Life On The Road · UK

Star of Wonder

The day I arrived in the UK exactly a week ago today, I had to pack up a smaller bag that same evening for a trip to Scotland for 3 days.  As usual, Craig had his projects in power generation plants located, as always, in the middle of nowhere.  And I had my own eagerness to tag along to explore the UK.  And as long as I have my map, a bus/train schedule, and a compass (now nicely found in my iPhone), things have become more efficient as I manage to avoid finding myself, uhm, in the middle of nowhere.  But enough of these dramatic sentences — I went to Glasgow for 2 of the 3 days, for a few hours each time.  One day I just stayed in the hotel, consumed WiFi like a cyberspace drunk, worked up a frenzy and fired everything across to the other side of the pond.
And so finally, we were driving home from Falkirk, Scotland, down to Manchester.  The terrain was amazing as we drove up- and downhill, our ears popping from altitude changes as we passed grazing lands and mountainsides, little storybook towns, now all quiet, in the pitch dark of night.  Except that up there, right in front of us, was this very shining, very solitary, light in the sky — just that in an otherwise very black sky.  And how crazy can a conversation between a male Engineer (meaning:  black-is-black-white-is-white), and a jet-lagged female lawyer (meaning:  black-can-be-white-depending-on-your-arguments) get?
C:   Look up there.  Very bright huh.  Must be a planet.
Me:  How do you know it is a planet, and not a star?
C:  Because it is unusually bright and I seem to recall reading somewhere that Jupiter is highly visible these days.  That might be Jupiter.
Me:  Well, what if it’s a star?
C:  THAT bright?
Me:  Yeah, what if it’s the North Star?
C:  Unlikely.
Me:  Why?
C:  We’re headed South.
Me:  Oh, ok.
Marginal note 1  :  I SWEAR I do not have blond roots.
Marginal note 2  :  I was and am still heavily jet-lagged, which most likely explains the “lapse”.
Marginal note 3  :  True enough, I checked online and indeed Jupiter dominates the October sky.   This is fun to view:  http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/tonights_sky/show.php?month=october&year=2009
Marginal note 4  :  Meanwhile and wonderfully coincidentally, blaring in the background was Gustav Holst’s “JUPITER, Bringer of Jollity” from “The Planets” (version of the London Symphony, Sir Colin Davis conducting).  How perfect is that?

The day I arrived in the UK exactly a week ago today, I had to pack up a smaller bag that same evening for a trip to Scotland for 3 days.  As usual, Craig had his projects in power generation plants located, as always, in the middle of nowhere.  And I had my own eagerness to tag along to explore the UK.  And as long as I have my map, a bus/train schedule, and a compass (now nicely found in my iPhone), things have become more efficient as I manage to avoid finding myself, uhm, in the middle of nowhere.  But enough of these dramatic sentences — I went to Glasgow for 2 of the 3 days, for a few hours each time.  And on one day I stayed in the hotel, consumed WiFi like a cyberspace drunk, worked up a frenzy and fired everything across to the other side of the pond.  And so quickly those days flew by.

And so finally, we were driving home from Falkirk, Scotland, down to Manchester.  The terrain was amazing as we drove up- and downhill, our ears popping from altitude changes as we passed grazing lands and mountainsides, little storybook towns, now all quiet, in the pitch dark of night.  Except that up there, right in front of us, was this very shining, very solitary, light in the sky — just that in an otherwise very black sky.  And how crazy can a conversation between a male Engineer (meaning:  black-is-black-white-is-white), and a jet-lagged female lawyer (meaning:  black-can-be-white-depending-on-your-arguments) get?

C:   Look up there.  Very bright huh.  Must be a planet.

Me:  How do you know it is a planet, and not a star?

C:  Because it is unusually bright and I seem to recall reading somewhere that Jupiter is highly visible these days.  That might be Jupiter.

Me:  Well, what if it’s a star?

C:  THAT bright?

Me:  Yeah, what if it’s the North Star?

C:  Unlikely.

Me:  Why?

C:  We’re headed South.

Me:  Oh, ok.

Marginal note 1  :  I SWEAR I do not have blond roots.

Marginal note 2  :  I was and am still heavily jet-lagged, which most likely explains the “lapse”.

Marginal note 3  :  True enough, I checked online and indeed Jupiter dominates the October sky.   This is fun to view:  http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/tonights_sky/show.php?month=october&year=2009

Marginal note 4  :  Meanwhile and wonderfully coincidentally, blaring in the background was Gustav Holst’s “JUPITER, Bringer of Jollity” from “The Planets” (version of the London Symphony, Sir Colin Davis conducting).  How perfect is that?

Skylights from the atrium, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Glasgow Museum, Glasgow.
Skylights from the atrium, Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Glasgow Museum, Glasgow.
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3 thoughts on “Star of Wonder

    1. Iota – That’s one thing about this country — the countryside is just awesome; and almost everywhere has such character. p.s., I have YET to actually drive here — I use public transport — have to get used to driving on the CORRECT side of the road. :)

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