Nights will draw in – thank goodness!

Depending on who you listen to, the summer solstice is either today (it bloody well felt like ‘the longest day’ at work today, too) or tomorrow the 21st, depending on who you listen to. On the local news today, according to the Royal Observatory at Greenwich the solstice is today, but according to other parties (New Age types and druids) it is at 0100 BST (0000 UT) on the morning of the 21st. I’ll stick with the astronomers’ version, I think, rather than the druidic claims.
At least the ‘longest day’ is now over for 2008 and thankfully the light hours will be getting fewer and those of us stuck at higher latitudes will be able to a) observe and b) observe at more reasonable hours as the nights draw in. I hate mid-summer – and the weather’s crap again this year, too (I can see it going the same way as 2007 when half of England was flooded and it didn’t stop raining until September).

The long-range weather forecast isn’t promising for the rest of June and the whole of July. Long-range forecasts can be about as accurate as astrology although, unlike astrology, they cannot be entirely dismissed.

Slightly related to the above: I am thinking more and more about leaving the UK for a drier and warmer climate. Apart from the point of view of observing and the British weather is f**king awful for an astronomer, I also get SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder and hate the cloudy winter days. I like the long nights when it is clear and I can get out and observe, but I loathe the clouds and damp weather we mostly get. Besides I have a couple of old back and shoulder injuries, plus joint trouble, and the damp causes pain in these areas.
It’s all very well for Australians and others to moan about a couple of weeks of shit observing conditions, but try living on a group of islands in the north-eastern Atlantic when shit observing conditions go on for bloody months. Then you can really bloody complain about the conditions.
I am hoping to do an IT network engineering course in September, and eventually I hope I can emigrate. A bad day in my current, menial, job and the fact it is raining – again – has put me in a bad mood!