Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Stardust in my eyes.

I wrote this at 2-00am on Monday night, but Blogger was being naughty and I couldn’t post it. I’m on tour this week – it’s not a farewell tour (not yet) but it’s my ‘fill your pockets and run like f@#k’ tour.

I have to go to the clinic next Monday and so this week is going to be about fun.

So on Saturday I took in the SkaSouls at Mr Bumbles in Camberley, a night which ended with the audience dancing on the tables.

Monday night I was at the Jazz Club – I’ll Blog on that later when I feel a bit better. Then I went out ‘after midnight’, to have a look at the shooting stars.

This was what I wrote;


It’s midnight but I can’t say it’s clear and bright – there’s a haze of cloud and because I’m not far from Heathrow airport and the M25, it’s catching the light pollution.But there are patches where there is no cloud and the stars are shining through.

So too are The Perseids – the remains of Comet Swift-Tuttle’s trail. Because of the conditions I couldn’t catch the numerous little ones that burn up very high in the atmosphere. However, I still saw quite a few – I stopped counting at 20.

I saw two that left long white streaks across the sky and then ….a beauty. I didn’t actually see it pass and very unusually, when I saw the streak out of the corner of my eye, I was able to follow it and catch sight of the trail it left behind. I counted to three as I watched it disperse – it looked like the vapour trail you get off the back of a jet plane, except this wasn’t water vapour, it was burning! Then it went out, quickly, again like a flame going out. No sound at all. What a whopper!

As far as height goes, they are normally very high up – higher than the highest level planes – because at night you can see the planes lights high up and compare them.

However my trail was much lower than normal and I would estimate lower than 30,000 feet which is the normal cruising height of a plane.

So pretty impressive. Pity I missed its fireball.

It was a weird, weird night. Still and cold for August.

I was stood in the middle of a field, part of a medieval field system and nunnery. Foxes were screeching, birds crawing. There were strange sounds – things crashing in the hedges as I passed, startled by me. I didn’t see any bats, which is unusual but I did have to play Russian roulette with cowpats in the field.

On my way home, there were no cars, everything was silent and noisey at the same time, in the way the countryside is when all the people are in bed.

At 1-30 am, someone lit a big bonfire in his front garden – very eccentric and what was he burning?

I stopped because I was cold and aching. As I came back I was thinking of all the people who stood in this field in August a thousand years or so ago or since, watching for shooting stars just like I was tonight.


There will be a good shower in the autumn, but not like this one. These shooting stars will be falling next August and every August to follow – why not have a look next year, and think of me when you see one.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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