Friday May 1st 2009. Launch -13 days and Counting.


Launch month!


We are almost there.


Nothing that we do here can influence launch one iota. Our part is as ready as it can be and has been certified for launch. All the action is down in French Guiana.


Today being May Day and a Bank Holiday (the last until October) the good burghers of Herschel are relaxing and bleeding off some stress. There will be plenty more stress next week.


This morning I advanced my daily cleaning one day and left the flat decent. A deep clean of the hamster cage, then vacuuming, wash floors, etc. Really I do enjoy seeing the flat clean, tidy and ordered. The bulbs came out of the refrigerator last week and the hyacinths are already sprouting again, which means sweet-smelling blooms in a couple of months. The narcissi have come out a few days later and show no signs of activity yet.


The cleaning and tidying was finished just in time for out four Herschel golfers to get together and play a round this afternoon. For the record, our eastern European, whose family name disconcertingly means “Wolf slayer” continued his remarkable form leaving us utterly bewildered by his transformation. A late surge by yours truly was not quite enough to catch him on the last hole where a long putt that would have put him under pressure fell agonisingly short. The Crazy Irishman finished a somewhat distant third, somewhat displeased with his form and swearing revenge (at least, he was swearing at something) and our retired banker brought up the rear in his first ever round, ending up anything but disgraced: when he gets a little practice there are signs that he is going to be alarmingly good. We had a lot of fun and have agreed to do this again.


When I got home I have to admit that I had an alarmingly long nap. The weather had been wonderful: sunny, warm without being hot and the camaraderie excellent. A great way to relax before imminent trials.