Here in the UK we are gripped, transfixed and amazed as we experience a solar eclipse.
It is, it has to be said, turning out to be a bit of a damp squib in these parts.
We had a heated debate about eclipses over dinner earlier in the week which pretty much summed up the fact that collectively we know three fifths of fuck all about doings in the heavens. Where’s Brian Cox when you need him? Not at our house eating chilli and gesticulating wildly with a tortilla, that’s for sure.
Oscar wanted to know if because the moon was going in front of the sun here, it would mean that everyone in Australia would wake up to dazzling sunshine? Australian people, did this happen? Have you been blinded by the sun as you sleep?
Tilly wanted to know where the sun went while it was behind the moon?
Tallulah wanted to know if the eclipse meant that the Hell Mouth would open. I diagnose too much Buffy.
‘It turns out I suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of apocalypse’.
I’d have been quite excited if Tallulah’s theory came true. It would have added a certain frisson to proceedings, being chased around the garden in the half dark by the Mayor of Leicester who just happens to be a fire dragon of the apocalypse. I don’t think the Hell Mouth is in Leicester though.
Swindon gets my vote.
I’m not saying it would have been a great outcome if the Hell Mouth had opened, but it would certainly have been more interesting than what did happen.
Which was basically that it looked rather overcast for a while, and then it didn’t. Even the birds didn’t really stop singing this time around (not like during the vastly superior solar eclipse of 1999 where I was standing like a gorm outside the Whittington Hospital in Archway until I got bored of standing like a gorm and went for a cup of tea and a biscuit instead. Never let it be said that eclipses get in the way of a healthy appetite.)
This time I wandered in and out of the garden hoping to be amazed. The cat sat half in, half out of the French windows and looked totally unimpressed by the whole thing. I thought she might get a bit twitchy, or start puffing up in alarm, but no, she desultorily washed her paw and then closed her eyes to it all. I think she was embarrassed by it.
At least we started off with a beautifully sunny morning. It is ironic that this is the first day for a week we’ve had sun, and even while the eclipse was happening it was still marginally brighter than it has been for the rest of the week.
The eclipse was resolutely British in its utter failure to be impressive. I love the fact that my time line is full of disillusioned English people taking the piss out of the total lack of drama the eclipse offered. Oscar was already bored on the way to school this morning because it didn’t all happen at a million miles per hour with lightning bolts and a pulsing rock sound track. Tallulah will be devastated about the no show Hell Mouth situation. Only Tilly stands the remotest chance of holding on to her dreams here. Ever the optimist.
Me? I can’t get this out of my head.