Tuesday, 4 January 2011

January splash of colour : fire

I have no pictures actually from today because I was out most of the day - I went into Glasgow to investigate the sales. Specifically I went to look at what wool was in the sale at John Lewis, and the answer is quite a lot and quite nice but nothing that I needed. Never mind - I do have plenty in my stash and several projects on the go already! So today's picture is from the other night.

It's cloudy here. Again (though the snow melted again over night so not all bad). One of the Boy's Christmas presents was a telescope - he is space mad - and due to a combination of that and Stargazing Live on the Beeb we're quite desparate to get out and look at the night sky. Except there is no night sky, just cloud. It's probably a little known fact to the majority of my friends that at university I was in the Astronomy Society (or Astrosoc). In fact I was VP one year, or was it for two years? - sounds impressive, but it mostly involved taking the minutes of committee meetings! I didn't understood a vast amount of the technical stuff at the talks, being an anthropology student, and some of the talks were very technical, but I suppose the interest in astronomy relates to the interest in anthropology - the night sky being such a rich source of myth-making for cultures everywhere.

Every now and then I get all enthusiastic again, often when there's a meteor shower, and I go and lie on a blanket in the back garden, wearing eighteen layers of clothes, trying to block out light pollution and find a gap in the clouds. What I should do is time my visits to my parents in the Highlands to coincide with meteor showers, taking twenty-eight layers of clothes and a flask of coffee out to the golf course or up the glen. I have never seen stars as clearly as I have in Badenoch - it's really phenomenal. Orion looks as if he's actually striding about the sky, whereas here his belt looks fairly clear and the rest are a bit difficult to make out. Even when I still lived in Shetland which you might think of as more remote there were problems with light pollution, such as the flare-stack at the oil-terminal! I did see auroras though - as a kid they freaked me out a bit, they are quite spooky.


Floss said...

Lovely post - I'm glad to discover you through the Splash of Colour! My son (aged 13, don't know the age of yours yet - need to read more!) bought himself a good telescope three years ago after a few birthdays and Christmases of saving. He's space mad but goes through phases of actually going out and looking through the telsecope - as you imply, it is quite a lot of work and then we just tell him to get to bed!

silverpebble said...

I haven't seen many meteor showers but those that I have (and I saw a brilliant one in France once) have been wonderful. We didn't manage to see last week's shower either. I'm making a resolution right now to try and make an effort for the rest of the showers this year.

Peeriemoot said...

Thank you both :-). Floss, my son is seven so is interested for a few minutes then gets distracted by something else! We're just waiting for another clear night (ha!) and we'll get him to look at the moon through the telescope, that should be fun!