Month: October 2020

It took it’s time

Some of you may remember the post I made six years ago, about the proposed mission to the asteroid Bennu, and how I arranged for my kids names to be engraved onto a chip that travelled with the spacecraft.

Well, for those of you who may have missed it, Osiris-Rex made contact with Bennu yesterday, making an extraordinary smash ‘n’ grab of the asteroid’s surface.

It has now started it’s long journey home… not arriving until 2023.

It blows my mind to think that the names of my children (and many others, but I’m not really interested in them, to be honest) now exist – however small – two hundred million miles away (that’s further away from us than the Sun) and will quite possibly outlast us all.


I was on a video call for work earlier this week – no change there, as that is currently the new normal… and all these video calls seem to have ushered in a new phrase for 2020: “Sorry, I was on mute”. I’m sure that will be added into the OED book of new sayings. If there is one.

Anyway, I was on a video call and Harry came home from school and headed straight up to my room, to excitedly show me that he had been made a Prefect.  He proudly pointed to the badge pinned to his jumper as proof… oblivious that I was on a call, despite the fact I was wearing my headset.  To be fair, I have the headset on for much of the day anyway, as I often forget to take it off.

“Yes, very good. Well done”, I said, shooing him away as cries of  “Aww, bless him” resounded in my headphones.

In another call the following day – by way of a laugh – several people appeared on the screen, all wearing their Prefect badges  from school. Not so difficult as you might imagine, as many of them are only in their twenties.

Joining in the fun, it took me only a couple of minutes to produce my own Prefect badge… from 1975. That’s it in the picture above. Gawd knows why I’ve kept it, but I knew exactly where it was: it has been bashing around in my toolbox for the past 40 or so years, which would explain why it’s not as pristine as it once was.

And it’s older than most of the people I work with.

Comparing it to Harry’s one, they don’t seem to have changed much over the years – his one bears a web address on the back, but other than that, they are almost identical.

I pinned it to my polo shirt and in a stern voice I  explained to everyone on the call that as I was the oldest, I must obviously be the Head Prefect and therefore they had all bloody well better listen to me, and do as I bloody well tell them, or else they will bloody well be made to stay behind after.

There were many confused faces in front of me.

I clicked my mouse: “Sorry, I was on mute”.

Walking the dog

Each morning I take the dog out, so that she can stretch her legs and do her doings.

Usually, our morning perambulations would consist of a walk around the meadow, but the council have been somewhat lax in cutting the grass and so it’s pretty long now.  No problem with that, as Saber loves running through the long grass.  However, a couple of months back, she managed to pick up a couple of tics – which are known for residing in long grass – and they were a pain to get rid of.

And so – until the council get round to cutting the grass – we have moved our morning walk over to the local park, alongside the woods. The grass here is being cut regularly and Saber is able to run on it with impunity.

Of course, with the pleasant summer that we’ve had, I’ve got to know some new dogging friends over the park. There would generally be half a dozen or so people out walking their dogs, even at 6:30 in the morning, obviously giving their mutts some exercise before going to work for the day, and we would all say a friendly hello to each other as we pass, usually adding a comment or two about how pleasant the weather is.

But, the weather has turned sour and it hasn’t stopped raining for three days now.

As such, Saber and I have had the park to ourselves, because it seems that people think dogs don’t need to be exercised when it’s raining.

For the past two days, we’ve not seen a soul over there.

Not even the Chinese lady who talks to no-one and just stands in the middle of the field for fifteen minutes, wearing a face mask and holding a rolled up umbrella, while her little bouffanted Bichon walks circles around her on its extending lead.

“Oh Fido, look at this weather. You don’t want to go out in this, do you?”

“Err… yes I do, actually:  I’m a dog. The rain doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, I love it.  Did you not read my profile when you swiped right: ‘Enjoys good food and long walks… in all weathers’?”

Jeez people, take your dog out!

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