Friday, October 31, 2008

In search of the moon!

Could you do with a laugh?

Ten minutes ago I had a phone call from my American neighbour, Susan. She was, she told me, crossing the river as she spoke and was gazing up at the moon. She had never seen a more beautiful moon. "Go and look at it!" she enthused, "I had to ring you to tell you about it!"

So, after putting down the phone, I went to each of the windows and peered out . . . not a moon in sight. There must be low cloud over this part of London, I decided. The moon was restricting its charms to the City. So I phoned Susan back and told her to enjoy the moon, "We haven't got it here," I told her.

"But it's huge!" she insisted, "It's low in the east. Right over St. Paul's."
I told her that I hadn't an east-facing window, but, surrendering to her enthusiasm, promised that I'd go out into the street and have a look.

So down the stairs I went, not stopping to put on a coat, and out into the street.
John, one of the school caretakers was walking past. He looked a little surprised to see me coming out of the building at eight o'clock without a coat and clearly not dressed for going anywhere.
"I'm looking for the moon," I said.
It was hard to see his expression in the dark, but I could swear that he was lifting a quizzical eyebrow.
"The moon?"
"Yes, a friend has just phoned me from the City and told me to look at the moon."
It was evident that he thought that I needed humouring.
"No sign of it here," he said.
"Er . . . I think I'll just walk down to the end of the street," I said, "then if it isn't there I'll give up."
"You do that!" he agreed, and walked off into the school clearly musing over this new discovery that some school governors were considerably more dippy than others!

So I walked to the end of the street . . . and there . . . just visible over the roof of the pub . . . was the most splendid, golden moon you ever saw. A really wonderful moon . . . the sort of moon that would (Susan was right) get you phoning your friends just to implore them to go out into the streets and gaze up at the heavens.
I thanked the gods of Samhuinn (the Celtic festival which has just started) and, beginning to feel a little chilly without a coat, hurried back home.

"The moon's down there!" I called out to John who was standing by the school gate.
"Er . . . yes . . . I'm sure it is . . . " he agreed, as one humouring a simple-minded child.
I'd love to hear him recount the incident to his fellow site staff in the morning . . . no, on second thoughts, perhaps I'm grateful that I won't!

Goodnight . . . happy Samhuinn . . . I hope you saw the moon!