Explaining my recent absence

The clock is ticking towards midnight once more. You find me sitting in the dark of the junk room once more. Perhaps I should stop calling it the “junk room”, and call it “the office” – although saying that, the only clear wall is now covered with an aviation sector map of the southern United Kingdom.

Don’t ask.

Actually, perhaps I should tell you what it’s all about. It will explain the absence of new posts from me just recently.

You know how sometimes you pull a loose thread, and it ends up unravelling an entire piece of clothing? That’s busy happening to the idiot escapade I’ve been engaging in since the pandemic.

If you’re not aware, during the pandemic my Dad gave me his old computer – a computer capable of playing video games on – something I had not had for perhaps twenty years. The first thing I bought was a flight simulator – so I could join in with the group my Dad had been meeting up with online for the last decade or so. It kept me out of mischief, and provided a great excuse to spend time with my Dad.

Fast forward a couple of years, and while sharing my idiot exploits in pretend aircraft, I’ve somehow grown a YouTube channel with a lot of subscribers. Enough that the channel is monetised, which provides an added incentive to keep at it.

The problem with churning out content on the internet is you eventually run out of things to share (this blog is a great example of that, I suppose). Thankfully aviation is kind of like an onion – as you pull back one layer, another is exposed below. That’s kind of what’s been going on with the videos pretending to fly planes on the computer.

At some point I thought “wouldn’t it be good if I took a look at what real pilots actually do”, rather than winging it all the time. And that’s how a huge parcel arrived in the house last week – filled with the materials a student pilot might typically acquire in their journey towards a private pilot’s licence.

So I’ve started studying, and recording videos replicating “real world” exercises. You know when you’re near an airfield, and you see a little Cessna go pottering past overhead, with an all-knowing instructor perhaps guiding a nervous student around the local circuit? I’ve been doing that – and recording it – and sharing it.

You know what? It’s exhausting. In the same way that doing mathematics is exhausting.

Playing a video game is one thing – but trying to control a simulated aircraft in authentically simulated weather, and operating it in a manner agreeable with wisened all-knowing certified flight instructors is something else entirely different. And yes, real-world instructors have been watching my exploits, and wading in with helpful (read: chastening, dispiriting, but also helpful) critiques.

So yes. That’s what I’ve been doing.

It started as a tactic to get more views on YouTube, but had rapidly become a huge slippery slope. A slippery slope that scratches a mental itch. I asked for math books for Christmas a few years ago – I suppose this is in the same wheelhouse as that kind of mental idiocy.


It’s late. I should probably be in bed already. We both know I’m going to end up scrolling the internet until 1am, don’t we.

If you’re curious about the YouTube channel, click here 🙂

11 replies on “Explaining my recent absence”

Ah this post was impressive for so many reasons you wouldn’t believe
I stayed up all night researching. At some point I remember switching the lights off and trying to sleep, in vain.
Around 6am I managed to fall asleep and now four hours later I was up again feeling a little exhausted burn out but not sleep deprived in the slightest. In a way I felt like a hamster on the wheel. The wheel sped up, nearly took up, and as the altitude increased I felt a sense of calm over me. I remember the time I flew the first simulator in life. It was for a fighter plane and I didn’t know any control from other but I was excited beyond measures. I grew up around ships and planes and for the last decade I had forgotten all about them; your post brought a lot of memories back.

I am really excited that you’ve made your journey from games to a real life training. Your YouTube channel looks impressive. I’ll watch the videos as soon as I have had some tea in my system 🙂

Not once I thought you’d be the person on the channel there (I briefly looked) but I think as a reader I’ve build a personality of you in my head based on your words and today I had something real to compare it with. 🙂

P.S: as for me, I always thought mathematics is like dancing, one step at a time but that maybe the partial physicist in me speaking 🙂

Liked by 1 person

Oh my word – amazing comment! I’ve done a few all-nighters in the past – I know what that feels like. The worst is the next afternoon when your body desperately wants to shut down, and starts overheating.

Liked by 1 person

I watch your yt which I enjoy.
I did my ppl in 1993 in three weeks…exams written and flying, the lot.
I took three weeks off work and just did it…exhausting.
So good luck in your endeavour ewad the manuals but also do the exams in the back of the books…Great fun

Liked by 1 person

Obviously studying before I went and had two exams to pass first…but it was full on plus the 2 to 3hrs flying a day.
Think they still do it
Clacton aero club.

Liked by 1 person

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