Archive for March, 2009

ISS and the Space Shuttle Discovery

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

I went outside this evening hoping to see the ISS going over with the Space Shuttle Discovery docked to it. The sky looked a dark velvety blue and I couldn’t see any stars, which wasn’t a good sign. As I looked up, rain fell into my face. That meant no ISS tonight as it would be too cloudy. I was disappointed. I always find it exciting to watch the International Space Station gliding across the sky, but when it has a Space Shuttle docked to it, it’s even more exciting. I’m never likely to go to America to see the Space Shuttle, but when it’s docked to the ISS, it can come to me!

But I did see them both yesterday. They were visible a bit earlier in the evening while the sky was still light blue. I’d just done some shopping and had arrived back at my car in the supermarket car park when it was time to look for them. I was in the perfect position. In a large car park high up, with an open sky and no trees or other obstacles in the way. I didn’t have long to wait. Soon this lovely bright object was moving smoothly across the sky. It looked much bigger than usual as it always does when a Space Shuttle is attached to it. I could even see a rectangular shape jutting out from it. I wonder if that was the solar wings that Discovery had taken up and that had just been fitted, the last ones after more than a decade of construction of the International Space Station.

I’d love to see them again tomorrow, my last chance just before Discovery undocks and begins it’s journey back to Earth, but I’ll be working at the Theatre and will miss it. So I’m glad I saw them yesterday. To me it’s history in the making, an amazing acheivement. But no-one takes any notice. As the two amazing pieces of technology travelled overhead together, people were walking across the car park with their trollies full of shopping, not even looking up and seeing what was above them. What a strange world we live in.

Spring at last

Friday, March 20th, 2009

It’s the first day of Spring today!
It’s been trying to turn into Spring for a while now – one lovely sunny day, and then back to winter again. But now it’s official.

Snowdrops came out when there was snow on the ground, but now it’s the turn of beautiful purple and mauve and yellow crocuses and lovely golden daffodils dancing in the breeze. Buds and catkins are appearing, and brown winter trees are sprouting new green leaves. There are lots lovely trees bursting with with blossom, some pink ones and some white ones.

Hellebores put an appearance in early in the year. I’ve got purple ones and lime green ones in my garden. They’re one of my favourite flowers. I first discovered them when I did flower arranging classes, and loved them so much that I’ve always tried to have some in my garden ever since.

My craft blog

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

I’ve just started another blog where I can go into more detail about craft projects. Have a look for it here.

Meeting a friend

Monday, March 16th, 2009

What a lovely day it’s been today. I had the day off and met my friend for lunch. We live about 20 miles apart, and we meet up in a town halfway. I had a ten mile drive to get there and it was glorious. The sun was shining and it was very warm. There were daffodils everywhere, and trees full of blossom, some white and some pink. I drove through pretty little villages and open countryside with lovely scenery.

I’ve known my friend for a long time, since we first started school together. I love chatting to her because she knows and understands me and she was there in my childhood. There are lots of things we can remember together, and sometimes she will remind me of something that I’ve forgotten, and she’ll even tell me things from my childhood that I didn’t know! Things that she had noticed herself. What a blessing to have a friend like that. She’s very wise and it’s a joy to chat to her. She gives me very good advice that I try to follow because I know she’s right. I will look forward to our next meeting.

I hope that the lovely sunny Spring weather is here to stay. The world is so much brighter when it’s warm and sunny.

It’s good to be back

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

My blog hasn’t been available for a few days due a technical hitch. At one point I was getting quite concerned about it as I wasn’t sure if it was going to get sorted out, so it’s really good to have it back again.

The last post and a couple of comments are missing at the moment, but I may be able to get them restored. I missed it when it wasn’t there, and if you looked for it you would have missed it too.

Venus and the Moon

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

For some time now it’s been possible to see Venus shining brightly in the evening sky with the naked eye. It looks larger and brighter than I’ve ever noticed before. That’s because it’s higher in the sky than it usually is, so we’re not looking at it through the Earth’s atmosphere like we do when it’s lower in the sky. It’s also at a point in it’s orbit when it’s closer to the Earth.

Today I got the chance to see it through a telescope. Normally it looks like a bright blob, but through the telescope, it was amazing – I could see it’s crescent shape. A lovely bright slim shining smile hanging in the sky, at 16% phase. I’ve never seen anything like it before. It was so beautiful.

I was also able to see the Moon through the telescope. It was stunning. It’s reached it’s first quarter today so it looks like a ball that’s been chopped in half down the middle. At 30 times magnification, the craters were incredible. The Moon looked so large and so near you wouldn’t believe that it’s around 250,000 miles away. Now all I need is my own telescope so I can look whenever there are clear skies!

Walking on walls

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

I had fun the other day. I was asked to do a photoshoot of a vintage car for some advertising of a local event. It was a 1937 Austin A10, and it was beautiful. People kept coming up to have a look at it, and I’d have to wait for them before I could take any photos. It was lovely to see elderly ladies looking inside it and then telling us all about a similar one their family had when they were young.

To get the right shot of the car, I needed to be a bit higher, so I went further and further up a grassy bank but still wasn’t high enough, so I ended up standing on a wall.

It’s a long time since I’ve stood on a wall, and it reminded me of when I was a child. I loved walking on walls. I wonder if it’s something all children do. Whenever there was a wall, I would walk along it rather than on the pavement. When I was very small I think my grandmother would hold my hand to steady me. My Mum and Dad were always telling me to be carefull and I always wondered why they made such a fuss. I was certain that my footing and my balance were good, so I couldn’t see why they were worrying.

One day when we were out we came to a bridge, and as usual, I hopped up onto the wall. That caused panic in my parents, and they wanted me to get down. I can’t remember if I did, but I can still remember the long drop into the water on the other side of the wall. I wasn’t going to fall in, but my parents didn’t seem to realise that.

So it was interesting to be standing on a wall again. It felt good being high up but I didn’t feel as sure footed as I had when I was young. I had to tell myself to be careful. I knew I mustn’t get so engrossed in finding the right angle for a photo that I stepped backwards off the wall. I took the shots and carefully got down. Back down to earth again.