a space walk. That is some feat, only achieved by 215 people since the start of space exploration. Even more fascinating was watching it on BBC; worth the licence fee alone. He was the ultimate in cool though when his helmet stating filling with water. He got in before it got really bad. The other amazing thing was the size of the ISS or International Space Station. When you saw Tim against the side of the ISS, he appeared quite small. It’s an incredible achievement. I only wonder how they took enough material to produce oxygen for 6 months and how they deal with effluent. I’ll keep watching this space mission.

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About cliverh

Retired aerospace engineer, first with the Royal Air Force and then BAE Systems. Now enjoying a variety of activities and not getting bored. I was a Games Maker Volunteer at the London 2012 Olympics and a volunteer at the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. I intend to blog about what interests me.
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