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Blog : Posts tagged with 'astronomy'

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Photo post of the week

In which we visit east Bristol, and Clevedon


A month or so ago, we took a trip to Clevedon, Somerset. I wrote about it at the time, although, I realise now, didn’t actually say which town we’d been to. Here, though, are some of the photographs.

The derelict Royal Pier Hotel, Clevedon Clevedon pier The derelict Royal Pier Hotel, Clevedon

And, as that’s not very many, here’s some of Bristol just after Christmas, too:

Christmas decorations, Church Rd, Bristol St George's Park, Bristol Moon, Bristol

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Night sky

In which FP is trying to look up


As I came home, after midnight, the skies were clear. I looked up into the sky, and could see it full of stars, clouds and clouds of them like a sprinkling of dust, more stars than I’d ever seen before. I looked up and spotted constellations: Orion, Cassiopea, Lyra, Pegasus, the Great Bear. The sky was filled.

And then I walked into a tree.

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Ink Polaroid

In which we look up at the stars


This is a slightly faded memory, from a few years ago now, from the last time I was in the Outer Hebrides. It’s a late night, two in the morning or so, in August. You can hardly make out a thing in the darkness. There’s a crowd of us sat around in deckchairs, in the front yard of the University farmhouse, heads leaning back. We’ve all just returned from the “local” pub, about six miles away, and we’re sitting outside to watch for the Perseids. Out there on the Atlantic coast, the sky seems, strangely, lighter than elsewhere, because of the number of stars scattered across it. The sky is filled with patterns of light, coming from millions of years ago; and leaning back in a deckchair, the age, complexity and size of it all fills me with a slightly dizzy awe.* Every thirty seconds or so, a meteor flashes across the dark sky, and everybody watching smiles.

* Not to mention that the rocks beneath us, the Lewisian Gneiss Complex, were themselves nearly three billion years old, older than the light from some of the stars.

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The turning wheel

In which it is probably midsummer


I was thinking: really, I should post something newsworthy, or political, because there hasn’t been much of that on here lately. Nothing in the news has caught my eye, though – it’s all been football-related, and I really couldn’t care one way or the other about it. Then, though, I remembered that today is the summer solstice.*

I’ve been wondering lately: what is the appropriate date for me to do an “end of the year” post. Is it January 1st? Probably not, to be honest. December 21st feels like a much better fit. Samhain would be appropriate, too; and, of course, I’ll have to post something on August 27th, just because that marks a year of blogging here. But today is also a good day to reflect on the changing seasons.

All of the yearly festivals are to some extent dual-faced. Today is a largely time to celebrate summer happiness, but it’s also a time to remember that winter is on its way. I can sit back and look around me, looking at how happy I am right now; but there’s still a long way to go. I’m in a good place at the moment, much happier than I was a year, two years, three years ago, but I’m still wary that something will happen to push me back where I once was.

On the other hand, it’s now High Summer, and I can see that reflected in my life. I am getting a social life once more. I am making friends, and I realise now that I’m a lot better at relating to people, and handling friendship. I’m learning how to avoid driving friends away, too. I’m finding myself. I’ve been learning a lot about my physical body, and learning to appreciate it a little more. I’m even getting better at taking compliments, rather than just stammering: “um … no … really, that’s not true.” Midsummer is a time to appreciate passion and feeling; and I’m even starting to understand that better too.**

* Actually, I haven’t checked the ephemerides to see if it is today. Occasionally it can fall slightly to the side, and the official astronomical solstice is now a few days further on.

** even if it is in theory rather than practice.

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