Saturday, 14 August 2010

On Stars

When I was young, my nan used to come and visit from her house in Fulham. She would sit in the garden for half an hour each evening, looking up at stars, and tell me how many more there were here than she was used to. I thought this was probably bollocks, until a random road trip with N in Cagliari allowed me to see the night sky as it should be seen. It's incredible, really. Absolutely mental. There are so many more stars up there than I can ever see at home. I can see about two. Well, that's a slight exaggeration - I can always see Orion, and the constellation that looks like a saucepan, but that's about it.

There was a great deal of talk last week about a spetacular meteor shower that was supposed to have been visible all over the UK. As I'm normally unable to appreciate the Great Big Light Show In The Sky, I was really quite up for it. And I wasn't the only one; the Facebook status of one of my brother's friends read:
"Sitting in the garden watching the meteor shower with a glass of baileys."

I'll put my surprise at his choice of tipple to one side for now, and concentrate on the biggest issue I have with this here status. You see, we live under the flight path to London Stansted and I believe my brother's friend was talking rubbish. He was watching aeroplanes, not comets. That's the only explanation I can offer. I looked for the meteors myself and there was nothing there. Nothing at all.

As I drunkenly made my way home on Thursday night, beered up and ready for bed, I stopped and had a look. Nothing. 'Perhaps it's a quiet period,' I thought, 'A dry spell.' I was torn between my desire to get home and the hope of seeing a shooting star. Anyone in possession of common sense would have made a choice; either keep walking or keep staring at the stars. I, on the other hand, decided on a compromise: I strode forward with my head bent right back looking up at the sky. In this way I could ensure that I would reach home at a decent hour without having to miss out. Looking back, it's nothing short of a miracle that I made it home in one piece, as I had no idea what was in front of me; I could only be sure that there was absolutely sod all above me. It's so unreasonable; I risked my life for those bloody comets and they didn't even have the decency to show up. That's it, Night Sky, we're done.


  1. Watching the stars while drunk can actually be quite fun, but the stars have to cooperate and show up. I visited a friend that lives out in the middle of nowhere last month and we happily collapsed on her front lawn for stargazing at the end of the night.
    I am yet to see a shooting star though. I've even been with other people when one is flying through the sky but I'm always that person that blinks or looks down at the wrong time. *sigh*

  2. My understanding is that the meteor shower is supposed to peak tonight. I guess I'll be able to know for sure after the BF and I try to watch ut tonight.

  3. I envy you the stars.

    In smog filled, always lit Manila; I'm often surprised I can see the moon.

    It also doesn't help that it's the monsoon and is currently pouring down.

  4. Those effing comets didn't show up?? That's too bad! I miss star watching. I haven't done that in a while. And I have never done it while drunk. What's wrong with me?!!!!

    Also, seeing planes as star while drunk makes sense, I think. It's the alcohol.

    P.S. I love Bailey's. Can you tell your brother's friend to send me a glass full here?

  5. That meteor shower was said to pass through canada the other night as well and I stayed up all night alone on the patio, just waiting.

    I was stood up by the stars.

  6. Hahaha! I couldn't imagine you did that, walking with your head bent right back. You could have been hit by a car or something. Hmmm, meteor shower stood you up huh! Hope you didn't had stiffed neck. Well, they are always like that, not showing up when they know they are been waiting for. Try your luck next time, oh i forgot you're done with them.

  7. @ Lauren - I have seen some before, when I lived in Italy. Apparently, and I'm not sure how true this is, you could see a shooting star every night if you wanted, you just have to stare at the same piece of sky for five minutes. Having written all that out, I now think it's bollocks. Ignore me.

    @ Ambiguous Geek - perhaps they didn't stand me up after all, I was just looking on the wrong night. That would be embarrassing. Did you see any?

    @ Risha - see, with all my chat about stars your comment has now made me want to live somewhere as bustling and smoggy as Manila. I'm so changeable it makes me sick.

    @ Gnetch - a glass of Baileys is in the post. It doesn't have a lid or anything though, so expect a soggy envelope. When it arrives, I want you to drink it, drink some more, and then star gaze and send me a 2,000 word essay on your thoughts.

    @ Kisekae - they stood you up too? Bastards. They don't care who they hurt, do they. Broken hearts all over the world...

    @ Mish - haha, yes - a car, a bus, a lorry. Anything. I'm a complete menace when I've had a drink and shouldn't be allowed out by myself. Yep, done with them. Forever. They've hurt me too much for me to forgive them.