Monday, June 23, 1980

Monday June 23rd

Generally, today was a dissatisfying day. After waking up at 1130, I loafed about feeling restless and at a loose end all day.. I couldn’t watch cricket or Wimbledon (which started today) because both were rained off – the former after just 36 minutes of play. To pass time on therefore I wandered from room to room and from the house to the garden and back – engaging in pretty mundane conversation with Dad, who was working in the garden, and reading July and August’s “Spaceflight,” which came today.

To add to my dissatisfaction, Robin Quinn called for his two Che Guevara books. He was with John Emsley, a 6th former who sometimes goes caving. This in a way made me jealous. I knew that I could not engage easily in conversation with him (without feeling awkward) and I made a berk of myself really. I know how Quinn and Wood etc., must view me behind my back – gawky and numb.

Anyway, enough of my self-pity. Mum came home at about half-five, an hour after Dad had gone to bed, and we had tea in the dining room. I was quite surprised to hear that Sanjay Gandhi, Mrs Indirha Gandhis son had been killed in a plane crash. I had read an article about him only a few days ago.

At six fifteen I set off to go to the Easterby Astronomical Society, which meets every other Monday above Kerforth Library. I was quite looking forward to going again, because I haven’t been for months due to ‘revision’ pressures (!?). I got a 509 bus at the bottom (a new route?) and then a 502 from Buckingham Road to Croft Hill. Mum had lent me £1 so it didn’t cost me much.

I got to the Society at about a quarter past seven. All the old regulars were there – David Kilpatrick, Mike Wild, Gary Burdon, Rob Yates . . . . . . . . . It was as if I’d never missed a meeting. I got May 1980’s “Astronomy’ magazine (I order it from the US) and then to the little room at the back which houses the Society’s miniscule library.

It was while I was there that Brian Hudson asked me if I wanted to borrow a camera which belonged to the Society. I was quite surprised because this was a recent innovation. I was half-persuaded and half-cajoled into borrowing it – I don’t really know why because know I’ve got to buy a film and pay for its developing, six quid touch easily. I took the Zenit-B and two back issues of ‘Sky and Telescope’ to borrow and then bought Volume 5 No 3 of ‘Arcturus,’ the EAS’s bimonthly magazine.

The talk was one of the quarterly ones held by Mike Wild and Gary Burdon on Beginner’s Astronomy – tonight was the Spring stars. We were also ‘treated’ to Jack Greaves pouring forth on Salyut 6 and Soyuz 35.

All through the meeting I was plagued by self-doubt and uncertainty. Am I really still interested in astronomy or just shamming (I could be ‘alienated’). I also kept feeling left out somewhat of proceedings – Peter Garth has been a member only twelve months and is already deeply involved in Society affairs. He’s also really friendly with D. Kilpatrick & Co., yet I’ve been there three years and I’m still really an outsider. I must lack drive. I just find it so hard to find things to talk about to people, and I’m awkward when dealing with them – it isn’t a nice feeling this restlessness.

I came home by bus, after loads of chaos in Lockley about which bus to take. With the new route changes, all the old regular numbered services go on alternative routes to their previous courses. Since neither City nor Yorkshire Metro have told their passengers about where the new routes go, noone has a bloody clue what to do! It took me 45 minutes to get the 4½ miles to Egley, mainly because of the wait for the right bus.

I watched the end of a film starring Ronald Reagan – What a cock-up if he got to be President.

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