Sunday April 26th 2009. Launch -19 days and Holding.


An early start on a really miserable day. It was cold. It was dark. It was raining. But duty calls and our retired banker and I met up to go and play golf against our friends from NASA. As the course is an hour’s drive away the weather could be much better there, so no wimping out please! Mind you, even our nerve was a little shaken by the scene as we came out of the tunnel half way to the course and found a lot of snow at roadside, a temperature of 2ºC and thick fog. It is the end of April, isn’t it????


When we arrived it was cloudy and cold, but not raining, even though the course was soaked with puddles and mud everywhere. The NASA team was a bit weaker than last time. The ESA team was a bit stronger. But the result was unchanged! We lost. The NASA captain was insultingly superior to anyone in our team. The one difference is that the margin of defeat was a lot narrower than last time despite me having an appalling round and completely letting down my two teammates.


With the weather so threatening we were almost the only people on the course and could enjoy ourselves in a relaxed manner. While we were playing a cuckoo could be heard calling loudly from the nearby woods, storks flew overhead and something that looked like a falcon was sighted circling above (perhaps hunting for a golfer dying of embarrassment at his poor play?)


I came back utterly exhausted and dozed for a while. More wall-to-wall coverage of the Swine ‘flu. Not the best night to watch a film like “I am Legend”, or “28 Days Later”. No danger of that though as I was in bed very early. Mind you, I am looking forward to seeing “Angels and Demons” and the new Harry Potter film when they come out. Before bed though, duty called and it was time to check my tax returns for 2008: it seems that the government owes me a lot of money so at least I went to bed happy