Papers, papers, papers

This morning I went with Helen and Theresa to try to sort out paperwork, seeing as Theresa has just started her first job in Spain. I thought we’d manage the tax office, and maybe Social Security. To everyone’s surprise and delight, we got Theresa registered for tax and social security, Helen registerd for Social Security too (no translation of wedding certificate needed) and we even managed to set up a…

September 14, 2007

A Great Day

Today was my son’s first day back at school. He wasn’t at all keen to go, because last year he had a personality clash with his teacher, and in Spainish primary schools, you keep the same teacher for two years at a time. But this year he’s been moved, oficially to even up class numbers. But I suspect that I’m not the only one who felt a change would benefit…

September 13, 2007

Up in the clouds again

September 9, 2007

I thought the guiding work had dried up, but I was asked to show the Herschel to a group of German amateur astronomers on Saturday. To begin with, it was embarassing. They already had a guide with them who a) spoke German and b) had guided people around telescopes in Hawaii and Chile and c) had done a heck of a lot of homework on the Internet. So I welcomed…


A Magical Perk.

August 15, 2007

Yesterday I was guide for another two telescope visits. Unusually, they were afternoon visits. First I showed a sick boy and his mother around, and then a group of British amateur astronomers. The best bit was that after the amateurs finished seeing the Herschel, they were going to visit the MAGIC telescope. I hadn’t seen that one yet, so I tagged along. MAGIC stands for Major Atmospheric Gamma-ray Imaging Cherenkov…


Sleeping with my Best Friend’s Wife

Sunday night was the peak of the Persaid meteor shower, so the local astronomical amateurs were going to meet at a viewpoint ont he ridge of the island. I was keen to see the shooting stars and keen to get to know some more amateur astronomers, so I decided to go, even though it was an hour’s drive away. Then I remembered that I’d promised to take my son camping…

August 13, 2007


August 10, 2007

On Friday I showed another group of tourists around the William Herschel Telescope. Afterwards they were going on to GranTeCan, which is the huge telescope the Spanish are building at the Roque (see Thursday, July 26, 2007). I managed to tag along and finally see inside. I’ve seen a lot of telescopes, and I knew it was huge, but I still wasn’t prepared for the sheer size of the thing.This…