30 August 2013 (Friday) - Astro Club

Another night's sleep wrecked by a certain dog. When ‘er indoors TM finally staggered home last night she took Furry Face TM for a walk. When she came home she left his collar on. So when he sneaked upstairs at 3.30am and started scratching, the tags on his collar seemed to make enough noise to wake the dead. They certainly woke me. After trying and failing to get back to sleep I got up for my morning's sci-fi fix.
If you ask anyone about Blake's Seven as a show, those that remember it will say that it started well and got worse. I think I've now got to the part where it is getting worse. Today's instalment featured the chronic coward character being somewhat heroic and even having his wicked way with the ladies. Quite out of character from what we've seen in the previous twenty-odd episodes. Mind you today's space baddie was a particularly camping-it-up Colin Baker. That was rather entertaining.

To work, via Little Burton Farm for a pre-work geocache. Only one more for this month's challenge. As I drove I listened to the radio. The news was all about the fact that the UK is not going to go to war in Syria to the apparent dismay of our international allies.
For all that I sympathise with the plight of those in Syria, I don't really know whether getting involved in somebody else's fight (yet again) is a good thing. I suspect not.

Once at work I did my bit and then left early for astro club. Tonight's meeting was a Summer Social. Personally I remain unconvinced about "socials". At the risk of appearing anti-social I went along feeling that I would rather have had a normal meeting with a talk followed by either telescopes or a planetarium show. But tonight we had a social. In a pub. The World's Wonder have been pushing for us to meet at their pub for ages. I must admit that having run the snake club in a pub for many years I wasn't keen on meeting in a pub. You feel obliged to spend money you haven't got on overpriced drinks you don't want. And you have to put up with the normal people who are there, getting in the way, and often resentful of what they see as strangers intruding into their territory.
But my fears were unfounded. The pub’s management was very welcoming, and we had a really good meeting. In retrospect I think I was just worried about doing anything to change what has been (for five years) a winning formula

And tonight there was the announcement about the future of the astro club. Change is seriously on the cards.
The plan is to build our own premises which will include an observatory in which we can set up dedicated telescopes. Ambitious perhaps? But certainly achievable. After all we raised thousands to take scouts to Canada. Twice.
For myself I will support the club's venture wholeheartedly... with one reservation. Whilst this plan is laudable, we mustn't lose sight of the fact that we need to look out for the interests of the "armchair astronomers" who do form a sizeable part of our membership. Whilst I am all in favour of getting our own premises, as far as the observatory bit goes, I will be working toward it for everyone else. It's no secret that I have little interest in actually looking through a telescope. Our observatory must be an add-on activity to what we currently do; not a replacement.
Mind you, in re-reading that last bit it would seem that I am already talking about what we will do with our new headquarters when (*not* if) we’ve built it. The time scale is five to seven years. Tune in sometime in late August 2020 and we’ll see…

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