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Mission NPPL – 1st Cross Country Flight Completed

Another mission in the Ikarus C42 completed

Just an update on the Microlight flying front. For those who are reading this (does anybody?!) and don’t already know, since last year I’ve been training to get my pilot’s license – albeit the NPPL (a slightly more restricted version in terms of aircraft weight, but then I can’t afford to fly “real” aircraft on a regular basis). Last week, I managed to do my first qualifying solo cross country for my NPPL license. Quite a warm day, so I knew it was going to be a challenge for me, so I didn’t fly until the afternoon.

Once I had checked the NOTAMs, METARs and TAFs, I printed out the Met Office 214 and 215 charts and headed off down to the field to finish off calculating the wind/drift and fuel calcs, and inspect the trusty steed for flyability.

The plane (my old instructor, Ben, used to hate me calling an aircraft a plane) had recently been serviced, so was running sweet as a nut. Apart from almost flying into a buzzard on the way out to Shobdon, the trip was uneventful (the best kind).

Again, many thanks to Steve Wilkes of for letting me loose in his lovely Ikarus C42, and to Les for the constant encouragement!

Designing a typeface

Designing type is one of the most challenging areas of design – especially in this day and age, when there are so many typefaces to choose from. For some time I have taken a keen interest in typography, particularly in the art of designing type. I don’t aim to become a type designer by trade – it is such a specialist field, that to become productive enough to earn a living at it could take several years. Read More…

Dobermann Rescue Association

We love our Dobeys

Layla and Kira - the dobeys that we adoptedWe’re animal lovers at Sant Media, and anyone who knows me (Steve Sant) will know that we have rehomed a couple of dobeys over the past decade (you can see Layla, top, and Kira, bottom, to the right). Sadly, Layla is no longer with us, but Kira soon came along!

It always saddens us to see any animal in distress, so we decided to help out an animal rescue organisaion that is close to our hearts. The Dobermann Rescue Association is run by a lovely lady called Chris Omar, who has many, many years experience with dogs, and specifically Dobermann’s. For the past year we have regularly donated to the centre, and keep in touch with other enthusiasts of DRA via their website

My dippy, loyal friend

The breed has such an awful and completely undeserved reputation. I’m sure you have heard this before in connection with other breeds – but the dobermann was never and has never been bred for fighting. The breed was originally bred as a protection breed, and has served in military and police forces for years, although more recently replaced by the German Sheppard.

If you feel you might have space in your life to look after a large dog, then please take a look at the DRA website. Or, if travel is an issue, please contact us, as there are other dobermann rescue centres closer to the midlands.

Watch Layla’s lifestory from when we first saw her in rescue.

The NHS SCR Summary Care Record Scandal – Why Opt Out

Security and the NHS - Oil and Water?If you are concerned by the piece of paper that recently came through your door regarding the Summary Care Record the NHS want to computerise, then this article is for you. If you are concerned that the NHS might not be equipped to keep your information secure, then this article is for you. If you are worried that your personal data might fall into the wrong hands by being left on a laptop on the back seat of a car in a public car park, then this article is for you!

It is no secret within the industry that the NHS has a poor record of data security. ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) deputy commissioner David Smith has now singled out the National Health Service (NHS) as being the worst in the UK when it comes to breaches in data security. It comes as little surprise to me. Several years experience in an NHS Health Authority (later PCT) I.T. department exposed me to staggering lapses in security of patient data, and the complacency of senior management when concerns were voiced. Read More…

The flying agoraphobic goes solo!

It’s not easy learning to fly when you have travel phobias and chronic fatigue… As a few of you who know me will realise, I have gone out of my way to conquer things starting last year by learning to fly microlights at Hadair Microlight Airsports, at Halfpenny Green Airport. It’s been a lot of fun, and very challenging. Thanks to my Buddhism for helping me to maintain a slightly calmer state of mind, and to Dr Sarah Myhill for her chronic fatigue mitochondria support regime I am continuing to steadily improve, so that I can now have a bit of energy left over from my work day to enjoy some leisure activities.

I must say a huge thank you to Les, my instructor. He has the patience of a saint, and one of the most calming influences I could ever hope for in the air. I must also give my continued thanks to Steve Wilkes, owner of Hadair for letting me loose in his microlight aircraft, and his own brand of encouragement (more akin to a boot up the arse, but sometimes it’s required!) and for running the most friendly – yet serious – flight school. Read More…

Radio Telephony Exam – Passed today!

Just a quick update to my flying diary. Today was the culminative ground school, and practical examination for my FRTOL (Flight Radio Telephony Operators License – aviators love acronyms!). Last week I managed to pass the written test, which wasn’t too bad – just a multiple choice paper. This week it was somewhat more stressful. Read More…