And that wraps up a busy winter...!

I wanted to do a quick wrap-up post on winter activities, before spring inneveratably springs, and I become far too busy to post anymore. It's been like this in previous years. Lots of posts in the winter, and then living life to the full during the warmer months.

Having said that, this winter has been unusually busy. Lots of hobby activities, as well as a couple of major life events. Change of job and technology refresh.

My god...did I just refer to mobile phone and tablet update as a life charging event? What a geek!

So...following an unexpected Xmas present, I've been getting interested in Bonsai. For most of my adult life, I have had a deep-seated reluctance to have anything to do with plants and gardening...I was brought up by green-fingered Nazi [sic]...and despite some discomfort concerning not allowing the trees to grow naturally....I have found this activity to be engaging and rewarding.

I have also got some satisfaction from that fact that my own couple of trees have not shrivelled up and died as soon as they have come under my care. In fact, the Chinese Elm I got on Christmas not only dead....but thriving. From this:

Struggling Tree

as pictured in a previous this:

Thriving Tree

I guess I'll need to get the branch cutters and pruning shears out.

During January and February, I have been attending my Intro to Astronomy course. I can now how have a fair stab at navigating my way round the night's sky.

The course, given by the Huddersfield Astronomical and Philosophy Society, compromised of 4 weeks in the classroom/Society's club house attending lectures, and two weeks up at the Observatory. Apparently, we are the first class in years to have both of our observatory sessions, as usually one is cancelled due to bad weather.

As well as giving me a good arrays of club member's minds to pick and ask questions of...this course also confirmed that the telescope, or more accurately it's mount, which I bought last year, is a right pile of poo!

So, I've started again, taking the advice of my local Optics Shop (Greenwitch in Birstall). I now have a sweet setup of Celestron 15x70 Binoculars mounted on a First Horizon 8115 modelled here by the boy:

New Binocular Setup

Despite waiting over 3 weeks to get clear and dark enough skies to test this rig out....once I finally did, it gave great views of Jupiter and the Galilean Moons, the Orion Nebula and the rich star-fields of the Milky Way. More to come on future outings.

So with all these goings on, coupled with the usual gaming and computer programming's been a very busy winter.

And lastly....I've got the woman of my dreams and mother of the boy. I know that I am not one for massive shows of public affection....but she has made me the happiest guy around and I love her dearly. I guess this is really is the most important thing that's happened to me all Winter.

The Happy Couple

Here's to great summer.

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Dave’s Downtime @davesdowntime