I have been criticised for many things over the years. One of which is my approach to practical astronomy. There are those who sit shivering in darkened fields whilst waiting for a break in the clouds through which they might see a star. And there are those who call up pictures on Google Images. I know which approach I favour – after all, no matter how much your telescope might have cost, there’s no way it can compete with the orbiting Hubble Space Telescope, is there? Last night my convictions were again confirmed. With the most brilliant meteor shower of the year predicted; in between the clouds I saw one satellite in the general vicinity of Cassiopeia. What a waste of my time – there will be pictures of the things clearly visible in the warmth of the astro club in a week or so.
Whilst scoffing brekkie the door bell rang – the postman had a recorded delivery letter. For me (!) From Renault (!!) Postie joked that they wanted my car back. I opened the envelope to see that postie was right. There was an urgent safety recall – apparently it would be possible for the electronic parking brake to activate whist driving. But then I realised they had the registration number of my car wrong. They were recalling the car I’d sold back to them three months ago. At first sight I thought this was an understandable administrative error, but the letter said they’d got my details as registered keeper of the vehicle from the DVLA. That was rather worrying, so I phoned the local dealership, who told me they’d look into it on Monday. I suppose all the time my current car’s not recalled, I’ll not worry too much.
The day’s plan was originally to go for a bike ride, but heavy rain put paid to that idea. Instead we designated a driver (bless her) and set off to a pub we’ve never visited before. The Bell in Iden had a good website, so we thought we’d try it out. It was a little off the beaten track, and for one of our number this involved the first trip of his life to another county, but it was a good choice. Six (and a half!) of us sat down to some of the best home-cooked food we’ve ever tasted. And three ales, none of which are that common too. Certainly a pub to re-visit.
On the way home we popped into Swallow Aquatics and went gooey over their geckoes, frogs, Koi and various assorted animals. And whilst we were at it I bought a new set of innards for the fish pond filter. That didn’t come cheap, but then keeping Koi isn’t a cheap thing to do anyway. Perhaps I should have had goldfish.
And then we wasted five minutes in the fishing tackle shop – a forthcoming camping event will feature some fishing, so it never hurts to be prepared. And then I turned down the chance to take part in a pub quiz in favour of a quiet night watching the telly. Every so often even I have a bit of peace and quiet…