Monday, 28 September 2015

Moonset

It's 3.17am and Nathan and I are sitting at the top of Parliament Hill, underneath a duvet, with our heads on pillows, looking up at a full lunar eclipse. The moon is just about to disappear into a sea of rusty orange. I think you might describe it as "nearing totality." Somewhere in the darkness around us, a group of young men is singing Space Odyssey; "Ground Control to Major Tom." Someone is playing a guitar. A born-again Pagan is playing some kind of wooden flute. A melody that only a Pagan would know. I'd say there were perhaps thirty or forty people up here. Some have telescopes, others have fancy cameras. A large percentage of them are nutters, but it's an incredibly good-natured atmosphere up here.

The men have finished their song and are now howling like wolves, which has triggered much barking from real dogs somewhere on Highgate West Hill.

It's almost entirely pitch black now. When we arrived here, the moon was so bright it was casting silvery shadows all over the pavements. Now it's difficult to see my hand in front of my face.

The moon vanished from the top left-hand corner and in the process of disappearing, threw all sorts of crazy shapes. At one stage it looked very like an egg sitting in an egg cup! I couldn't find my tripod so all the pictures we ended up taking were a touch pointless, but it was an eerie and magical experience which I shan't forget in a while.

As the group of men burst into a rendition of Blue Moon, it feels like it's time to go home to bed. I have muchly enjoyed our little jaunt. Life has to be about experiencing these extraordinary things.

I couldn't find my tripod, so these pictures aren't great... But they're a memory of a memory...




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