Friday, December 21, 2012

Hobbing with the Nobs

La Palma is the first place in the world to get official recognition as a Starlight Reserve and Starlight Destination. (You can get an explanation of this at

It's a big deal, and people have worked hard on it. So the Cabildo held a bit of a party to celebrate, and all the Starlight guides got invited.

I went of course.  Not for the speeches, but to clap, and congratulate people.

I found myself in rather posh company - not just the head of the Tourist Board, but also the President of La Palma, and the President of the Canaries, and the head of the Canarian Astrophysics Institute. The head of the observatory, and of several telescopes were there, as well as several of my Starlight Guide friends.

And to my surprise and delight, we also had really good performances by a pianist and singer, rhythmic gymnasts, and a choir.  And then we had wine and nibbles, and good conversations.

People said nice things about my book. Heck, the heads of the three biggest telescopes said nice things about my book, which didn't shrink my ego any.

And then someone asked how the translation was going. Which led me onto asking these three native Spanish speakers for a couple of things I was having horrible trouble with.  And then I had the pleasure of watching three prominent astronomers scratching their heads for me, and agreeing that actually they always used the English word for "override".

Which saved me a few more frustrating hours on the internet.

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