Blazing a trail

It’s official: Michael Phelps is the Olympian with the most gold medals (11). Not bad by the ripe old age of 23!!
I wonder how many he can go on and get? I think he’ll get his other three later in these Games and achieve perfection here, before going on to London and beyond, picking up more.

I said a few days ago that Redgrave was the best of the best – well, Phelps has certainly caused a stir with the debate on who’s the greatest! Check out any forum on the Olympics and you get plenty of people backing either of these two, Carl Lewis, Daley Thompson and others. Anyone out there reading this want to send me a comment on their thoughts? It’s very hard to compare achievements, but I think in time we’ll look back on him and really appreciate what he’s done.
But enough about an American swimmer whose body defies all known science…

You may know that I have a bit of an astronomy fad every now again which leaves me gazing upwards hoping to catch the next celestial event. Mostly in the UK it’s cloud followed by more cloud, but sometimes we get lucky and despite living near some street lamps I do get the odd good view at night.
Yesterday was peak time for the Perseids so I sat in my kitchen and attempted to catch a falling star and put it in my pocket digital memory card.

The process goes:
Watch sky.
See a couple of meteors, confident that more will come soon.
Wait.
Wait.
Wonder what you’re doing in the dark staring into outer space as bu**er all comes along.
See a small one, and then set up camera.
Open shutter for 15 seconds and hope.
Complain at seeing nothing, and repeat.
Swear at the fact that in between the camera processing the picture and being ready for the next shot you see a brilliant one that would grace any photographer’s album.
Open shutter for 15 seconds and hope.
Complain at seeing nothing, and repeat.
Get bored/fall asleep/get pestered by the cats who are wondering what the heck you are doing and is it time for breakfast yet.

However…I did somehow manage to bag one!!! I didn’t see it at the time as I might have been looking at the camera, but it’s definitely one (and not a plane this time – I thought I’d got one exactly a year ago but was fooled :() Click the photo below and check out the bottom right. Small and a bit faint, but there’s The Plough and there’s a meteor streaking across the sky.

Got it!

I saw enough shooting stars to make several wishes, but chose to forgo that superstition. I believe you should wish things for other people anyway, as plenty of others need more help then I do. But if I was to have one little wish I could spend on myself this week, it would be to make tomorrow’s training session go well. Yes, after a break of almost three weeks from running, my knee feels good enough to start again. It’s not perfect, but I’ll give it a go. I’ll take it slowly and only a few miles. Blazing my own trail can wait for another, fitter day…

Please consider donating to the children's charity that I have now painfully run the 26.2 miles for - details at: http://www.justgiving.com/andymales
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