One Minute Ramble: Skyscape

At lunchtime, I looked up into the sky and could see a blue that went on for miles. A blue that was clear and solid at the same time. I couldn’t see through it, and I couldn’t see anything in it, yet there was nothing there.

This afternoon, I looked up into the sky and couldn’t see it. It was covered by heavy, heaving, low-hanging, ominous-looking dark grey clouds, with the occasional fluffy white bits thrown in for good measure. The clouds went on for miles. I couldn’t see the sky through them, yet they were the sky. And still, there was nothing there.

Tonight, I looked up into the sky and could see an endless blackness, empty yet full of twinkling stars of many different colours. Each star millions of miles away from each other, yet they looked as though I could easily reach up and grab several hundred in a single handful. I didn’t though…

Instead I just looked, and pondered the ever changing skyscape that’s there everyday. Forever changing, forever dramatic… and hopefully forever always there.

Not even a shimmer!

Yesterday evening, Thursday, February 27th, 2014, as strange exploding noises were emerging from the bathroom (and I wasn’t there, being here!) a Breaking News story emerged on the BBC News website.

Just after the bathroom explosion, I thought ‘that was quick!’, but then when I read the news story, I found it had nothing to do with me whatsoever. Well, it did, but not directly. I’m not that important, it seems.

Apparently, as the skies were so clear, the Aurora Borealis was visible throughout the UK. I left the creature from the black lagoon to smear and slide out of the bathroom and to go wherever it wanted to go, and I headed outside. I was, finally, going to get to see my Northern Lights.

I dashed outside.

I crooked my neck.

I looked up into the black sky.

I sighed.

Oh, it was a beautifully clear night alright. I could see hundreds of millions of stars twinkling above me – far more than I can usually see from in the Grinds – but not one shimmer of green was there. Not a haze of red. No dash of blue. No hint of peach. No flair of purple. No twinkling of – well, you get the idea.

The Northern Lights were visible if you were further north than me, and they were also visible if you were further south than me. And presumably east and west. But, being in the middle (actually the north-west, where I was (and am!)) they weren’t visible. Well, in my part of the north-west anyway. Other parts of the north-west could see them.

The image that accompanies this post has been erm… ahem… ‘borrowed’ from the BBC News website, but I’ve used it to highlight the spectacular light show that I never did see.

I’m beginning to think it’s a conspiracy.

It.

Everything.

But I’ll still have another look tonight, just in case I’m wrong…

Love Is All Around

To continue with my (hopefully very brief!) Valentine’s theme this year, I tried to see if I could find a town called ‘Love’. On the whole planet, I must add, not just in the Cheshire vinicity (I know – modern English… you’ll thank me one day!)

There are lots of places that begin L-O-V-E, but I couldn’t find one merely called Love (there must be one somewhere – if you know of one, please advise in the comments!)

I utilised Google’s nifty map services to carry out my search, but gave up after intensely scrutinising the data for two minutes. I wheeled back (on the mouse wheel, not the chair, as I kneel and don’t sit and type and I don’t have wheels on my knees (although sometimes they could come in very handy when I have to suddenly get up for something (i.e. cramp; thirst; the loo) and can’t as I’m locked into position) anyway, I digress.) maybe a little too far, and found this image.

At first, I thought that the Google Street View car’s driver had gotten himself a little lost, but then I remembered that they use satellite technology now (or satnology as it will be known in a few years – remember me when you hear it next!)

Anyway, to cut a long post short, I found the place I was looking for. Well, almost. Not the town, but the whole caboodle.

I love images of this great planet of ours. (In fact, not only images, I love the place itself!) From such a great distance away, we don’t seem to be in as such a mess as we’re being told, do we? (That was meant to be a rhetorical question, but it wouldn’t type right) Never mind – even if we are in a mess it still looks good from a few thousand miles away.

All images in this post have been obtained from the Google Map thingy. I would have gone myself, but with the cramp in my knees I can’t reach full height standing at the moment, let alone blasting out toward the stars. Maybe next week I’ll get some good photos of my own to use then!

Star-Crossed Lovers?

Romeo and Gretel got off to a bad start.

Hansel and Juliet never got to meet.

It’s strange how some things are just meant to happen.

Romeo, Grand Duke of the Alamenth Cluster, and Grand Captain of the Floating Cryllaminth luxury liner, was given one task to carry out. He had to deliver, on the orders of The Cluster Guards, Juliet to the moon Titan, in orbit around Saturn.

Gretel, scullery maid on the prisoner trade ship Splopp, had to deliver Hansel to Titan as well, as a task for her to be released from service on board the Splopp and into a life of luxurious freedom on the Crystal of the Solar System, otherwise known as Earth.

Queen Juliet of the Quaqua Dominion, had demanded exile within Alamenth, which had been refused, although she was granted permission to stay on Titan.

Father Hansel, of the newly formed Rings of Saturn Order, needed to set up quarters on Titan, and arrange to meet the fleeing queen on her arrival.

Gretel was late. Very late. The Splopp had left without her two hours ago, although she had ensured she was half an hour early for departure. The schedule had changed last minute, and Gretel was unaware.

Hansel was on board, which was very fortunate for Gretel, for if he hadn’t have been, her release would have been postponed for twenty years. As it stands now, she only has another fifteen years to work on the Splopp, or the lower-decks sister model, the Ploop. She hoped for the Splopp, as she hated the Ploop the last time she was there. She would have liked to have got to Earth though. Next mission, she pondered, as she headed back to the hut that she had to use as her rest quarters when not at work.

Romeo called the Order switchboard on Titan, to see if Gretel had arrived. He was advised not, but that Hansel had reached there safely, and was settling into the new cells quite comfortably. Romeo was quite pleased that the Splopp had set off earlier than planned, as he’d requested, although he felt a little sorry for forcing Gretel to work a few years longer. He couldn’t believe it when he read that Gretel had been chosen for this mission, she was due to start work on one of his liners in a few months and he couldn’t lose her. Romeo was Grand Duke, after all, so all the ships in his Cluster had to fit in with his regional flight path plans, and personal plans had to be put on hold because of this. The galaxy can not stand still for freedom.

As soon as he finished the call, the claxon sounded, and the Cryllaminth lurched suddenly, shuddered, and then stopped.

Juliet was furious. With a glare towards the guard on her door that said stay still, say nothing, or else, she barged passed him, looked back, paused for a second and then ran onto the landing deck where her mini cruiser was being held. She did not like any delay, especially when there was a fine window of time involved.

The landing deck on the Cryllaminth was open to all ships leaving, but closed to incoming vessels due to its state of the art one-way barrier shielding. Juliet was well aware of this, as she jetted off at force-one speed, smiling at her new travelling companion, the guard who should have kept her in her room. She patted his thigh to thank him for not sounding the alarm of her escape, although she had to wonder what had caused the first alarm that had stopped the Cryllaminth dead. Only for a split second, however, and then she increased the speed to warp twelve and sped away, to a new life anywhere in the Universe.

Romeo watched as Juliet vanished into the vast starlit sky.

He knew he would never see Juliet again. He thanked his lucky stars that he wouldn’t as well. He headed to the engine room to change the cheap liquid crystal fuel back into the expensive liquid crystal fuel that he usually used on his ship. He knew the queen would use any hold up to be off, so used this knowledge to his advantage.

On Titan, Hansel swiftly learned of Juliet’s escape. He called the High Order of the Quaquas. “Brothers and Sisters, the treacherous one has escaped.“ He announced. “We have all failed in our mission to hold her in this prison, but we have rid ourselves of the evil queen. She will not return now.” He heard the celebratory chants before he had ended the call.

Gretel listened to the news on her mini radio. There was talk of celebrations throughout the galaxy as a queen she had never heard of had been ousted from power. The region was free. Gretel settled down into her hammock. “It’s alright for some” she thought, before falling asleep, dreaming of her own freedom once again.