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The Stars like dust….!

27 Oct

I currently have no less than three posts nearing completion for your “entertainment” – two almost finished at the typing stage and another still in the initial hand written phase.

I have, however, been forced to put all of those aside this evening and start this new one.

Let me back up a bit and explain.

Following three weeks of my current job involving early starts, late finishes and anything up to a ninety minute car journey at each end, common sense eventually prevailed and I booked into a Bed and breakfast establishment about eight miles away in the small north Norfolk seaside resort of Heacham. It is a small place having more caravans than houses and as the holiday season has now ended it is extremely quiet.

The plan to save me from total exhaustion has worked so far and I have actually been arriving at my work in a reasonably awake state. I am not even tired out when I get back to the B & B.

The one problem I have now is what to do after my evening Skype call to Faith in Peterborough – spending every evening in your room watching TV very soon gets boring.

So tonight I decided to go out for a walk – initially just to see what the place had to offer but when that turned out to be “not much” I decided to follow the main street towards its termination at the beach. It was by now pitch dark and with very little activity in the caravan area the number of working street lights seemed to have been cut right back but I had a small torch to prevent me from falling off the pavement.

On reaching the sea wall I looked out across The Wash towards Lincolnshire (this is the only part of the east coast of England that faces west – look it up if you don’t believe me!) and could see faint glows opposite representing Boston to the left and Skegness away to the right. Behind me the muted lights of Heacham merged into the somewhat brighter ones of Hunstanton but neither of those patches of yellow sodium lamps could compete in any way with the REAL glory – above!

I have remarked in another item on this site (https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2010/08/22) about seeing the true wonder of the clear night sky while night fishing on the Suffolk coast and this was just as amazing! I thought at first that there were patches of cloud obscuring the view above but soon came to realise that this was the plane view of the arms of our galaxy – or the Milky Way as it is known – winding like a glowing ribbon across the sky.

I was able to move down the stepped sea wall enough to block out all landward lights and actually lay down on the concrete to savour the experience fully – fortunately there was no-one else around to see me – for about fifteen minutes. During that time I saw half a dozen shooting stars apparently emanating from the constellation Taurus – I have a feeling that is one of the scheduled meteor showers each year!

It was a very moving and wonderful few minutes and I will be watching the weather forecast in order to repeat the experience when I return here next week – must remember binoculars next time!

Alfie

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5 Comments

Posted by on October 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

5 responses to “The Stars like dust….!

  1. Cy Quick

    October 27, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    A crick in the neck is not a price you have to pay for happy stargazing if you have the practical genius, and natural-born common sense of good old Alfie! Straight to the only answer goes he! Well done. And having seen the natural wonder of our galactic habitat in the setting of its siblings, there are the humble human-made heavenly bodies that, since 1957, have been fun to spot. Unless they are very large, they cannot be seen except from darkness. They cannot be seen at all unless caught by the rays of Sol and that means not caught by the shadow of Earth. Artificial satellites closely orbiting Earth can be viewed during the half hour after sunset, and again for about half an hour before sunrise. Higher spacecraft, robotic or human-crewed (in the case of International Space Station), are not so easily shadowed, so easier to see. I THINK I have it all stated correctly! What a super Post!

     
    • Vincent

      October 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      Trouble is – the bloody things are coming back DOWN, now! I like the way they say there is a 70% chance they’ll land “harmlessly” in the sea. Not so bloody harmless if you are SAILING there!

       
  2. Vincent

    October 27, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    I’ve done that! Driven miles out into the country, at night – waited twenty minutes for my night vision to maximise – then stared up into the endless Universe – marvelled at the billions of tiny twinkling lights – and ruminated on how INSIGNIFICANT they are. I mean, WE are!

    Although I’ve seen hundreds of “shooting stars” – just ONCE, on a boat in the Bay Of Thailand, I saw one EXPLODE into separate pieces. Spectacular.

    While I’m on, two questions – one: I TOO have Skype – how come WE’VE never talked on it? For decades, video-phones were a DREAM. But now we have them – for FREE – no-one USES them!

    And two: is Heacham pronounced “Hoe-shomp”? (Well, if Beauchamp is pronounced Beecham…)

     
    • Cy Quick

      October 28, 2011 at 4:02 am

      If I may butt in twixt two old school buddies… Skype involves learning how to do something new! No way! It took me since 1989 to get on top of the few things I do do, on the computer. I was only 49 (and living in Garden Crescent, West How, Plymouth) back then. I am now way too old in 2011 (at 71) to be learning new stuff. Besides, I already have Sky TV. You would think Rupert would throw in his Sky Pee too.

       
  3. Cy Quick

    October 28, 2011 at 4:18 am

    Also, I would like to reveal that, in 1981, whilst I was a nightwatchman at a co-ed public school in rural England (nice and dark), I got chatting to the junior Sweets Chef. He was a Blakes 7 fan (big-time, went dressed as the safe-breaker character to conventions, he saw me as Avon) and we laid down on the little brick wall outside the tuck shop at 3 in the morning. We saw nothing. I later found out that it had to be just after sundown, or just before sun-up. One time we climbed the ladder in the school’s modern-built theater and examined around the lighting rigs in the ceiling. (Permission? Sorry… what is permission?) He used to steal entire trifles (35 cm diameter dishes) and yaffle them in his room. He began the job as an exquisite brown-eyed boy of 16. Six months later he was 5cm taller and more than twice as heavy. He told me that, at 13, BBC Childrens’ TV Drama wanted to take him to London for a part in a series. He must have been ultra-yummy at that age! His mother (in Wiltshire) said not a chance! Good for her? Or a missed opportunity for a good career? Damned if I know. Life… it is good in parts, but it sure needs more work, dudes…

     

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