[img]/assets/Images/Media/Ciel-2-Blog/Make-A-Wish.JPG[/img] Dense fog has crept in on its little cat feet for the last several days and, since the temperature has been inching towards zero, we were greeted for lunch with all of the trees and bushes covered with a layer of hoar frost; the decorative harbinger of winter and snow. In keeping with the axiom about “all work and no play,” it was decided that we were overdue for a little bit of play. With standalone testing successfully underway, most of the teams spent the day meandering around Baikonur town, taking in the local cuisine and finding bargains at the market. (Getting Christmas shopping done – for once before 24 December!) We also took advantage of the contingency day to gather the troops to celebrate not one but four birthdays for the previous week. Being the ubiquitous team that we are, we attended the birthday dinner that Thales put on in honor of the four birthday boys. There was much merriment, toasts and conversation. In keeping with the French birthday tradition, all of the women at the dinner gave each birthday boy an osculatory gift. Our repertoire of international birthday traditions is ever expanding!

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