Last weekend I was listening to one of my favourite radio stations, when the presenters (Rick & Marlous) were talking about the photo shoot they had recently done. The question of that day was: “At what remarkable location did you have your photo taken?” Other listeners texted exotic holiday destinations and one of them had their photo taken in the car on the motorway. I thought mine could top that and told them about one of the shoots I had done for Playboy, on the roof of the science centre. Sure enough, they called me back to hear more on this and I told them about why I was interviewed for that magazine and how it all happened because of Brian May. Kudos to these DJs for quickly picking up on this by playing Bri’s ‘Driven By You’!
It’s a national radio station here in the Netherlands, so obviously the interview is in Dutch, but you can hear it back here. For those of you who googled me after hearing the interview: the project on which I made my discovery is Galaxy Zoo, Brian’s book that I mentioned is the Cosmic Tourist, the science centre is called the Sterrenwacht Limburg and the lecture in Cambridge will be for the ThinkCon event. Thanks again, Radio Veronica!
To end an Astrofest weekend properly, we – the amateur astronomers who met via the Zooniverse – are always drawn to the same pub before we’re homeward bound. This last little blog entry is about that day and has a few more pictures to share for the friends who were there, the curious people at home and everyone else interested. Steven and I woke up in our Kensington hotel and that first picture was the first thing I saw that morning. We were in London alright. At lunchtime we met up in the Prospect of Whitby, where Steven saw a ghost, I think. But this pub was already approved by our very own expert (Geoff) last year.
There was some girl talk with Julianne and Els (who wore a familiar shirt and who taught us the Belgian word for ‘cheers’: ‘schol’ – nothing like the Dutch ‘proost’!) And I explained to one of the English guys that we call the universe ‘heelal’, which can be translated as ‘completely everything’. Steven said that blew his mind; he never thought of the word that way! After our roast, we played for a bit on the beach and I climbed that ladder in my new shoes. While we were walking the streets of London yesterday, I had suddenly stopped to think how lucky I am to be where I am and to have met the lovely people that I have. Really.
Even though I wasn’t feeling all that well that weekend. Nothing to worry about, probably just a lack of sleep. (Maybe I shouldn’t plan three big events in one week anymore?) Anyway, my head was buzzing from Astrofest, but I felt better after some rest. Steven had set off the metal detector at border control and he thought it might have been his new ring. I pointed my finger at him and said: ‘yeah, I don’t think so, honey’. Then on the train home, the post Astrofest blues kicked in, so I’d like to thank all of you for sharing your pictures with me. In these blogs I’m sure I used pictures from: Geoff, Graham, Jo, Todd, Steven and the SPA. Thanks all and here’s to next time!
In between and after Astrofest, we usually end up in the Devonshire arms (their eggs benedict are terrific) and of course there’s the annual visit to Bella Vista. Here are a few memories from these occasions. First of all, there’s me showing off my honorary British passport Todd once got me for a birthday. He still needed to add a few stamps, so I took it with. And it finally happened: I did accidentally show that one instead of the real thing at the border that morning. Doh. Then there’s Annie, in a rare moment of serenity. And Todd: I really need a better picture of us for my wall (how about in May?) It was also great to see Edd again, here in a picture with the lovely Wilkinsons and you can see Rona and Jo admiring my handbag (which mum made out of ring pulls).
In the last picture we’re at the Italian restaurant where we usually end up singing (for which I got the blame?) Anyway, I finally gave Els her ‘Secretary of the Universe’ mug present oh and Rona called me a twat. Not to my face, but to the nice guy who happened to be at Astrofest too and we invited along to dinner. He had pointed out to Rona that I was famous and that was her response. Got to love her. From left to right you can see: Steven, Els and Jo pointing out where to look, Jules and John, Geoff, John, Paola, Christine, Julianne, Nigel, Rona, me and Todd. I think Andrew took the picture (and Graham, with his forum name being Infinity, probably didn’t fit in it). Then we sang We Are The Champions again, loudly, on our way to our hotels and homes.
A special little Astrofest blog from me is dedicated to the crochet scale models of Jupiter’s moons from the organisers of the National Astronomy Week, which started today. After the Astrofest lectures, they were presented on stage and everyone was invited to have their picture taken with a moon or two. They asked to tweet your picture with the hashtag #NAW2014 to raise awareness of the event, which celebrates the gas giant. I immediately said to Steven that I wanted to do that in the break and while we were looking for their stand, it turned out that the lovely Robert Massey had asked my friends if I’d be interested as well. You can see the result below. On twitter they called me the Galaxy Zoo Celebrity and Steven confessed he was a little bit impressed about that when he first met me (but not anymore, haha!) Anyway, look what great company I was in…
Robert Massey (lovely to finally meet you!) and my dear friend Todd
Steven posing with the lovely Dr Jane Greaves, who made these moons!
Paul Sutherland (good to see you again too, Paul!)
Allan and Rachael Chapman.
Our very own Chris Lintott!
…and yours truly.