Friday, November 20, 2009

SA living for 3 weeks!

Hey guys,
Howz it?!
So, I've now been in South Africa for 3 weeks. Deffinately feels longer though. Since I last wrote I have been up to loads. We had the Cameroon staff xmas party where we went for dinner then went on to this great club FTV (Fashion TV). Was a great night and once again was totally paninied! Had to work on Friday which was hell, I was very delicate.
Then on Sat night it was the re-opening of a big club in Joburg called Taboo. My cousins, Friends and I were invited to the Pre VIP party at 8pm and then the club was to open to everyone else at 10.30. After doing 4 shots of vodka at my cousins house, we got to Taboo at 8.30. I was once again smashed. It was such a fab night though. There was even a tattoo stand inside and due to my drunkeness I nearly got one. Yet I didn't. Mother can breathe! We stayed until 2ish.
The next day was spent with 8 of my little cousins, 3 of the older ones and one aunt. Was a fun day. We went to the flea market then took the kids to the arcade. Kept them amused for hours.
Since then I have been working every day and seeing friends and family. At the moment Im ill which isnt fun but im gettin better.
Missing you all.
Please send me messages regarding anything..

Loves ya..

Little Miss V..xx

Monday, November 9, 2009

South Africa living!

Hey guys
So sorry i have not recently updated.. I have been so busy. I don't even know where to start!
So, I started working at my cousins clothes shop in Joburg called Cameroon. Its a really nice shop with awesome clothes.
I went to see my cousin who I had not seen for 9 years which was awesome and also met her 4 kids in which she has had in those 4 years so that was great.
Went clubbing last Sat and got totally barstooled and fell asleep in the club!
I went to the theatre to see "knights of music" which was really nice. Then went to the casino and won 400rand which is about 33pounds! wooop!
Saturday night I went to the theatre and saw Cats which was good and on Sunday I went to the Dam which is an area 45 mins away from Joburg where my cousins own a house on the lake. It was so stunning there, so peaceful and calm and so hot aswel. After a boiling day there was a massive thunder storm which was mad as the lightning was going off 5 places at once, splitting the sky. I have never seen such a thing in my life.

Life in SA is very different to home. They live behind gates and security alarms and guards. In London, if we wanna go out we can get cabs, in SA, they don't they drive everywhere even if drinking. If we wanna go home, we unlock one door with a key. The open a garage door, unlock a gate, unlock the door then put the alarm on. It is mad. People stand in the roads begging for money, clothes, food, anything. Women will even sit on a curb with their babies its awful.

I am having loads of fun though and enjoying my time away.
Missing everyone at home and answering all your quetions. Dont forget to message me anything. Will try update again soon guys. But, for now.. peace out..

Loves yA..

Little Miss V..xx

Friday, October 30, 2009

Im In Saffa Land.. Howz IT!?

Hey Yall,
So, Im in South Africa!!
Where to start.... Well, currently im sittin in the study in my cousins house which rocks. It is stunning.
But lets go back...
So, My mum, sister, bestie Amy and my puppy Milo took me to the airport. My suitcase was wayyyy overweight but the lovely lady let it go, hand luggage on the pther hand she didn't and I had to remove items!
Said my goodbyes and got extremely emotioal and started crying. Then im standing waiting to have my bags checked and I realise I don't have my camera so I burst out crying. People were staring at me hard!
Went through, got a few bits and bobs then on board the flight. Now, I hate planes! I hate the smell, the feel, the look, the uncomfortableness, everything!
As I got on, I told an air stewardess I was not a good flyer and was by myself. Then, started crying again. Then an air steward called Paul came to talk to me and looked after me. He calmed me down with juice and wise words! He actually sat with me for take off aswel. So, by myself for a ten hour flight when you hate planes is not fun. I had a window seat, a girl called Nicola (who was so sweet) had the end seat and the middle was free!
My mum gave me some herbal sleeping pills but then didn't help me sleep. They relaxed me but made me uber emotional and I cried at everything. I watched the film "Up" and even cried watching that and its an animated pixar movie.
Had some dinner then managed to sleep on and off for two hours and watched two other films aswel. Virgin had a great collection. Finally, after 10 hours we landed and I couldn't have been more happy. I thanked all the staff who were so lovely to me, including Paul, a stewardess called Kate and a HOT steward called John. He was gay. GUTTED!
Got my luggage and came through to see my cousin waiting for me. Having a cigerette after 12 hours was amazing!
Came back to my cousins house which is stunnning and slept for a few hours. My cousins maid, Patience is so sweet she keeps wanting to do things for me which is weird. Im used to my mum begging me to get off my arse and do something!
Now blogging away then gonna unpack and go for dinner with the family..
Peace for now.. Miss u all..

Little Miss V..xx

Monday, October 26, 2009

X Factor Madness!

Hi Friends!
So, I am very upset Miss Frank were booted off the X factor this week! I thought they were great and Graziella (the rapper) is cousins of a friend of mine, so I voted for them. They really do have talent and I hope they continue to perform together!
Danyl, seems to be a favourite of a lot of people so was surprising that he was also in the bottom two. Personally, I don't like him. The way he sings out of the side of his mouth annoys me, he is arrogant and his voice just is not for me. But don't get me wrong, I do not think he deserved to be in the bottom two.
How did Lloyd and the Jedward TWAT twins get through? I have to say, Lloyds performance wasn't too bad but the twins... OH MY! They are ridiculous! I can't tell the two apart but which ever one wore the red outfit on Saturday night, was completely out of time and had no rhythm and had to copy his twin in the bogey colour suit the WHOLE time. Who is actually voting for them!? Im assuming some sort of coke whore and mentally issued people.. Oh, and Peaches Geldof! They have no talent! Fine, they may be funny & entertaining, but this is the X Factor, a singing competition.. Not a "lets entertain the country" competition. Personally, I think its a fix! There is no way everyone in the UK is still voting for them.
They were getting so much bad press, the presenters were told to be EXTREMELY nice to them while on camera. So, if you watch closely, youll see Dermot on the live show big them up and Holly on Xtra Factor does too. Its ridiculous.
Any way, DO NOT vote for them!!
What was Rachel all about?! Her outfit was HOT but is it just me or was she trying to be like Stacey? With the dappy act going on!
I have to say, Stacey Soloman deffo has my vote. She rocks. Her personality is great and she can sing and she is just so down to earth. Her and Jamie Afro have my vote the whole way..

Any way, Have a great day peeps..

Loves Ya..

Little Miss V..xx

Thursday, October 22, 2009

'For those interested in bombs'


I couldn't embed this BBC video but here's a link to the Newsnight clip. Reporter Mark Urban visits the The IEDD Felix Centre at DM Kineton, Warwickshire. The clip is called 'Learning to be a bomb disposal operator'.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What A Weekend!!


Hey guys,
So, I had an awesome weekend. Saturday, I finished my Threading course at college. Its so hard but I will keep practicing! Saturday night was my leaving drinks as im going to South Africa for 3 months. My sister & best friends Amy & Rich told me we were going for dinner but needed to pop home so as I walked in... SURPRISEEEEE.. my nearerst and dearest were in my living room waiting for me.. I was so shocked I kind of just stood there looking at my mum. My parents and sister rock! So awesome of them to do that for me and I also got some great gifts :-)
My friends and I then went on to Electric Ballroom in Camden. I was off my trolley to be honest. Was a very amusing night! When in the car on the way back to Amy & Richards I felt sooo sick and knew a hangover would be there in the morning! Thank god for Richard, he made me a fry up :-)
Sunday night I had a friends leaving drinks in our local pub! Everybody seems to be leaving England.. Maybe cos it is way too cold.

Any way, have a nice day..

Little Miss V.. xx

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gotta love a random!!


Morning Friends,
So, last night I had the most awesome and random night. I was sat at home, bored so called my friend Amy to tell her we are doing a random night which she was well up for. Picked her up then we picked up our friend Lindsay.
We drove up to Central London with a big sing a long going on. We parked up in Soho Square and as we did, a tramp jumped on the bonnett of my car and we were all screaming. Got out and met up with Curtis, my friend who is in the theatre production of Hairspray. We then walked down SoHo to a Rock'n'Roll club which on the internet, had great reviews. We walked in there and as we did, it felt like we had changed era and gone into the 50's. Couples were dancing and swinging. Women were wearing small cardigans and skirts and the guys had side partings. I felt like I was in the scene in Pearl Harbour or A League Of Their Own where they are in that kind of dance club. Amy and I attempted to dance but people actually laughed at us so we left.
Curtis then left us and went home whilst Linds, Amy and I walked down Tottenham Court Road. We then decided to just walk!
We then ended up getting persuaded into going to a kareoke bar. We went in, sang a song and left!
We then ended up at the Trocadero where we played games and went on bumper cars. I have never laughed so much in my life going round and round in a circle!
We then left and walked through China Town. As we were walking through, I saw a boy who was in my year at high school. My friends and I started talking to him and he had the cheek to ask me to give him £20 and I hadn't even seen the boy for like 5 years!!
As we were walking back to the car we went into a corner shop to get a drink. Amy then had a fight with the owner and through her drink of the floor and walked out!
As we got back into the car, Lindsay started screaming (again) which then set us all off. I quickly locked my doors and looked to see what was going on! There was a man, sat on the curb just looking at us through the windows. We screamed and he didn't move. He was sat Lindsay's side but wasn't there before as she got in the car there. We drove off then turned around and he was gone. Then, driving down an empty street, there was a bang on my car yet no one in sight. He was most certainly a ghost! (Well, thats what we think)
Anyway, had a shaken up drive home but got home safe and sound.
All in all was such an awesome night!

Loves ya..

Little Miss V..xx

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mind Games!

Good Morning friends!
So, my friend tells me last night that she is confused. A guy she is seeing just keeps playing mind games and she doesn't know what to do!

In my opinion, I think games are silly. If you like someone, don't beat around the bush, just tell them! Playing games can sometimes lead the person on to get bored and they will just walk away. Don't get me wrong, some guys will fall at your feet the longer you hold it out and play with him but, don't play mind games.
I also think men play mind games with the girl they like because they feel emotionally insecure. A man will never admit that to you but it is obvious that even though they put on this tough exterior, guys can crumble just as easily as girls. Guys might play mind games just to tease their partner, others play these games to prove their superiority.

Be straight people, keep it simple and show your feelings!

Loves ya..

Little Miss V..xx

Monday, October 12, 2009

How I Love A Weekend!

Hey friends!
So, i had a great weekend!
Saturday day, i started my threading course. Not as in knitting but hair threading. It was so hard but was nice to learn and next Sat is my last day!
Saturday night I went clubbing to Vendome, in Mayfair. My friend Amy and I got rather boot legged and had great fun. We then went onto The Mayfair Bar. This was great fun for me as the bar is in the Mayfair Hotel where I used to work! Free Champagne rocks, thanks Rohan. My good friend Everson still works there and he told me he is getting married soon so I can't wait for that. There is a new guy there called Chris, who I must say is Gorgeous!! The girls there rocked too!!
Sunday was lazy day. spent most of my day in bed which was awesome.In the evening I went over to watch X factor with my best friend Richard and had such a laugh with him and Amy and Amir. Good times!
Its now Monday and back at work.. sucks!

Any way, till the next post..

Little Miss v xx

PS.. If your ever looking for a nice bar to hang out in, I highly recommend The Mayfair Bar.. They do the best Mojitos!! :-)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The upsetting thing of life..Death..

Hi friends,

So yesterday I was very sad. I had to attend the funeral of my friends mother. He is my age which must make things very hard. He acted very strong and I was so proud of him. If it was my mother (god forbid) I really don't know what i would do with myself!
He was very blessed to have so many people around him and comforting him. I think with death, the important thing is to get support from people you trust. Your family and friends all understand what you're dealing with, and will want to help. Exactly how you deal with it is down to you. Whether you want to talk about your feelings, reflect on your loss, or simply get out to take your mind off things, just do whatever feels right and makes you feel better.

If your friend has lost someone close to them, don't be scared to talk to them about how they feel, and to say that you are sorry for their loss. Let them know you're there for them if they want to sound off angrily, cry on your shoulder, or get out to do something to distract themselves for a while. Try not to avoid them unless they ask for some space, this may make them feel worse than they do already, and it's a time when they need to know who their friends are.

Hope this is some good advice for anyone grieving or has a friend that is..

Love Little Miss V.xx

Friday, October 2, 2009

From Radio to Red Carpet!


Good morning friends!
What a busy day i had yesterday! Worked til 1pm, then I joined my wonderful & talented sister on her radio station Westside FM. I co-presented with her and was so much fun. Could not believe how amazing and natural she really was on the radio, where as I sounded like a man!
Great times though!

After the radio we headed to Regent Street to Hamleys for the BBC Children in Need launch party. What a fun night. It all started by walking up a red carpet with paps papping away.. I honestly felt famous! We met up with Theo Gellatly, an awesome guy who is also the owner of BAM! Management. Theo was with one of his clients, Nadine. I absolutely love this girl. Her style reminded me of Billie Holliday and she really is such an awesome, down to earth girl. You can check out her music via myspace.. www.myspace.com/nadinewildpalmermusic.

There were a lot of HOT guys there including the "Here come the Boys" chip'n'dale act.. I think i dribbled! Dotty from Eastenders was there with her little pigtails still in but I must say, she looked quite miserable. Anthony Costa, Mo from BB and some other Z listers were there. Apparently Cheryl Cole was due to turn up but I didnt see her. Met Pudsy bear too :-)

Great day all in all...

Love Little Miss V xx

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Your over him, but he wants you back.....

So, what happens when you finally get over your ex boyfriend, you've moved on and now he wants you back!?
This is one of the things will frustrate us girls more than anything. Its always the "what you want you can't have" scenario that make you want some one more.
Its happened to me. I was obsessed with a boyfriend for years after we broke up! Then, when I finally grew up and was over it, he was on me like a rash. Felt so good getting the power and doing things my way!

So now, its a problem for a friend of mine. She was with her boyfriend for a year, they broke up and now she has a new guy. Her ex has found out and has got in contact with her and told her he is still in love with her. She knows she will always love him but now she has her new guy, so, what to do?

In my opinion, an ex is an ex for a reason. There was clearly something not right there. One of you screwed up. I think the reason we always go back to an ex is because we are used to them. We know their ups and downs and flaws but we loved that about them.
My advice to my friend was to see how it goes with this guy, he could be her prince charming. She could leave him and go back to her ex but things could once again not work out and then she would have lost both men!

Good luck!!

Little Miss V xx

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can Men And Women Really Just Be Friends??

Now, this is probably one of the toughest questions out there, and does any one actually know a real or even a good answer for this!?
I'm sure whilst reading this, you are thinking of a time you had with a guy, where you were friends, then something happened but the friendship either got stronger or weakened.
Personally, it has happened to me. Its happened to the best of us.

I have a best friend, we have been for years but there was always the "if" factor there. We always thought we would get married and have kids. That was until we actually got together and realised it wasn't meant to be, but now the friendship isn't as great either. It's always going to be one of more difficult situations in life.

I decided to ask my sister this question and she told me her friend is actually having this problem right now. They have been friends for years, like brother and sister even, but recently he has hinted that he feels more for her. She does not feel the same therefore does not want to bring up the subject because if he says that yes, he does feel more for her, this could be awkward.

If he really is her best friend, he has seen her at her worst. Slumbering around in PJ's, being depressed, first thing in the morning, sick as a dog and she has most likely farted in front of him. All this meaning she felt very comfortable around him. So this could only mean one thing if he does really like her....
Guys are attracted to our flaws!!!!!

Men dont believe we can just be friends but women do... men out there, is this true??

Hard Love!

So, My friend just came to me with this question...

"If u like someone do you just come right out and say it even if you have no idea of the response???"

My response:

Life is too short to wonder about silly things. If you like someone, tell them! If they don't feel the same then screw them! In life its better to regret the things you do, than regret the things you don't. The longer you hold on to it and wonder, the more it'll hurt. So just tell the person how you feel. It may be the best day of your life when they turn around and tell you that they feel the same. If they don't, oh well, life is a bitch and you move on. Plenty more fish in the sea!!

Love Little Miss V xx


Travelling..

So, it seems due to the recent changes, everyone is buggering off!
I have a friend in Austriala now, one of my best friends leaving to go travelling next week, one going to Israel for a few months, me going to South Africa for 3 months then my fb love going travelling aswel.
Is London really that sucky?
I know i cant wait to get to the summer of South Africa and get away from this miserable weather. i look out the window now and its just grey and vile.
We didnt even have a summer, a few measley days of sun!
Is any one else going travelling??

What Love Might Be.. A poem written By Leah Anna B..

So we're back to this
You continually make a fool of me but
I cant.. won't miss
A thing.

Can't let go of us
Can't never know
Why am I so stupid
Always falling for men i cant trust.
Save me..
I know im going to need saving

For when u break me
- And u will break me.

It'll be like before
I'll shatter to the floor
When the pain overtakes me
Then 'I won't care anymore'
It's inevitable
Why do i bother at all?

Especially as you are who you are
And you do what you do
And girls love you,
But not because YOU are YOU.
They love the name
They love the idea
They want the dream
I know those are the girls you fear
And that's why u wont come near me
Not really
That wall is just as high as it was
The first day i met you
And i thought 'im in for it now..'
Cus i knew i wouldnt be able to forget u
And SURPRISE SURPRISE
I'm still here
Still at your beck and call
Still more than willing to risk it all
When i know.. soon you'll walk away
And you won't even look back to watch me
Fall
And i'll be left to crawl
Back into what i know best
Loneliness

I should leave now
Cus you're lookin through me
And i can hear god laughing
At my vulnerability
Then i look at you
And try to find me
But i dont see
Anything
I don't know what im waiting for
If i could just get my legs to
Walk to the door
And say goodbye to this dream
Eventually this day would be the past
Get up, get up.. walk fast, walk fast..

One day the memory might not hurt anymore
Just walk to the door..
What are you waiting for..
Another man would love you more..

But i cant move.
Is this what love is?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Why??..you ask..

So, a few of you have been asking why am i doing a blog, and what is a blog!?
Well reason being is for fun mainly. As i said, i read a book about a girl who starts a blog and it gave me inspiration. Also, as i am going away to South Africa for 3 months, you will all be ablt to keep up to date with what im getting up to there via my blog!
Alot of my friends tell me that i always have funny and interesting stories, so this way I will be able to share them with everyone!
I will keep you updated with things going on in my life to do with anything really.
But for now, CIAO..

Little miss V xx

PS..if you guys ever have any subjects you want me to discuss, let me know!!

The Dream

So, the other night I had the most amazing dream. I always remember my dreams really well but this one has stuck with me for like 4 days!
Now i know it was a dream cos the man included was too hot for words and men like him dont exist. He was perfect in evert way. Kind of like Antonio Banderes but HOTTER. He was tall, dark and handsome and every girls wish, and he was mine.
I wanted this dream to go on and on until my sister started hoovering and I was awoken!
Do you guys ever have dreams you dont wanna wake up from!?

The First

Hey everyone,
I guess i always wanted to have my own blog but never really knew what to do or even write.
After reading a very good book i got some inspiration. Im 21 and live in a suberb of North West London. I tell people that and they instantly think im posh, well im not (unless im trying to impress!)
I come from a working class family who im very close to. Im a white caucasian and of the Jewish religion.
This blog is gonna have a bit of everything on it. Friends, enemys, bitching, gossiping, love, lust, adventure and much more.
I hope youll all enjoy and keep up to date with me and my blog.

Lots of love

Little Miss V xx

Thursday, July 30, 2009

IVSA conference, Carlisle

'The production of micro-time'.

Returned recently from the International Visual Sociology Association conference at the University of Cumbria, Carlisle. I was on a panel focusing on military landscapes led by Rachel Woodward and Neil Jenkins from Newcastle University. Other panelist included Ed Walley (Leeds Metropolitan University) and Gair Dunlop (University of Dundee). Both gave fine papers: Ed focused on the visibility/invisibility of the military presence in Yorkshire with an emphasis on the Cold War, while Gair's paper, Regimes of Time and the Militarised 20th Century, explored what he called the 'production of micro-time' (issues relating to nuclear detonation) through to the 'extended' time of obsolescence and entropy. Gair also produced this astounding image from Operation Tumbler-Snapper. I nearly fell off my chair. It still gives me the shivers today. I subsequently learned that the image, of a 'rope trick fireball' was taken one millisecond after detonation.




Monday, July 6, 2009

‘Dare to dream...'



The 4th of July celebrations kicked off at RAF Feltwell with a rousing speech by the director of ‘Tops in Blue’ USAF performance troop, in which we were encouraged to ‘dare to dream’ - about what, however, wasn’t all that clear. It seemed less about the possibility of a change in American foreign policy and more about shoring up those ‘values’ which are apparently so crucial to life in a democratic society. Anyway, this all took place in one of the remaining American military enclaves in East Anglia. Lakenheath and Mildenhall are close by but are possibly too sensitive to host an event which is open to local civilians or interested party crashers like yours truly. Feltwell, it seems is no longer the home of the 5th Space Surveillance Squadron (departed in 2003) which, according to Global Security was ‘responsible for detecting, tracking and identifying the status of satellites orbiting Earth’ using ‘the Deep Space Tracking System (DSTS) and low altitude satellites using the Low Altitude Space Surveillance (LASS) system’. That would account for the unavoidable presence of four unique radomes, one of which was used as an improvised projection screen for a vast image of the Statue of Liberty. The 48th Fighter Wing, our host, (also known as the Statue of Liberty Wing) is also based at RAF Lakenheath where, two days earlier, Joe Biden flew in on a ‘unspecified mission’. I didn’t see him here, anyway…


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Whatever happened to Greenham Common?

Image from the Greenham Common Trust, 1996

Greenham Common: 'Scheduled Ancient Monument'.


Despite being no longer in use, the GAMA cruise missile silos at Greenham Common are still surrounded by three rings of steel fencing. Behind them the 'Scheduled Ancient Monument' still looks pretty forbidding though. Curious to know what plans English Heritage have for the site. I'm particularly looking forward to the 'Cold War Experience' (or some such enterprise), and the chance to part with a tenner for a look inside. Currently, however, the Greenham Common trust owns the area of the original base and have sensibly returned most of it to heathland and installed a memorial to the 1980's women's peace campaign. The trust also encouraged small businesses to settle in the old 'domestic' section of the site.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Airspace Models



This images is a Google Earth model of the airspace over the island of Foulness on the Thames estuary. I built it recently as a means of visualising the following Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Danger Areas: D136 (alt 10,000 ft), D138 (alt 35,000 ft), D138A (alt 35,000 ft), D138B (alt 5,000ft). The image also accompanied a paper presentation titled, The Shoeburyness Complex, at the Miltarized Landscapes conference, Bristol University on the 6th September 2008.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Watchkeeper



Model of a Watchkeeper UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle)
taken at the Salisbury Plain Airspace Change public consultation drop-in session at the Bowman Centre, Amesbury on Thursday 11 June, 2009.

Domestic Drone Space



Domestic Drone Space.

In a move away from the complex questions surrounding the application of UAVs within the battle space, it is worth addressing their integration into training exercises in domestic airspace. For me this raises a whole new set of problems that relate to a continued blurring of the distinction between military and civil space.

The land owned by the Ministry of Defence for training and defence in the United Kingdom has remained steady for the last ten years at around 1% of the countries total landmass (with another ½ % being leased to them more or less whenever they need it). In most cases this land is relatively clearly defined but where ownership and use is more ambiguous there are the familiar flags, temporary barriers and stop gates employed to restrict entry to these flexible zones. In addition to this, however, are the intangible and barely quantifiable spaces such as transit routes, three dimensional ballistics hazards, the radial spaces defined by noise pollution and, of course, airspace.

The ‘militarized’ airspace of the UK is a highly regulated continuum of invisible but complex architectures. Many exist for only a few minutes at a time, others exist for duration of the working week but many more are permanently off-limits to the passing civilian aircraft. The intersection of permanent aerodrome volumes, bombing ranges, temporary NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen), Air Tactical Areas (ATA) around the coasts and low-fly zones combine to create a uniquely managed environment – one that is created to coordinate a high volume of mixed air traffic. It is one that also currently resists unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has strict guidelines regarding the use of UAVs for military or civilian use. It stipulates that UAVs over 7kg can only operate in UK airspace which is segregated (temporarily or otherwise) from that of manned aircraft. While this may, in part, be the impetus for developing smaller UAVs for domestic applications in urban environments, it also places considerable constraints on the MoD’s burgeoning UAV Watchkeeper program. Judging from a recent application to extend its military airspace to the region south of Salisbury Plain, the MoD must be having considerable difficulties in integrating these drones into training and Mission Rehearsal Exercises. The Watchkeeper’s medium range capabilities are constrained by the existing airspace architecture at Salisbury Plain Training Area which itself is heavily regulated and highly dangerous in equal measure.

The design of this new segregated military airspace and the ensuing consultation process are being managed by QinetiQ on behalf of the MoD, and the opinions of local and national stakeholders organisations are also being solicited as a requirement of CAA procedure. But whether the new space will become a semi-permanent Danger Area such as MoD Shoeburyness on the Thames estuary, the bombing ranges on the Lincolnshire coast and many other sites around the country remains to be seen. If this were the case, however, another block of the sky would be appropriated by the MoD for training activity and another section of the civilian landscape will presided over by military technology. The final go-ahead from the CAA may be some months away and as QinetiQ point out, the airspace design may be subject to changes, but however complicated and drawn-out this procedure may seem, it is something that should be valued for its potential to expose the utility of the technology in question and any further incursions of military spatial production into the civilian realm.

Plans are afoot, however, to eliminate segregated airspace for drones and establish an integrated air traffic policy where manned and unmanned vehicles fly side by side. Industrial and military stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic seem to crave a future where UAV’s fill their domestic skies. In the USA, the Office of the Secretary of Defence stated in 2004, rather worryingly, that this must happen for the sake of national defence and homeland security. There is no reason to suspect that this strategy will change in the near future. Similar objectives are sought for the skies of the UK by a consortium of defence and aerospace giants who gather beneath the banner of Astraea. Under license from the National Aerospace Technology Strategy, Astraea seeks to ‘reinterpret’ the current regulatory framework provided by the CAA to facilitate the desegregation of British airspace.

Of course, the questions surrounding the segregation or desegregation of domestic airspace somewhat lacks the immanence or the strategic consequences of the battle space but they are nevertheless part of the ‘bigger picture’ of UAV deployment. For now the CAA seem to be ahead of the game in terms of restricting UAV deployment until their collision avoidance capability matches that of the human pilot. But with the assumption that deregulated airspace will happen at some stage in the near future and additional pressure from both the state and private sector it seems likely that the CAA will follow suit.

For me, it was a blistering summers day on the Oslo Fjord in 2004 when the airspace divisions were shattered and the ethical implication of drone technologies became immediately apparent. Lying on my back, passively enjoying the usual seaside sensations, an alien buzzing filled the air and a white Predator-type drone calmly passed over me at a unnervingly low altitude. I had vaguely heard about these things but imagined them confined by mountains of red tape to the hidden plains of Nevada or maybe to high altitude reconnaissance over distant war zones. The moment was both alarming and strangely prescient of future when even the most benign holiday activity is monitored by the inscrutable eye of an autonomous drone.

Further reading:

Airspace Integration Plan for Unmanned Aviation, Office of the Secretary of Defence, November 2004, available from:

www.acq.osd.mil/uas/docs/airspace2.doc

Information on Astraea at:

http://www.projectastraea.co.uk/?OBH=354

QinetiQ’s stakeholder consultation plan for the Salisbury Plain UAV airspace extension plan can be found at:

http://www.qinetiq.com/home_salisbury_uav.html

Civil Aviation Authority guidelines for UAV operations in UK airspace can be found at:

http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=415