After a week or so of plentiful demonstrations with balloons, grapefruits and torches, the eagerly anticipated (mainly by me) day of the eclipse arrived with the surprise of a reasonably clear sky. We certainly had a fair few clouds about but not the expected dense cover which would have been so typical. As we could see a bit of blue up there I decided we’d pack a little picnic (well, a bag of sweets each for the girls and a flask of coffee for me) and head for the nearest hill.


Having heard so much about burnt retinas I was determined that our view would be an entirely safe one so I dutifully packed a fine pair of colanders. Apparently the light shining through all the little holes onto a white surface would look like loads of mini eclipses.


The girls, however, had other ideas and were very happy with their ‘moon hats’. We were joined by a couple of friends and all the little people were more interested in running about than engaging in astrological talk. Without any guaranteed safe way of watching the eclipse directly, we happily watched the world dim slightly to a pinkish light, then get lighter again…. and that was about it. I had expected it to get darker but it was a fun atmosphere and I do believe that both girls have got a good basic understanding of what it was that we were (not really) seeing.


The next time one of these eclipses swings passed us will be in 2026. By then my two will be 15 and 17 and I doubt that running around in moon hats eating marshmallows will be quite their thing, so I’m glad we made the effort today.


A day at home

Miss E was off school yesterday with a sore throat. A throat which by half ten had made such a recovery that she was playing in the garden with the dog and decorating the patio with paint she had mixed from chalk. When she started jumping on the trampoline and singing at the top of her voice I had to call time and bring her in. Not to be a party pooper you understand but I was slightly concerned with what the neighbours would make of this ‘sick’ child. Once we had hidden inside again we actually had a lovely day. We made a papier mache sun, Earth and moon in anticipation of Friday’s solar eclipse; watched 2 episodes of CBeebies’ Stargazers plus some youtube shorts about eclipses and Miss E had decided that she would be not only cooking dinner but also making pudding. So after dropping Miss G at Nursery we went shopping for all the bits she would need.

I am still rather dubious of the degree of soreness that this throat was producing, but with only 2 weeks of formal schooling left for this little lady, I am hardly going to lose sleep over it. Rather it was a glimpse of things to come…