Saturday, November 17, 2007
The Feel Good Factor
Once every month I have a private indulgence……..ALL RIGHT! Enough of that sniggering at the back….you there….see me at the end of the lesson.
Hey you can tell I have been doing a little light teaching this week cant you.
Let me start afresh.
Around the middle of each month a copy of Astronomy Now magazine appears in the Hallett’s Mountain post.
After divesting it of its outer plastic cover I always turn eagerly to the amateur astrophotography pages at the end. While there are superb pictures by people of real talent I am ashamed to say that my immediate aim is to find a couple of pictures that I can scoff at and compare unfavourably with mine. Its just envy of course. I never take the time to send any of mine in so any mockery that I posture is just sour grapes.
A month ago I changed my habit though. I felt that my picture of the occultation of Leo was probably up their street. I also remembered that from the cloud variations I had seen that there probably were not many people who could compete. The window in obscurity that I was lucky enough to see was pretty lucky and the event had quit a limited geographical extent. Reader, I sent it in.
So with solitary feigned boredom I disrobed (enough of that sniggering I told you earlier) the virgin (stop it!!) December issue of my magazine on the kitchen table and with nervous fingers fumbled straight to the relevant section at the back. Imagine, dear reader, my delight when my eye fell upon an image of the moon and Venus and then again my disappointment when I realised that the credit underneath the photo wasn’t mine. Not only that but the fellow had missed the burst of starlight that I had seen. While still a good picture I was quite miffed! My gruntle had been decidedly taken away, and just for once the idea of a stiff letter to the editor, possibly even a liberal use of underliners ink, seemed to fit the bill.
Then my phlegmatic side kicked in. I like Astronomy Now quite a lot and decided not to let one editorial faux pas by someone who was obviously on a short term contract spoil my enjoyment of the rest of the magazine.
And so it was, that as I left page nineteen, with its speculations about the activity of martian volcanoes, and turned to page twenty the lower mandible truly hit the deck. There was my picture at the bottom of the page. Along with it, lacking really only the superfluous description of an arse being scratched, lay the content of my post.
Well! You could have knocked me over with a cheesy wotsit.
I am a published amateur astronomer. My picture. My words.
I modestly texted everyone I know.