I did nothing at all day until six o’clock and the Easterby Astronomical Society, except mess around with my football leagues and just sit about.
Dad, who is on nights all this week, got up at about six after going to bed during the afternoon, and at quarter past I set off to go to the EAS.
I got there at 7.05 p.m., the only other people there being Nigel Rook and his mate and Brian Hudson. All the regulars soon began to arrive and by half-past I would say 30-40 people were present.
The planned lecture had been cancelled so Vincent Halliday brought in his video equipment. While he set this up I bought July’s copy of “Astronomy” magazine, the latest ed. of “Arcturus” and spoke to D. Kilpatrick about Wednesday night.
Vincent Halliday showed recordings of three programmes – “The Sky at Night” about the Zodiac which lasted twenty minutes, a short five minute extract from a programme called “Don’t just sit there” where Magnus Pyke visited the two old blokes who’ve built their own telescope and observatory, (John and Vernon I think they’re called). We also had “Worlds Apart,” a fifty minute spiel by Garry Hunt about the exploration of our Solar System. I suffered from all my usual, corny inadequacies, uncommunicative, self-conscious, and utterly abysmal. Today’s EAS cost me £1.99p.
Just before I went D.K. asked me if I was going to the Sheffield match. No, I said, I couldn’t and I left feeling pretty cheesed off.
I walked down Buckingham Road into Lockley to get the bus and ended up helping an epileptic. As I was walking slowly up Buckingham Road I could see a figure slumped against a wall near the entrance to Hamblin’s Hospital. As I approached, a Pakistani bloke crossed the road and spoke to the person slumped down there. He looked in a bad way as I drew level so I asked him if he was alright. He said, fairly coherently, that he’d just had an epileptic fit, that he was from the Hospital and that his name was Roy. I was just motioning to the Pakistani to help me carry the bloke in when, between them, they said it would be better if I went in to get help. This I did, going to an office on the first floor where two women were, one reading a newspaper, the other speaking on the telephone. I told them my story and that the bloke claimed to come from there, and went outside and waited. As I stood there I thought what a pathetic figure the bloke made, crouched there head between his knees amid his own blood. Shortly, one of the two women (the one on the ‘phone) and a long-haired social worker type came out (“Andy”) and helped the bloke into the hospital.
I didn’t feel quite so down-in-the-dumps after this. I had actually helped constructively, bailed out a fellow human in distress etc. I couldn’t have passed by without stopping – I suppose really it is the sign of a good upbringing.
When I got home I told Mum all about this, and, later, John, and watched “Marathon Man.”