15 June 2011 (Wednesday) - A Lunar Eclipse

Back to work after a few days off, and within a few minutes it was as though I had never been away. It’s not that I actively dislike my job: more that I’ve been doing it since September 1981, and I’m so bored with it.
We had the weekly weigh-in; I’ve not lost any weight since last week, nor have I gained any. Which in a non-dieting frame of mind is probably how it should be.  Apart from a colleague crashing his bicycle, the rest of the day was dull, and I came home to sleep in front of my PC for an hour or so.

And then after a cracking bit of scoff we set off to Folkestone. A few weeks ago Stevey organised an astro club event to watch tonight’s eclipse, and the event grew to encompass the South East Kent Astronomical Society as well. About a dozen of us met up near the Martello tower in Folkestone, and we looked at France through binoculars and speculated on the possibility of the eclipsed moon being seen through breaks in the cloud later.
As the cloud thickened and we lost sight of Dover we began to have doubts about the evening, but we got chatting. I was talking to a chap who was telling me of an astronomy festival at Herstmonceux Castle in September. From his description this event seems to be akin to a kite festival, but without drunken teenagers pissing in your mess tent. My personal feeling is that this is something that may well warrant closer examination.

By now the mist was rolling in, and it was no longer possible to see Capel which was only one mile distant, and one or two of the more fair-weather astronomers were beginning to speculate on the possibility of daring to question the wisdom of attempting to see the moon when we couldn’t actually see the end of the street. And there’s no denying that had this event not been run in conjunction with SEKAS but had been run just by the Ashford Astronomical Society, we would all have gone inside and looked at pictures of what an eclipse would look like if there was no clouds.
The mist was rather thick by this point, and it was raining; so much so that my trousers were soaked and my pants were damp. So we decided to give up and try again next time.
Next time being 7pm on Saturday 10 December. See you then…?

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