I am a hero pilot

Aeroplane in sky takeoffI was working hard on an assignment the other day, when I inevitably got distracted by YouTube. An hour later, I’d done little work – but I’d watched hundreds of videos of amazing airplane landings.

I love this kind of stuff and it’s amazing to see the skill that pilots have when landing their planes under huge amounts of pressure.

With the lives of everyone on-board in their hands, they have to handle freak weather conditions, landing gear failures and burning engines, to safely touch down and evacuate all the passengers.

The most amazing landing I’ve ever seen still has to be the bloke who landed a plane in the Hudson River in New York, a few years ago. Reading about it, I discovered that even after landing the plane and saving everyone, he was still the last person to get off it – repeatedly checking to make sure everyone else had safely disembarked. What a guy!

All this video watching left me feeling pretty inspired. So I went shopping and bought a copy of a flight simulator for my laptop.

I know it’s pretty sad, but I’m completely hooked. Successfully lifting off and landing a plane – without incident – takes some real skill and concentration, and I’m slowly getting better at it.

It can, however, be a bit dull simply flying from place to place, so I was chuffed when I found an app on my phone that adds a little more excitement.

The mobile game puts you in an emergency situation and gives you the chance to try to successfully land the plane. With huge turbulences to deal with, and engine failures coming thick and fast, this is easier said than done.

Landing without harming any of the virtual passengers is really hard and gives you a real insight into how heroic real pilots are when they touch down safely in these situations. Unlike me, they can’t keep retrying if they make a mistake.

Playing squash for the first time

It is time for me to get fit. I am not just saying that, I really do need to shed the pounds.

Last year I lived in a house that was thirty minutes or so away from uni., which meant I did a significant amount of walking on a daily basis.

At the time, I remember thinking I should probably be losing weight from doing so much walking, but back then I didn’t notice any benefits at all. In hindsight, I have realised my daily walking was actually helping to keep my weight in balance.

Now I have stopped walking so much, I am steadily getting porkier. I am not fat, by any means, but it is getting to the point where I need to take some action to fight off the moobs.

I have two choices; eat and drink less rubbish or continue eating and drinking rubbish, but do some exercise. I have chosen to take option number two and last week I signed up to play squash for the first time, at the uni. club.

I have just returned from my first time playing and training with them and I quite enjoyed it, despite being pretty useless at the sport.

I have played tennis before, but apparently that is not really an advantage, as the techniques required are very different.

Squash is harder work than I expected and involves a lot of running. It is a very tactical sport and I found my biggest problem was that I struggled to predict where my opponent was going to hit the ball. This meant I was reacting far too late on a consistent basis.

While I enjoyed it, my problem was that there is not really anyone else at the squash club who is a complete beginner. This meant I stuck out like a bit of a sore thumb. To get past this problem I think, in future, I will have to try and persuade a friend to come along with me. If not I am going to continue being ritually humiliated each time I play.

Blogging about blogging?

Blog Blog BlogI love blogging, but occasionally I find it hard to find any inspiration. I end up sitting here for hours, staring at the blank computer screen before I think of something to witter on about.

As you may already have guessed, I am experiencing a bad case of writer’s block right now. To get past it, I am just going to write and see what happens, so stick with it.

I often start writing when I am a bit bored, as I find it entertaining to remember things I have done and write them up for posterity. I suppose in that in a way it is a little like a modern version of a diary.

Don’t get me wrong, I know this website isn’t a masterpiece, but I do enjoy looking back through it occasionally and remembering the good times.

Sometimes I think I should focus the effort I put into this blog into some more formal writing. Maybe I could write a novel or a sitcom. I know I wouldn’t be able to find the motivation to sustain a project like that for long, however.

With a blog, I can sit down; let whatever I have got in my head at that moment out and then just move on. There is no pressure to write and I can do it whenever I feel like it.

Also, I can write about anything I want; sport, music or going out, it is completely up to me. I can even write about not having anything to write about if I really want to.

Oh well, not every blog can be a winner. If you have made it to the end of this one, I salute you.

Time for a new sport

Football pitchI love watching sport, but sometimes it can irritate me beyond all belief. I used to be a massive football fan, but just recently, I have tired of the beautiful game.

I know it is a common complaint, but watching players dive about, complain to refs and fake injuries, just makes my stomach turn.

I have recently managed to persuade my flatmates to get Sky Sports installed in our house and so I decided to spend a weekend checking out what other sports are on offer.

My first stop was cricket, but no thanks. I have successfully made it through a 20-20 match in the past, which was nice and short, but I wouldn’t say I particularly enjoyed it. One thing is for certain, I definitely didn’t enjoy the test match I was forced to endure.

My friend said a 20-20 game is like trying to tell a complex story in a Twitter message, while a test match is like a fully formed novel, with twists and turns throughout. I had no idea what he was talking about and quickly realised he must like very boring novels; nothing happened for hours and hours.

I can watch tennis, but like the rest of the country, I’m only really interested in Wimbledon.

I was about to give up on my quest for new sport when I decided to try watching rugby. I immediately learned that there are actually two distinct sports that both call themselves rugby, league and union. I wasn’t overly impressed with union, as there weren’t many tries and I found it a bit dull watching scrums collapse time and time again.

I was pretty taken with rugby league however. The game looked quick and skilful, even though I had no idea what on earth was happening at any point. I was most impressed by how respectful the players were to the referee, though; it made a very nice change from football.

If a decision went against a team or player, they simply got on with the game instead of rushing up to the referee like spoiled children; all very impressive.

I am going to keep looking into other sports and am hoping I’ll find the perfect one for soon.

Changing the strings on my guitar

I have been playing the guitar for a few months now and I’m really enjoying it. Well, I was until the moment a string snapped, whipping up and slapping me right across the cheek.

It hurt a bit, but I was more concerned about getting my guitar back into full working order. I headed out to buy a new set of strings and put them on.

I honestly had no idea that such a simple task could turn out to be so difficult. I watched videos, I read the instructions and yet nothing prepared me for the afternoon of misery that was to follow.

Getting the strings to stay on has turned out to be an absolute nightmare. Whenever I think I have cracked it and am sure the strings are going to stay in place, they suddenly make a horrible noise and loosen.

After hours of toil, I had to give up. I had tried everything. I even got my housemate to have a go at it, he used to play the guitar, but he couldn’t get his head around to process either. We cannot work out whether we are being stupid or there is something wrong with the instrument.

I am not going to lie, as I type this blog; I’ve got blisters all over my fingers from turning the tuning pegs, trying to get the strings to tighten.

If you have any advice to offer on what I am doing wrong, please leave a comment. I would be grateful if you could leave out the smug ‘try Google’ ones though, I already have and nothing works.

I get the nasty feeling I am going to have to spend my student loan on a new guitar if I cannot find a way to fix it soon.

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