Three nice things for a happy new year

1. Paisley Observatory

Built by the Coats family in 1883, and gifted to Paisley Buddies, it’s not just stunning but you can climb the stone steps into the dome and be treated to views of the moon, Jupiter or Saturn’s rings. The best thing is that your hosts are the very knowledgeable and fantastically enthusiastic Renfrewshire Astronomical Society. Open on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings October to March, and entirely free. The last time we were there, a mere post-it note on the door saying ‘please knock’ was the only clue as to the treasures within.

2. Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir

Ten days left to join in this brilliant project: music and instructions about how to be part of a global music making ensemble here.

3. parkrun

There’s probably one near you. Saturday mornings, turn up with the barcode you print off the site, and you’ll get a time for 5K. There are fast runners at the front but happy slower people at the back (including me). Free, fun to volunteer in, and friendly.

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