100 miles done. 100 miles started.

Last month I rode 100 miles for Prostate Cancer UK with sponsorship from various friends. This month I’m doing the same but for Mexborough and Swinton Astronomy Society – a charity and organisation which means a lot to me and has meant a lot to me for nearly 40 years now.

I first joined MSAS in 1983 when I was just 10, and although it’s drifted into and out of my life and taken various positions of priority it still means a lot to me.

The last 100 miles felt hard. I was mostly on the DaHon which whilst a funky little bike really isn’t easy to ride, and my efforts only transferred to the Stowaway for the last week or so.

If you can sponsor me please do! I really appreciate it and I know a group of members who will really appreciate the help in these difficult times when we can’t open our observatory and all the events we used to fund our activities are currently banned.

The sponsorship link is here. You can apparently sponsor me without having to have a Facebook account.

Sponsor me here!

Open at last!

We opened the MSAS Observatory earlier. The mayor and our local MP came down, as well as the local papers.

We had Paul Money and Dr Allan Chapman give short talks for us.

Unfortunately I had to bail slightly before the end due to having a gig.

The Oxford Trip

The Oxford trip was yesterday; meeting up with Dr Allan Chapman to go and the Radcliffe Observatory and then to the Museum of the History of Science.

After a bouncy journey down we arrived at the university. The Observatory was first on our itinerary.

Then on to Oxford town centre, and firstly a lunch in Wetherspoons. I don’t really like Wetherspoons. The owner was a massive Brexit supporter and I don’t agree with his ideas, but it’s where the masses wanted to go so we followed; leaving a little message to the next occupier of our table.

The Wetherspoons “experience” was spoiled when a group of families, obviously Eastern European came in, surrounded one table and then proceeded to try and envelop surrounding tables even though the pub was very busy and others were sat at them. It’s horrible manners, and it fuels the flames of racism when foreigners behave like this; especially in these Brexit intolerant times – but we should also remember that the English overseas are also massive dicks.

After a visit to the small continental market opposite to try and find Dutch pancakes (I failed) and ending up having a vegan Bakewell (which was very nice) we headed up to the museum.

I have to say though, that my beard was tidier than the ones on the statues outside.

Allan met us just after two o’clock and took us around as a personal guide. The upper gallery was closed briefly so we could enjoy the tour as Allan gave us a personal talk about the contents of the cabinets.

When we finally came out of the hottest museum in history, we decided to take Allan for a cheeky pint in the pub across the road to kill the time until our taxi pickup.

Amazingly, the taxi went into limp-home mode just as we pulled into Kilnhurst. That was a really close run one!

So, here are the photos. There are quite a few…

https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/publicalbum@latest/dist/pa-embed-player.min.js

Oxford

The Oxford trip was yesterday; meeting up with Dr Allan Chapman to go and the Radcliffe Observatory and then to the Museum of the History of Science.

After a bouncy journey down we arrived at the university. The Observatory was first on our itinerary.

Then on to Oxford town centre, and firstly a lunch in Wetherspoons. I don’t really like Wetherspoons. The owner was a massive Brexit supporter and I don’t agree with his ideas, but it’s where the masses wanted to go so we followed; leaving a little message to the next occupier of our table.

The experience was spoiled when a group of families, obviously Eastern European came in, surrounded one table and then proceeded to try and envelop surrounding tables even though the pub was very busy and others were sat at them. It’s horrible manners, and it fuels the flames of racism when foreigners behave like this; especially in these Brexit intolerant times – but we should also remember that the English overseas are also massive dicks.

After a visit to the small continental market opposite to try and find Dutch pancakes (I failed) and ending up having a vegan Bakewell (which was very nice) we headed up to the museum.

I have to say though, that my beard was tidier than the ones on the statues outside.

Allan met us just after two o’clock and took us around as a personal guide. The upper gallery was closed briefly so we could enjoy the tour.

When we finally came out of the hottest museum in history, we decided to take Allan for a cheeky pint in the pub across the road to kill the time until our taxi pickup.

Turns out we sat at the table Morse sits at loads in the BBC series.

The taxi met us at 4:30 and we headed off home.

My reward on arriving home… My parcel had arrived with my new trousers – they’re so shiny!

Yet more observatory works

On Saturday afternoon I was messaged on Facebook that I was needed rather urgently at the observatory.

The guys had been sliding a new I beam into the floor void to reduce the bounce on the floor of the old section of the building and they had come across a problem. The fire alarm supply wire was in a really bad place and was going to cause major delays.

I went up there straight away, cut the wire, and removed the power from the panel.

Whilst I was there I snapped this photo under the floor of the new beam, now in position and ready to have the joists lowered back onto it.

40 years!

The astronomical society I’m a member of has just celebrated its 40th Birthday.

It’s quite amazing to think that I’ve been a member on and off for 35 of those years! I first attended in 1982 and joined in 1983.

I’ve watched us go from a tiny society of about 15 people, all the way up to a charity with assets and property with substantial value.

It’s not been easy along the way, and the times I served on the committee are testament to that – many nights sat arguing my case over trivial matters.

Anyhow, we have made it to 40! Here’s to many more happy years, Mexborough & Swinton Astronomical Society!