Friday, March 20, 2015

Today at 9:31 GMT (earlier if you’re further North than London) we will be able to see the eclipse. Or at least we should be able to see it if the clouds aren’t misbehaving. Using my profound Mystic Meg knowledge (and British cynicism towards weathermen) I’m going to harbour a guess that we won’t see a sausage and the hour the eclipse happens will just be like someone nudging the dimmer switch for a while.

I was twelve and enjoying the heady sensation of six blissful weeks off school during the summer of August 1999.  I waited patiently on the beach with my parents at home the last time there was an eclipse and I remember it feeling like something so magical. Everyone was crowded onto the tiny spit by the harbour, all wearing ridiculous glasses, Mums fretting over disobedient children who wanted to peek at the sun without their BBC regulation shades on and Dads with tripods hoping to record the moment the sun was hidden from us. For some daft reason I had fully expected the stars to come out when the sun disappeared. I thought nighttime would be switched on and tiny twinkling lights in the night sky would appear. Of course I was wrong, but it still remains a very happy memory as the south coast was dark for a little while and everyone was united in a shared experience of gazing up and remembering to stop for a while and take in the fresco we often take for granted.

Anyway, here’s a video of Vanessa Carlton singing while an eclipse is happening. A nice mash-up of an astronomical phenomenon and early-noughties musical magic. YOU’RE WELCOME.

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