The Planet Suite

There are some advantages to being back in the rat race. I hate getting up in the dark and going home in the dark. But the beauty of the skies in December is breathtaking. This morning, a Homeresque dawn greets me as I drive past the BBC transmitting station, that modern take on Stonehenge, metal mast icons for the Age of Aquarius. And then this evening. Wow! Venus is a brilliant diamond in the south west at dusk, following Jupiter down as the evening wears on. It is a joy to drive home towards them. And then, as I walk the dogs, I realise I don't need the torch. The Oak Moon, or Snow Moon, is on its way, rising high above three beech trees in the hedgerow. Absolutely stunning. I stop and take it all in, breathe in the cold air and smell the woodsmoke. I thank God I am healthy and alive.

According to the wonderful Stargazers' Almanac, given to me by the boffin who runs the mobile planetarium, we will be able to see Saturn at midnight during the middle of the month and then Mercury next to the moon in the west at dusk on 29 December.

I once borrowed a telescope and was spellbound by the craters of the moon. From the warmth of my conservatory, it was like being at the helm of the Millennium Falcon. I think I would like a telescope for Christmas.

That's about it
Love Maddie x

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