This weekend was the Axon Summer party at Brighton. We had a good trip down there around the M25 and M23 and finally were delayed along the Brighton front as we made our way to the Grand Hotel.
After booking and having our car taken away from us, we caught the coach to the Racecourse where the afternoon entertainment was taking place. Lunch was a BBQ, with lashings of beer. Played on the dogem cars, quad bikes and a simulator for the Aintree Grand National race. This time I did not turn the quad bike over. There were other activities, laser clay shooting, Pilot Bikes and a show for the kids. The weather held out, and got brighter as the day progressed.
Made our way to the hotel, our room was on the front, so had a good view of the see. We went for quick swim, and then down for the evening meal. Managed to speak to the head honcho Mark Hunter during the cocktail event. He gave his view of financial analysts, which was not very polite.
The meal was pretty good, and the evening continued with usual formula of gambling, disco and slot car racing.
In the morning breakfast, and then visited Karen and her boy friend in their room. She had been booked into a honeymoon suite as they are getting married next Saturday. It was magnificent with a four poster bed in a large room, and another lounge with television sofas and writing tables. We then headed back home in the rain. Not much else during the day just relaxed. Rain held off later, so was able to do some mowing around the field.
We had an wonderful weekend visiting prehistoric monuments in Wessex with Andante travel. More details and pictures to be posted on the website later.
We travelled to Salisbury on Friday for an evening lecture on Stonehenge.
On Saturday we started early for a private trip around stonehenge. Here we were able to walk among the stones. After the visit, which had to end before 8.30, before the general public arrived, we had a walk through the prehistoric landscape of stonehenge.
Picnic lunch in the afternoon, then a visit to the Trust for Wessex Archaeology, and a visit of Salisbury Museum.
Supper was provided by Andante and was excellant.
On Sunday we went to Knap Hill by coach, and walked from there along the Wansdyke to the burial chambers of West Kennet long barrow. We passed by Milk Hill, and Tan Hill. I saw a paraglider and hangglider flying Milk Hill.
After the barrow we walked on the Avebury passing Silbury Hill. Excellant picnic lunch by Andante, and then a visit to the stones. Back on the coach to Salisbury and then on home in the car.
Rosemary and I were going down to Salisbury for the weekend, so we had decided to take the Friday off from work. Friday the wind was blowing from the North West, so this was an ideal time to try some flying at Coombe.
We arrived at around 1.30. There were some 30-40 paragliders and hang gliders around. I set up and launched very quickly, but had to do a slope landing as I was going down. I had missed the thermal cycle and everyone else was coming down.
I set up to launch again, and had a couple of bad attempts at launching. The wind from the termals was quite stong. I did learn a few tips on how to control the glider when it was upside down on the ground.
I waited around for a quieter phase, launched and had a 20 minute flight in front of the hill. It was quite rough, going from 8 ups to 4 downs. Rosemary said she saw many gliders with their wind tips folding.
I set up for a third flight, but soon went down. That was it for the day as we had to be in Salisbury for a meeting at 8.30
Today is the last day. Yesterday evening we were taken by coach to an industrial site and were herded into a large warehouse. (Usual purpose was go cart racing. The entrance was made into a tube on its side with smoke effects, and creatures, dressed as insects on stilts greeting the visitors.
In the warehouse we had food, good food, and drink and music. The organisers had set up 2 stages, and 3 bands played 4 sets. They were pretty good, and yes there was crowd surfing and stage diving at an IBM conference. The first band a jazz like, the rest were rock. When the bands finished at midnight a disco continued. I had had enough, and only live music is worth the effort, so of home to bed.
It was a pretty good event, and I was pretty hot and sweaty after event. Well done IBM.
Today I have three sessions I want to attend, just hope I do not snore too loudly.
Made it through the last sessions which were very interesting presentations of the new features of Websphere 5.0.
Then back in to town to buy some Sacher Torte for Rosemary. Good flight back.