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Adrian Condon

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Everything posted by Adrian Condon

  1. Hi Hadyn and Christina, Glad to hear that the site is filling up. It is raining heavily here, I have my tent ground sheet being washed by the rain! All the best with the closing stages of the planning. Wishes to Mark. (as well) Adrian
  2. Hi Hadyn and Mark, I have my ferry ticket, Liverpool to IoM, and getting excited...... See you on 11 September. Trust you are taking loads of bookings. Cheers Adrian
  3. Hi Hadyn and Mark, It would be marvellous to see some members of SGL do an island hop. I am convinced that this will be a successful star party given the enthusiasm of the islanders. I am looking forward to the event and seeing the island. For those interested, the village of Ballaugh is on the route of the TT motorcycle race, which appears on tv as the racers rocket through. I plan to book the ferry over the next few days. Hadyn has told me that the site has dark skies on a par with the Galloway Star Party site. Brillant............... I am all in favour of dark skies!!!! Congratulations to Hadyn and Mark for organising a promising star party. Best Wishes Adrian
  4. Hi Stu, I agree with your comments, Galloway for most of SGLers south of the Birmingham is definitely out of reach for a weekend. Most of the people attending Galloway come from Newcastle, Manchester, Preston, Glasgow, Perth and places in Scotland. The majority attend for 6 to 12 days, most coming for a weekend extend it to 3 nights if not 4 nights (Thursday to Monday). Usually find that half the nights at Galloway are clear. The others are cloudy and present a great opportunity for Whiskey Tasting sessions. This February we had about 3 nights in a row that were miserable, the other nights were reasonable, not quite as brillant as some of the nights in previous years. The November 2017 event had to be cancelled because there was so much rain in the previous 2 months. I am thinking of going to SGL Lucksall this coming October, there are plans for a September SP on the Isle of Man (currently being agreed with the local astronomical society) and of course Galloway in November. It would be enjoyable to meet up again!!!! Cheers Adrian
  5. Hi Mark, Great as usual to hear from you. I hope I was not giving the impression that Lucksall was poor for dark skies. It is considerably better than the area around here with its light pollution from Watford and London. I have enjoyed all my trips to Lucksall and have managed to make some good friends. I hope to visit again but given the really dark skies at the Galloway SP on a clear night, well...... I had last summer the good fortune to meet up with two of the SGLers who had come all the down from Shieldaig (north west Scotland) to Lucksall, it took them 2 days of driving. Importantly, they brought those wonderful cakes with the constellations on them to celebrate the 10th Anniversary if you remember. I know Jim from Scotland personally and it would not be fair to let him drive hundreds of miles to Lucksall, thinking of getting the skies we get in Galloway. The big advantage of SGL SP at Lucksall for me is.... it is relatively close to me, chance to meet SGLers and learn from some knowledgeable people. Anyway, wishing everybody clear skies for October. Cheers Adrian
  6. Hi Jim, I have been to a number go SGL Star Parties at Lucksall campsite near Hereford. It is a friendly event, with classes on various astronomical subjects, with a decent Hog Roast on the Saturday evening. The site does wonderful breakfasts and serves drinks in the evenings in the Cafe. For people living within 200 miles of the site it is a great place to go. About 150+ people attend. Are the skies dark there? .... No .... nothing like Kirkinner. The light pollution from Hereford and Ross-on-Wye just don't help. Why do I travel 800 mile round trip to the Galloway Star Party instead of 260 mile round trip to Lucksall, simple answer dark unpolluted sky! Why do three other SGL Lucksall regulars make the trip to Kirkinner? Friendly clear dark skies..... So Jim, if I lived 60 miles from Kirkinner, I would go there often. (the whiskey tasting sessions at Kirkinner are better as well.....) Cheers Adrian
  7. Hi James, A big Thank You to yourself and Steve for getting the life saving cable to me... now on the mount and it rained 3 hours later! Some campers have air-cushioning under their tent (with the wind ) but I now have water-cushioning under mine, luckily none has entered the tent so far! Incidentally, looking through your website I cannot find where you are selling fine weather and clear skies? All the best from a very windy and wet Scotland. Thanks Adrian
  8. Hi Carole, It is a shame you live around 450+ miles away. It is a friendly event just like the SGL Party at Lucsall. It took me this time about seven and half hours, average speed of around 55 to 60mph. I only stop for toilet breaks and fuel. Hadyn does it from the Island of Man and has an overnight break on the way. Trust you get some clear nights, we are preparing for a really great night here, the Sun is sinking slowly in the west, the wind is a light cool breeze, going for dinner and still in my shorts, will change before 19:30. Clear Skies.... Adrian
  9. Hi Carole and Jim, I agree, the weather could be better, it is lovely and sunny here in Scotland at the moment, if it was not for the icy cold wind, I would have spent the morning sunbathing! The geese are flying in great numbers around the Nature Reserve. Carole, as Jim already knows, if you want dark skies, quite a lot darker than SGL in Lucsall, Drumroamin campsite in Kirkinner near Newton Stewart will take some beating! Some of us who were regulars at Lucsall now travel 800 to 900 miles round trip to see the Milky Way etc in all its splendour, gaze delightfully here. We have had two clear nights out of two (3 to 4 hours so far each night with odd clouds moving speedily across the dark Scottish Sky) and to boot it was clear from 04:00am this morning. So not a failure. Tonight, Monday will be brilliant if the Scope Nights app on my iPhone is correct, clear skies from 18:00 till 06:00am Tuesday, with the temperature from +4c to -2c at 03:00am and the wind dropping to 4mph...... life could not get better! Hope meet up again. Cheers Adrian
  10. Hi Folks, Well the wind has dropped to a mere 20mph from the 44mph of Sunday morning. Secondly, the temperature will get up to 7 c today, so I am wearing my shorts again! When Dai from snowy South Wales arrived, I volunteered (as one does! ) to erect his tent. We managed to get the tent half up when there was an almighty gust of wind, which lifted the tent and carried it across the campsite, over the little middle hedge, over the bigger boundary hedge and across the field to the stone wall a distance of some 300 yards..... Dai being considerably quicker than me, got there first and did a beautiful Welsh rugby tackle on his tent and prevented it from getting over the wall! (glad he was not playing for Wales when Ireland were scoring tries...) Well we carried the tent back across the field and on putting it down we noticed that one of the poles was missing........as Derek would say "argh......." . We fetched Julian who is an expert in fixing tents etc to help.....I went looking for the missing pole sections and found 10 pieces scattered across the site. The three of us then managed to get the tent up. A task that should have taken 20 to 30 minutes, finally took over 2 hours, who says daytime can be dull at Scotland's Premier Star Party!!!! We had good views of the skies once it got dark, with odd clouds moving at speed across, Orion looked absolutely brilliant, but it clouded over around 22:00 and had not cleared up by 23:00 so Mike and myself spent the next hour in his static van practicing focusing and drinking the Pogues Irish Whiskey.... Those coming are strongly advised to bring warm clothing, a heater, wind breaks, a bottle or two of whiskey and if you have room some astro gear! Cheers Adrian
  11. Hi Folks It has been an eventful day Will do a bigger explanation tomorrow We have had about 3 hours viewing night both clear and partial Completely cloud cover at the moment Planning an early night must find the Highland Park for a wee refreshing dram Cheers Adrian
  12. Hi Jim and Dawn, I was sorry to hear that you have been ill. Whilst we miss you for the odd quiet drink, this weather is not appropriate for people recovering from a chest infection. I am thinking of recording the wind noise, the tent movement and entering the recording to the Tate Gallery as an inspirational piece.... could even win the Turner Prize! Hope see both of you fit and well in the Autumn. Cheers from sunny Drumroanin. Cheers Adrian
  13. Hi Stuart, Glad you are alive and kicking, are you camping in the suburbs of Hereford? Trust Tracey is bearing up are the humiliation of yesterday!!!!!! Yes, the weather here is very cold and windy, with traces of white rain. It is meant to lead into better weather later tonight and tomorrow, the skies last night were great, odd clouds for a few minutes, but too windy with gusts of 40mph to attempt to put our scopes up. I will look at meeting up in October. Best wishes to both of you. Cheers Adrian
  14. Hi Folks Morning has broken...... Well it was very windy overnight The ground is frozen with a light frost Julian has informed me that : the water tap is frozen, being smart I filled the kettle last night, he will sort it out his morning; the wind is due drop back a bit; snow predicted for 10:00am this Sunday morning; and most importantly Monday night will be by and large clear and the wind will be dying away. Taken Lesley’s dog Bud for a walk in the local woods at 09:00 am. I am not wearing my shorts! Just in case any of you thought I was stupid enough Don’t forget to bring heater, plenty of warm clothing and that bottle of Live (whiskey to you) Cheers Adrian
  15. Hi Dai, Ian and Phil Mike and myself have spent the best part of 2 hours enjoying the views The sky is very clear when the clouds disappear It is starting to snow while the stars are still shining. Never seen that before The strong wind and cold are a deadly combination, keeping a camera tripod steady is entertaining I am feeling very tired so heating my tent up before retiring for thre night Left my bottle of Irish Whiskey with Mike so it’s time to revert to a bottle of Highland Park........ Life is wonderful?! All the Best Cheers Adrian
  16. Hi Folks, The skies are lovely and clear The wind is blowing right thorough us Think Julian has gone to bed he was on the road by 03:15am this morning I am going to try a few shots before I freeze to death Cheers Adrian
  17. Hi Folks Have arrived safe and sound after leaving Watford at the crack of dawn. The conditions here are at present are: Partially cloudy with good views to the South and West. Sirius and Orion Very windy and cooooold A bite too windy to put the scope up Planning on setting up a small scope if the wind dies down a bit later Finished dinner with Mike in the static van Given that Ireland won the Grand Slam today, some Irish Whiskey later will be in order Its a bottle of Pogues (the Irish pop group) will keep a share for Ian...... Mike has just returned to the van with a big smile on his face, there is an explosion of stars to the South at present. I am on my way out to see the beautiful clear cold windy skies I maybe a little time!!!!!! Cheers Adrian
  18. Hi Lee and Mark, It will be great to meet up with you. Not being a whiskey drinker is not a sin as long as you can pour the stuff!! It's not Damian we need to beat at the Pie Eating Competition, it's Ian he has won it too often......?????? Have a safe trip. Adrian
  19. Hi Julian, Great to hear from you. I am looking forward to the clear skies and whiskey tasting on the odd cloudy nights.. See you Saturday. Have safe trip. Cheers Adrian
  20. Hi Mark, Hope you can attend, Things that will help you enjoy the event. 1) Jaffa Cakes are the main currency, they get you well liked! 2) None of us are partial to malt wHiskey, we are just addicted to it! 3) Tuesday morning around 10:00am the Butcher attends the site, he has lovely meat and eggs etc..... 4) Again, on Tuesday morning around 10:30am the Fishmonger visits the site, she does very nice cod fillets, bigger than supermarket offerings, plus mixed fish chunks which can use to make a great fish pie. 5) Items 3 & 4 are a little more expensive than the supermarkets but the quality to date has been first class. 6) There is a very good butcher shop in Newton Stewart in the middle of the High Street, they do good pies and proper sausages! 7) If Mike (Demon Barber) is not too busy we have pies and mashy pies. These pies are measured using Damian's 22" scope. Quality is always maintained. And Finally, we all have a great time and return numerous times. Usually half the nights are brilliant with clear dark skies. Some attendees are so satisfied that we do round trips of 800 to 900 miles. All the Best. Adrian
  21. Hi Ian and Hadyn, Ian is correct, the last time we were in touch I told him that I was planning on attending the Spring 2018 Star Party. I have booked Saturday 17th March 2018, St Patrick's Day....... until Monday 26th March. Hope the weather improves otherwise we will be able to make very large snowmen. Have a safe trip. Cheers Adrian
  22. Hi Folks, I visited Astrofest for the 2 days.....I enjoyed the talks, I found them to be of a higher standard than previous years. I met a number of Wycombe Astronomical Society (WAS) members there. The good news is that the stitching on my pockets prevented access to my Bank Cards. Had 6 visits to McDonalds for snacks and cold drinks. We went to China Town for our Friday night evening meal. Plenty of choice. And thinking I had a brilliant time, I met Daz........ In reality it is always nice to meet up with Daz, especially for breakfasts at Lucksall! For all the poor souls who purchased new equipment, I hope we get clear skies. Cheers Adrian
  23. Hi Daz, Glad to see that you are getting a mini SGL party together. Unfortunately, I will be at Scotland's Premier Galloway Star Party at Drumroanin Campsite from St Patrick's Day 17 March for 11 nights. Had you picked February I might have been interested. Needless to say I wish you and the attendees clear skies.... Cheers Adrian
  24. Hi Ian, Great to see you looking well, a glass helps..... I will be up in Chapel le Dale on the second weekend in December. The skies there are reasonably dark, but not as good as Galloway. Hoping to get to Drumroanin in March 2018. All the Best. Adrian
  25. Hi David, Rain seems to be the order of the day. I was up in Seawhaite in Borrowdale (Lake District) in mid-October, the weather was miserable, heavy rain and hurricane winds, the places where streams are usually present, were replaced by waterfalls, Derwentwater had flooded the marsh land to the south, the River Derwent near the village of Grange had overflowed it's banks. Many trees growing in the lake and river. I got soaked, the ground was very mushy. Spoke to a farmer, he was concerned about his sheeps' feet being in soaked fields getting foot rot. I can understand why Lesley has had to cancel the November Star Party, I know that she loves having us along, but given the amount of rain they have had since August, the campsite usually drains well, but there are limits. Just hope that the Spring Star Party will be a great success, with crystal clear skies, pies and mushy peas, and some soft drinks like whiskey. I will definitely miss meeting up with you mad lot! Cheers Adrian
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