“Enthusiasm never dies a natural death. It dies when we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies from errors and tarnishing and from weariness and withering.”
What was special about Sunday 20th July 2014?
It was the date I resigned from my final astronomical forum too bored, too frustrated and too tired to be bothered with the bad language, bad manners and bad science for a moment longer. Of course my formal involvement in the hobby - as in subscription paying involvement - had come to an end in late 2013 but July 2014 very much represents the end of an era for me.
It wasn't that long ago that I would have labelled myself as an "enthusiastic amateur astronomer". I was a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and I used to write peer-reviewed articles on both double stars and variable stars. So what happened?
Part of the reason was the lack of new challenges - once you have over 1000 of your discoveries in the standard catalogues the thrill of the chase pretty much disappears - but it was also the ruthless streak that now seems to have sweeping through the pro-amateur section of the astronomy hobby that finally did it for me.