Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Perseid Meteor Watch At The Tin Hut

As I mentioned before ... Facebook - which I initially hated then learned to use to my advantage - has taken over from my blogging. I said I'd copy from there and paste here ... oh, my word, the things you've missed about my grumpy old man, I really must bring you up to date. Anyway here's a few snippets straight from Facebook of my nights spent freezing my bits off on a sunlounger watching for the Perseid meteor shower.

badgers from earlier this year ... well you can only look at so many photos of whitish spots ;)

Gone midnight 7th August - Stargazing ... practising for meteor watch. All that's flashed past so far are satellites and loads of bats.
1.04 - Got an owl here now and my camera is busy!!
9.02 - It looks like my photography skills need addressing ... I suppose I can be forgiven as it's the first time I've dared go out in the night since last year after all the oddities I or my camera witnessed.

#meteorwatch was a disaster, not one single phot
o, yet I know there should have been four (saw five). Saw Eight satellites and all I can find in the photos is an aeroplane and a strange flash but there were so many bats that they must have got in every photo :/

All I got of the owl is his eyes and he posed for at least two minutes.

My swearing was kept to a minimum when I was struggling with the sunlounger, tripod and camera, then realised I'd taken my glasses off, so had to use the light from my phone to go back and find where they'd dropped.

Things weren't helped by me trying to stuff things (phone, batteries) into my dressing gown pockets, only to find they were so far around my back I couldn't reach ... new smaller dressing gown required for #stargazing (already got new fleecy pj's for the job).
If it's clear tonight I'll do it again :)

Star trails from 6th/7th August ... with one aeroplane passing through (dots) just below the pole star and a tidgy widgy flash of meteorite level with the same star and to the right of it. Must try harder. And I will try to make sure that my camera lens doesn't get fogged up this time. 40 photos and 30 mins of my life wasted freezing my bits off taking photos of condensation

8th August 0.19 - In stargazing position and a badger is here already munching on left over quiche. Noisily barging other side of fence now. My pussycat is keeping me company tonight.

0.40 - And I've got three badgers and one pussy cat for company - nice
1.44 - Given in I'm freeeeeeeezing ... Ar*e! What should have been one perfect photo, turned out to be FOG! For the last 20 mins my camera lens was in it's own damp little cloud. No wonder I was cold :'(
8.24 - Yawn, these stargazing nights are ok but methinks I need a nap during the day. Gone 2.30 before I got to sleep last night with my confused cat thinking I was going out again, bless her :/

10th August 0.16 - On #Meteorwatch again, Chuffin cold. Had to cover Miss Tia Pussykins up with my dressing gown cos she's shivering.

So far, one rabbit, one badger, several satellites and two meteorites. Many, many bats and flying so low they're practically parting my hair!

I can hear another badger other side of the fence. May give in soon and go in, I'm perished, even with a cat sat on me:/

Last night's star trails with one meteor. I admit it's been enhanced slightly but it is actually there. I've also learnt to tweak the contrast of the first pic before stacking to get the bright start to the trail ... I will no doubt do much more tweaking:)

Oh yeah, and the pale blurry bits are clouds, they turned up about 20 mins before I went in but I couldn't move without disturbing a badger, so I carried on pressing the camera buttons - as you do. I'll do the photo stacking again later without the cloudy pics but now I really, REALLY must do some work:)


11th August 2.45 - Hmmm, the amount of things that keep flashing past - aeroplanes and satellites, also moths, bats, pigeon feathers?!? (reflected from lights) ... and the occasional meteor :/

2.43 - and warmest #Meteorwatch night so far, unless I'm just hardening up. I have to keep sticking my hands under my pits though, and they're not too happy about it, brrrrrrrrrr.

4.22 -  Grumpy woke up and came out an hour ago (3.30) to see if I'd fallen asleep, yeah right. Clouds have arrived and all that can be seen is Jupiter...
Aaaahh, a lovely cuppa and now I'm warming my hands on himself :P


later the same day, 16.48 - I've just been sent to my bedroom for a nap or I can't go out to play tonight (just because I didn't come in until gone 4.30am).

Have mobile phone - will play - ner ner ner ner ner ;)

12th August - Sigh, last night's #Meteorwatch didn't happen for me ... and it was nearly the night I'd been waiting for.

I stayed up until after midnight but we had far too much cloud (could only see one star at a time) and it showed no signs of clearing.

Never mind, I counted 25 meteors the night before and managed to get a decent photo of one - as well as two aeroplanes and a bat pirouetting above me.

There was much muttering done - and a lot of naughty words used in my notes on the android - as very few were directly overhead.

Fingers crossed for tonight's show xx

Two babies from when they first started to visit

Later the same day at 23.42 - One is in one's #Meteorwatch position. Am frozzed! my GOM - the lightweight - went in after seeing only 5 meteors. I'm made of tougher ... or dafter stuff.

Ooooh, pretty, another one:)

And now a bit later 13th August, 0.05 -  Just given my armpits the cold hand treatment. They were unimpressed. Don't know where I'm going to stick my cold feet.
Oh dear, the badgers were just arriving and a dog has frightened them off (gardens other side of the dyke). Daft mutt is barking with a squeaky toy in his mouth. They'll be back later I suspect.

0.08 - Miss Tia Pussykins has arrived now, wonder if I can get her to sit on my feet?? Uho, hands cold again, sorry armpits ... aaagggghhh!

1.40 -  Badgers are back, pussy gone to investigate. Owl been sat on next door's aerial, did I get a photo? Nope, just its eyes :/
1.50 - Going in when badgers gone, am so cold now. Can hear owl and geese. Pigeon feathers keep floating past ... again.

2.22 - Owl came again and sat on another aerial. Was I ready this time? You bet I was. Did I get it? Did I ar*e? I got the fire assembly point instead mutter, mutter.

Badgers went as soon as I shifted so I'm sat in front of the fire now thawing out. Will look at pics now, had a quick look outside, the 1.20 photo looks to have 2 meteors in it. I didn't see anything then. Bet I was rabbiting on Facebook and just pressed the buttons and hoped for the best.

2.44 - Just checked. That's exactly what I was doing - rabbiting on Facebook.
Got several aeroplanes, one possible Iridium flare and a few meteors, all in the company of Tia, two badgers, one or two owls and umpteen bats - not forgetting the pigeon feathers ... and a brief but exciting (ok NOISY) 15 minutes early on before my grumpy went to bed.


13th August 1.20 photo - Definite meteor on the left but it looks like the other one is an Iridium flare (brighter in the middle where it's flared by reflecting sunlight). If I'd been looking, I'd have known. But then again, if the app I PAID for was working properly I'd have been reminded five minutes before the event. Same with the ISS, we saw that when we went out but my phone didn't mention it ... chuffin update, was fine the day before :/

17th August 0.07 - I say, these badgers don't worry about little me at all. One of the babies has just walked right past me - in my stargazing/meteorwatch position - to get to the nuts:)

0.29 -  Another badger on it's way past me, so close I could stroke it if I wasn't so attached to my fingers.

0.31 - Think there's too much blackberry undergrowth other side of fence so they're coming this side plus there's always a dog barks at them on the dyke side. They can tip toe past without disturbing it on our side.


That's it, I've not been out at night since - other than taking moon and badger photos ...


    Wednesday, 14 August 2013

    A Year of Alternate Day Fasting

    Flipping heck! I get worse. I wrote this nearly a week ago (8th August, my ADF anniversary) and went off at a tangent - yeah, Facebook mostly and a bit of work. This is because I now use the android app to blog - while it's fresh in my mind - then tidy it up later on the laptop ... only I forgot that bit. 


    Well, I'd set my target to lose 57lbs. Yes I know it's a lovely 'even' number (not). But I need to get down to an even number (of course). As usual I failed to reach my target on a specific date by 1lb, but who cares?

    I've not been this weight since I left school in the mid-70's. The first thing I did on leaving school was to go on a diet to lose 2lbs I needed to qualify for something. Of course - me being me - I starved for a week and lost 7 lbs, and I've never looked back, hmmm :/

    Since then I've gone on umpteen little diets (lasting a month or less - usually hours). And several proper 'let's do this fatso - and de-flab this pudgy little body' diets lasting three months and more. Never have I got beyond six months. That was Slimming World and only so long because I was allowed to change my target (the weight I'd already reached) and go for free.

    And here I am, a whole year of Alternate Day Fasting and no signs of tiring of it. It's just so natural to me now. I'm also back to Mon/Weds/Fri as my down days after faffing about trying to mix things up.

    I have incorporated a gentler version of Fast-5 (19 hours fast/5 hours noshing) into ADF because it eventually became obvious that my breakfast cereals were causing me problems:
    1. I wasn't losing weight.
    2. I was always hungry before lunch.
    3. I was constantly bloated on up days.
    So now when I wake up in a morning I don't have to think 'can I have a biscuit this morning?' Because the answer is 'no'. I've extended my previous day's (complete) 'fast' to 19 hours by not eating until 1.30pm.

    During this day I continue to eat normally up to 8.30pm, when ALL snacking must cease. If you were to be in my vicinity between 8.00-8.30, you'd spot me munching on nuts.
    So I have a seven-ish hour eating window on up days and six hour eating window on down days. This does NOT include Saturday. This is my 'munch' day when I start with a biscuit in bed with my coffee, then continue to munch throughout the day, including booze at night, then I stagger to bed completely stuffed.

    By Sunday morning, I'm relieved to wait until 1.30 for my dinner and bemoaning the fact that I ate too much the day before. This has been my pattern for the last couple of months unless we've had visitors. Then I just do a fast-8 (16 hours fast, 8 hours to eat) every day - basically I just miss breakfast - this maintains my weight for that week.

    I've decided that I'm going to carry on and lose another 6-8lbs ... or until my sisters tell me to stop - I'm very obedient - because I still see a very fat woman in the mirror (but not photos oddly enough). This extra few pounds  will ensure I've got a bit of leeway while I find which maintenance method suits me best.

    I still like the idea of 500 cal days at least once a week. So my latest idea is to have one down day of 500 calories, one super up day and the rest Fast-6ish days. I'll let you know if this works when I get there ...

    1. Me and Alternate Day Fasting
    2. Me and Alternate Day Fasting ... Three Weeks On
    3. Five Weeks of Alternate Day Fasting
    4. Eight Weeks of Alternate Day Fasting
    5. Ten Weeks of Alternate Day Fasting
    6. Alternate Day Fasting Three Months On
    7. Alternate Day Fasting in Winter
    8. Alternate Day Fasting Over Christmas
    9. Me and Zumba
    10. Saying Goodbye To My Curves 
    11. Eight Months Of Alternate Day Fasting And Me
    12. Growing Up 
    13. A Year Of Alternate Day Fasting 
    14. 60 Pounds Of Blubber - Vanished
    15. The Perils of Alternate Day Fasting 
    16. Mr Grumpy Is Losing It
    17. Mr Grumpy Has Lost It
    18. Fasting For Maintenance
    19. Tweaking Maintenance
    20. Weight Gain 
    21. Still Maintaining
    22. Four Years Of Intermittent Fasting