It’s weird what brings you back….

…to blogging.

I’ve had a few months that should eventually give me plenty of grist to the blogging mill, but to be blunt right now much of my time is being spent writing PHP and .NET code for those wonderful people called ‘paying customers’. Most people in small businesses will probably agree that this year has been pretty lousy; I’ve been freelancing for over a quarter of a century and this has definitely been the worst time for doing business I can remember, so when business turns up you don’t turn it away…

Anyway…the weird thing that brings me back to blogging.

When I was a kid, my mum and dad bought me a very simple telescope – it was made by a company called Tasco and was a refractor of maybe 1.5″ – 40mm in new money – on a table top tripod.  A length of scaffolding pole was brought in to use as a mounting, and my exploration of the heavens from my Nottinghamshire back garden began. One of the first objects that I looked at was the planet Jupiter, and despite the VERY modest nature of the telescope, and the fact that the town where I lived was stretched out between me and the part of the sky  containing the planet, I was stunned by the fact that I could see exactly what I expected to see – a little blob surrounded by 4 smaller blobs – the planet and it’s 4 largest moons.

Within a few months I’d managed to get a pair of binoculars for a birthday present – I still have them – and a 3″ refractor for Christmas and astronomy became a major part of my life as a teenager, until I left home and went to live in Manchester.  And then over the intervening decades I lived in cities and towns, occasionally wheeled the binoculars and telescope out to take a look at things like Hayley’s Comet, even managed the odd photograph, played around a bit, got in to radio astronomy…but never again looked at Jupiter.

Earlier this year I started looking at buying a new telescope – all singing, all dancing, one that would take my camera  and follow the stars around – maybe even find stuff automagically!  then financial constraints walloped my bottom again and so the plan was back burnered.  But…I read that Jupiter was visible again in the sky a few weeks ago, I have a telescope in the garage, it’s clear…so….what’s stopping me spending some time re-acquainting myself with old Jove?

And that’s what I intend doing tonight.  Watch this space – I can’t offer photographs but will let you know how a 35 year old 3″ refractor on a well dodgy tripod manages…..