We’re nearly at the end of 2011 and, while it’s not been a horrible year by any means (by my own disastrous standards!) it’s been…well…a bit ‘meh’, a bit boring. Observing sessions are down on previous years, thanks to a combination of weather and other factors and, apart from a short cruise on the ship Vision of the Seas from Southampton to Copenhagen via Amsterdam in April, I have not been anywhere. Spring 2011 was superb and I got loads of observing sessions in but, after that, it was downhill from there with a poor summer, a mostly-cloudy autumn and, so far, a cloudy (again) winter conspiring against amateurs everywhere; it seems that, although our UK climate is known for being a bit crap, this has been a phenomenon everywhere – even my Aussie friends are complaining about endless rain and clouds.

The one thing of note during 2011 was that I realised an ambition and got a large aperture Dobsonian, an 18-inch, for deep sky observing, which was completed in September 2011. This was thanks to a tax rebate which provided half the £3500 cost. So far, though, it has worked out at £437.50 a session!

2012 should be much more interesting. I have another trip to the Texas Star Party lined up in April plus a few other interesting (although non-astronomy-related) things in the pipeline.

Happy New Year and here’s to a peaceful, prosperous and – wishful thinking! – cloud-free 2012…