On February 19th 2012, I published the first entry in this blog. This note will be the 577th offering, rounding up over the decade to a weekly entry of around 530 words and 8 photos. At 306,559 words in total, I'm snapping at the heels of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, though I have no illusions about the literary content of A Special Builder's Notes. Another interesting stat is that there are 4884 photos to gawp at and the most viewed picture - by a long chalk - is A.V. Roe's illustration of the 'Standard Pilot' - from where I derived the title for my flying memoir.
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since 2012. The Model A Ford, the Bayliss Thomas and the Hillman 14 tourer are all distant memories. 'Sunita', my first Special based on a 1938 Austin Ruby chassis, has now twice changed hands...
... and my flying days are long gone. The Avro was last reported as a pile of bits at the back of the film director Peter Jackson's hangar, having suffered an engine failure after take-off in New Zealand). My Evans VP1 was destroyed following an aerial collision in Montenegro, but happily my old Jodel is still going strong somewhere in Yorkshire. The Pietonpol Aircamper I started to build back in the early 90's had its first flight last year, though there's still no news of the almost complete Currie Wot project that I also sold on around that time.
All good things come to an end and Wordpress as a platform for me as a diarist, is also on the way out. The way the new and 'improved' Wordpress works is not helpful and despite an enormous pushback from the platform's users, the concessions made by the 'Happiness Team' have continued to strangle the classic format in a way that makes it unworkable. I think I said some time ago that I would be creating a website of my own, one that would allow me to continue my blog unhindered by the complications that in the name of progress, now prevail with Wordpress.
Here's a look at the new site. The format is much the same in style - I find it easy on the eye and I like the continuity. A page will be included that links directly to A Standard Pilot's Notes which for those interested, you will be able to read online. At the time of publishing in 1996, it received generous reviews from the aviation press around the world, one reviewer suggesting that "an aviation library would be incomplete without it". It's a romp through the highs and lows of building and operating an Avro 504k on the airshow circuit. There'll also be archives and in time, a 'For Sale' page on which I'll advertise the clutter I've accumulated over the last - I don't know how long.
I'll be posting a link to the new site as soon as I can - there are some finishing touches to address - and there should be no interruption to normal service. Thanks everyone for your support and comments; here's to the next 10 years.