Just before going away for a few days, Heather went next door to procure cat-sitting services, and learned that our neighbour's daughter-in-law was desperately in need of a child-minder - hence her announcement on returning: "I've got a job!" One doesn't normally nip next door for employment opportunities, so she had to elaborate upon this unexpected statement. The outcome is that she has charge of a toddler and a baby, four days a week, for the foreseeable future. I'm happy to find that they are pleasant children, but dismayed that the three-year-old cannot properly form a gerund. What is happening to educational standards? He does ask questions though, which is encouraging, but the question is usually "why...?". For example: "Why have you turned the TV off?" "Because we're not watching it just now." "Why not?" I felt a discussion about the merits of daytime television would not prove rewarding, so left it there.
Needless to say, we will have to consider child-proofing for the first time in a dozen years (although visiting teenagers have been cause for concern in more recent times).
In more personally satisfying (and less challenging) news, I have set up my newly-retrieved telescope once more, and shall point it at a celestial sight ere long. I left it with a friend in Coffs Harbour when we left last year, as there was neither the space in the truck, nor an likelihood that I would do anything with it for some time. However, it's nice to see my old friend again, even if it is like something from a byegone age, compared to the current offerings in Sky and Telescope. With Jupiter now rising before midnight, it's time to put it to use again though, perhaps even with a camera at the sharp end. Watch this space.