Thursday, 13 January 2011

Poorly pup! :o(

The week has almost passed and up until Wednesday night it hadn’t been too bad, what bought a dampener on the week was noticing that Ronnii, our Yorkie, had something rather unpleasant looking near her nethers. On closer inspection it appeared that she had some sort of prolapsed in that region. We found her insurance policy and rang a 24 hour vet helpline who advised that she see a vet ASAP. Thursday morning arrived and Trudes rang the vet that we use in Hythe and arranged for Ronnii to be seen at ten. By ten forty Trudes rang me to say that Ronnii had something called a semi necrotic polyp. Apparently it looks and sounds worse than it actually is, Trudes’ has advised me not to look it up on Google, and so I have no intention of doing so. From the way she phrased it I wouldn’t advise anyone should. Friday morning I will be taking little Ronnii Rocket down to the vet where I will leave her in the capable hands of what I consider to be the best vet in the area. So I’m a bit more at ease knowing that she will be in the most caring environment possible, other than home of course, but I am a little worried as it turns out that Ronnii isn’t about six years old as we were led to believe, she is actually nearer eleven years old. This changes everything, were she six then the risks presented by a general anesthetic wouldn’t be as high, but with her being much older there is a greater chance that being knocked out could be quite dangerous. Fortunately I have absolute trust in the vet and if he says that she will be fine, then I’m sure she will be, but you can’t help but worry.

Of course this does mean that Ronnii Rocket will have to wear a lamp shade for a while and we will have to be extra vigilant in keeping Richie off her back, quite literally, but once she recovered I don’t doubt that she’ll be back to her normal self and seeing Richie off herself.

On top of this, Trudes has a very nasty throat infection and feeling particularly yucky, but given the fact that chemo has shot her immune system to pot she’s been quite lucky. I know that we’ll get through this rough patch, but I also know that she was desperately hoping to start 2011 with a better result than the one she got. In an odd way Ronnii being poorly has helped to distract her from her own fears and focus on making sure that the pup will be ok. It’s odd how people face adversity and I have the deepest admiration for the way Trudy has openly held herself together over the last twelve months, perhaps longer. I am certain that when I have been at work or out in general she has allowed herself to drop the brave face she puts on every day. She may not think it but I think that she is one of the bravest people I know, and for that I love her wholly.

Whilst I’m on the subject of brave, I happened to see the beginning of Dancing on Ice on Sunday, one of the contestants is a former soldier who served in Iraq, he sustained terrible injuries and he is still recovering from those injuries that he received seven years ago. He put the lives of others above his own and saved the lives of other soldiers, not once but twice. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions, rightly so. To me, this man is the complete definition of the word “hero” whilst many people use that word to describe football players or talent show winners; they aren’t even close in comparison.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Astronomy club

Hello you, welcome to 2011, I hope the year has started well for you, if it has I hope it continues to be good, if it didn’t then let’s hope it gets better.

I went back to work on Tuesday, oh joy! It hasn’t been too bad but it’s early in the year so we’ll see what happens. I had the day off on Friday as Trudes was off to hospital and the pups needed someone with them. Little Ronnii’s come into season and we can’t risk letting Richie have his wicked way with her. It wouldn’t be good for her and with Richie’s heart problem it wouldn’t be great for him either. So I had a couple of hours with them whilst Trudes was off at the hospital.

This morning, being Saturday, I set off to the shop. It was only going to be a short visit to return some lights and catch up with the lads and Sue. Whilst waiting for the bus to Hythe I looked up at the sky. It had rained heavily during the night and there was a rather strong wind. This was more than a bit disappointing because the astronomy club was holding an event as part of the BBC’s Stargazing Live. Knowing the weather as I do I consigned myself to the fact that cloud would be the norm for the rest of the weekend and the only astronomy done would be via a computer. Things were looking better by the time I left Folkestone at five; a red tint to the sky and the noticeable lack of cloud over Ashford indicated that we might have clear skies over the club sight. Taking the time to look up when I arrived the skies were indeed clear and this meant that we would be able to get the scopes out. The event was due to start at six and finish at nine, we started a little late and people were still arriving. It was incredible to see the amount of people that had come. On a normal astronomy club night we have around 50 people, tonight there was around 150. The hall was packed and when the clubs chairman gave the opening talk there was standing room only. Drew talked for about forty minutes and then we took telescopes outside and set up for an evening’s stargazing.

I took both of my scopes along, the Meade and the Tasco, I spent about ten minutes aligning the Meade and got it set up fairly well. The first object I set it to was the Pleiades cluster, the only view I got of it was when I checked the field of view because there was at least ten people all eager to look through the scope. Fortunately the Meade tracks an object so I could leave it for people to look through and this also allowed me to set up the Tasco. Setting up the Tasco isn’t too difficult, unless the finder scope has been knocked out of alignment. It had so I had to spend a few minutes centring the scope on a bright object and then I had to adjust the finder scope. This didn’t take too long and it was a good thing too because people were now starting to queue up to look through the Tasco. I set it on Jupiter and stepped aside so everyone could see what the scope was on. I was asked questions and, hopefully, answered them informatively without too much techno babble. I also managed to decide what the subject for my next talk will be. Although it won’t be until November I can make good use of the time to ensure that I can make a good presentation and not be so naff and stutter quite so much, I can also make sure that I can cover all possible questions at the end.

The subject will be extra-solar planets; I have ten months to prepare, what could possibly go wrong?

Next Sunday is an adult gaming day, there is a possibility that it will be the last one, there’s not a great deal of interest and I’m seriously beginning to wonder if it’s worth the hassle of opening the shop for the day. I know that it brings a few quid in but it also means that I won’t be wasting a Sunday waiting for people to turn up. We start at ten but the few guys that do show up don’t usually get there until gone twelve which means that I’ve sat freezing my backside off for two hours for nothing, the alternative is to make it later in the day, I shall see how it goes on Sunday before I make a decision.

So with my head reeling from the brilliant evening at Woodchurch, I have no doubt that this has done wonders for the club, we should certainly get new members as a result. This is great because it’s the members that keep the club going, and it’s some that I can honestly say that I’m proud to be a part of. The atmosphere at the club is fantastic and I look forward to every meeting, I just wish we could meet more often.