Monday, 30 April 2007

‘Non est ad astra mollis e terris via’

‘There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.’ I came across this Latin quotation in one of Jonathan Cainer’s horoscopes some time ago. I’ve been giving it some thought these last few days. I had always thought of it as referring to some sort of ethereal journey. But recent events have made me think of it in a more physical form. 1) I heard two space tourists speak on Chris Evan’s Radio 2 Drive Time show. 2) The ashes of the late James Doohan (Scotty, Star Trek) went off into space. 3) Stephen Hawking undertook a zero-gravity trip. All of this turned my thoughts to my long-held dream to go into space as an astronaut!

My love of space and space travel came about as a result of growing up in the 60s and 70s and watching the various space and moon missions. So long as I live (or have my memory) I will never forget sitting with my Mum and Dad watching the July 1969 moon landing with Neil Armstrong becoming the first person to set foot on the moon. Nor will I forget the Apollo 13 mission in 1970 or the terrible fate of Challenger in 1986. And of course there were many more missions – some successful and, very sadly, some not. But the thought of going to space has always excited me.

In the past, I’ve mentioned this dream to go into space to a few people and have nearly always been surprised by the reaction. Most seem to think of it as quite a strange thing to want to do and they talk about why they couldn’t do it (fear factor mainly). I’m not sure I’ve ever managed to get them to see why I want to do it. Of course, unless someone’s job is as an astronaut and their job description says "fly into space", then it is quite difficult to actually do. The space tourists had the money to do it. It was James Doohan’s ‘last wish’. And, while Stephen Hawking hasn’t been there yet, he has tested his physical capability and is surely now on his way. So, all of this leads me to conclude that while it might not be easy to fulfil my dream, there is no reason to dismiss it.

So what does all of this have to do with PLAN A. Well, I think for a while I’ve been denying myself the right to dream and go for things that seem out of reach. But I’ve realised that if I don’t have dreams and don’t stretch myself then I am likely to limit myself to only those things that I know I can achieve and attain. But no more. So, on my PLAN A will be a list of ‘Things I want to do’ which will include – Astronaut.


Francesca said...

you know, i've never given it much thought...but then i started watching battlestar space travel seems very cool.
ps, maybe i was talking about sailor- style underpants!
no, no. i was definitely talking about trousers!

Eryl Shields said...

My list of things I want to do suddenly seems rather tame, one might even say dull.

I can only admire you.

Mary Witzl said...

I have absolutely no desire to leave the earth, but I think it's great that there are people who want to do this. Why shouldn't there be? It's out there, it's mysterious, it's elusively hard to get to.

When I was a kid, I used to look at the globe we had and study all the continents and islands. It was my firm intention to go to every single continent and every possible island; I never once thought that I would not be able to do this. I still haven't entirely given up on the idea.

bloggingjames said...

Well I can't criticise you for setting your sights to low thats for sure. It reminded me of a famous quote which I thought was appropiate.

"If you aim for the stars, you'll at least reach the moon"

eg(scotland) said...

Francesca - I recall going to see Battlestar Galactica at the cinema many, many years ago. I hear the TV series is so much better though.

Eryl Shields - Thank you - I'm sure your list is as exciting.

Mary Witzl - I'm glad you haven't given up you intention to visit all the continents - you need a plan to do it!

Bloggingjames - nice quote. Now, fly me to the moon!

Thanks all for your comments.


Anonymous said...

Fly me to the moon, and let me play among the stars etc etc eg(scotland).

Darling, the letter 'A' is a BIG point, pointing straight up. I don't think you need any more plans.

What do you think?



ps put me down for £1.

Dissing Dave said...

Just thought I would join the party!

Having had the privelige to witness three shuttle launches live, Endeavour twice and the ill fated return to earth mission. I have to say that I admire anyone with the dream to go to space! It's not something that appeals to me, although Mrs Dissing does harbour the idea of skipping along the atmosphere!
The old adage still applies, if you aim for the stars, you might just get the moon!

Good luck to you, keep your dreams with you!

DD out

eg(scotland) said...

Hazel - I think you are so right re letter 'A'. Also it's like a triangle which is the strongest shape there is. I don't need anything else in my plan now.

Dissing Dave - Wow! Wow! Wow! Three shuttle launches live - it must be a passion of yours? I've been to NASA in Florida and thought that was great but to see a live launch is something else. I also had the opportunity, here in Scotland and through work, to meet some Astronauts from NASA and ESA - and that was just amazing. In so many ways they were just 'down to earth' (pun, I know)!

Thanks for looking in and leaving your comments.


Ming_the_Merciless said...

Welcome to the blogsphere. :-)

I thought you had a blog before this.

Anyway, thanks for visiting NYC Daily Photo.

eg(scotland) said...

Thanks Ming - good to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking a look at my raccoon friend. And also for the comment. You also asked if she was in a fight because her ear has slits in it. No fights that I know of. All raccoons that I have seen, except one, have at least one ear with a slit in it made by the baby teeth of a brother or sister. They scrap around some and usually end up with ear slits. I use them to help identify the ones who sometimes show up here.

Almost all of the raccoons that do come here are females. I suspect the males have more important things to do.

I read your post and found Plan A fascinating. I don't know how old you are so I can not offer any advice. However, my life has been rich and full and I have done everything I ever wanted to do.

I am not sure what you want out of life but I can tell you that I probably did it.

Abraham Lincoln
Brookville Daily Photo

eg(scotland) said...

Abraham Lincoln - thank you for visiting my site. I've been dropping into yours for a wee while now.

I think I could tell from the way you write and from the photograph of you that your life has been rich and full - you look and sound contented.

I'm 40 something but nearer the next big '0' than the last one! That's life - I just don't feel it. I hope to set out more about the things that are making me rethink what I want from life - not that I've had a bad life - far from it. There's just something more out there for me.

Thanks for telling me about the racoon - she's so beautiful. I keep going back to your site to have anpther look at her.