Waving To Tim

Did you see it ? The ISS (International Space Station) that is.

International Space Station

If you were in the Perth, WA vicinity it would have been visible this evening from around 8:43 PM, for around 6 minutes. According to NASA the ISS would track across the sky, appearing 10° above NW. Reaching a maximum height of 84° before disappearing 11° above SE.

Of course, all of the above assumed a clear sky.

Had you been in the Perth area today you would be aware that today has been a scorcher, with clear blue skies, all day.

Perth Weather Observations
Perth Weather Observations

So all looked set fair for a great evening for celestial viewing.

Imagine my thoughts when I stepped outside at 20:30 to see the skies obscured by broken clouds.This is typical of my luck regarding all celestial events. Blood moon scheduled to make an appearance, I go to the top of Portsdown Hill but its cloudy. The Perseids meteor shower makes an appearance. Not in any sky that I have access to.

Still, ever hopeful, I settled in to see if my luck had improved. Gerry, Steve and Denise all came out to join me and after a couple of false sightings, the ISS appeared in the sky. Tracking from the far corner of the garden, as expected, and passing almost directly overhead. The bright “star” passed rapidly across the sky, disappearing from time to time behind the clouds. It couldn’t be mistaken for anything else, traversing as it did in an apparent straight line.

Tim Peake – British Astronaut

We all waved to Tim Peake, the British astronaut, wishing him Merry Christmas. Did you see us Tim ?We commented on what a special achievement the ISS is and that Tim has joined a very unique group of people. It s a very small group  that have actually travelled to outer space and Tim has also joined an even more select group, those that have spent Christmas in space.

So we wish the folks up on the ISS all the very best, good luck with their missions and of course wish them safe return.





It’s very foggy today.

Taking Gerry to work this morning we drove along the top of Portsdown Hill. No sign of Portsmouth or the Isle of Wight.


The view from my window contains many tree silhouettes and looks very similar to a picture we used to have on the wall. The only thing missing is the dark figures on horseback, looming out of the murk, their helmets glistening and spears at the ready. It’s amazing what ones imagination can conjure up.

Or, perhaps, it’s just the anticipation building on the run up to Season 4 of Game of Thrones……. ??

Winter is Coming !!!

West of Waterlooville Forum Friday 22nd November 2013

If, per their drawings and graphics, they actually create the variety of tasteful properties promised. If the legacy they leave us with is a new residential site with a bit of style, instead of the typically  boring and uniform boxes which has become the norm. Then I for one am for this development.

It’s a shame that the initial West of Waterlooville development by Taylor Wimpey at “Wellington Park” (Dukes Meadow, Old Park Farm) off the Hambledon Road is so awful. My observations, so far, of the Wellington Park  development are that it is overcrowded and is of a mediocre design. Taking the road around the perimeter, towards the new tip, does not give a very good perspective. The site presents a pretty bland face to Joe Public.

And let’s spare a thought for the folks who had a view across Hambledon Road, across open fields and up the back of Portsdown Hill. They certainly have not been presented with a sympathetic replacement for that marvellous view. Rather they have had multistory apartments built directly in front of them. The equivalent of the developers, the planners and the architects presenting the home owners with a corporate middle finger.

I do hope that Phase 2 of Berewood is handled with a bit more sensitivity.

West of Waterlooville

For those who could not attend the forum I’ve attached the presentation given by Redrow Homes for Phase 2 of the Berewood Site

REDR130524 Berewood Forum – Low Res

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Slow Snow, Slow Slow Slow

Against my better judgement, I drove my wife to work today. Normally the round trip, not accounting for waiting time, is around 30 – 35 minutes. Today, due to the inclement weather conditions, the whole journey took around 130 minutes. Of course I moaned all the way to my wifes place of work. Problem is that I had no one to moan to on my way home and that was by far the longer and worst part of the journey.

I took a few snaps during the journey which was punctuated by many tedious stops.

Stakes Hill Road approaching Purbrook Way roundabout.
London Road, heading towards Widley
London Road atop Portsdown Hill, waiting our turn to dive down towards Cosham
London Road heading down the south face of Portsdown Hill
A3(M) Heading north on the Junction 4 slip.
A3(M) Heading north, still on the Junction 4 slip. Matrix says 40. You’ll be lucky. I think they display motorists wish lists
Purbrook Way and the College Road Junction. Thanks to the guys in the fluorescent jackets who were trying to keep us all moving. The road here was very icy under the snow. You can just see the car on the other side has gone askew.
View from my front doorstep. Boy was I glad to get home. Only a two-hour round trip. And I have it all to do again later today.

Classic Confectionary, An Old Pub and New Beer

On Monday night my grandson and I were on a mission of mercy. A British ex-pat, with a sweet tooth, had asked for some specific “lolly’s” to be taken back to Oz. We had been searching for Revels, which I was very familiar with, and Maoams, which I had never heard of. All we knew was that they could be obtained from Tesco’s. However, once we were in the Tesco store all became clear. Maoams are a range of sweets made by Haribo. I had seen them on the shelves but they are not typically my sort of confectionary, hence my ignorance. A very helpful young lady soon directed us to the correct shelves and we very quickly emptied the boxes of Revels and Maoams and they will soon be heading through the air to Australia. Unless, that is, my grandson gets peckish. In which case he may consume them all on his way home.

The George Inn, Portsdown Hill Road, Portsmouth

After making our successful purchases we started to head back home but decided that we would drop in The George Inn on Portsdown Hill. We were only going to have a pint but that inevitably turned into two. The “George” is a pub which my wife and I used to frequent on a fairly regular basis but I had not been in for probably ten to fifteen years. The decor has changed, not unexpectedly, and it is a warm and inviting environment to drink in. I am a beer man so I noted that they were serving Old Speckled Hen, one of my favourites, and soon had a pint sitting in front of me. My grandson is a modern cider drinker who normally drinks Magners back home but had to settle for Thatcher’s. We later found out that he thought he was drinking Magners but had in fact misheard the barmaid. Never mind he liked it enough to go back for a second pint a short while later. Although I had enjoyed my “Hen” I had become intrigued by some of the other labels on sale, namely the pump directly in front of me which bore the tag for Havant Brewery’s “Herd”.

Havant Herd

Firstly I wasn’t aware that Havant had a brewery. Secondly, seeing other customers ordering it, I noticed the dark colour and the “rusty” head. I asked the barmaid about it but she was new and didn’t know anything about the beer type. So I asked one of the customers who seemed happy to get his gums round a pint. His description of each mouthful being different wasn’t very helpful and he didn’t really know if it was truly a “stout” or perhaps a “porter”. So the only solution to this confusing state of affairs was for me to have a pint for myself. Well I very soon understood my fellow drinkers confusion. There are many things going on in a pint of “Havant Herd”. Coffee and Chocolate flavours, sweet with a bitter edge, but an overall rich and smooth texture. Suffice for me to say that it is very moreish and gets my recommendation.

The “George”  has another unusual brew on their shelves. It bears the label Jeremiah Weed with two varieties “Root Brew” and “Sour Mash Brew”. These will obviously have to be investigated on a future date perhaps while trying out the George’s food menu.

Watch this space !!!