Friday, 20 January 2017

Star Gazing

The '3rd Quarter' moon passes within 3º of Jupiter on the
night of the 18th/19th Jan
One of the nicest surprise 'bonus' gifts we received on moving here were the crystal clear night skies and the chance to look at the gazillion stars we had never seen from Kent. No air pollution and no light pollution mean we can regularly see the Milky Way and ever since we were building this place and living in the caravan in 2012 we have been coming back indoors and breathlessly telling each other that "Wow! It is a night of a million stars out there!"

A '365' pic of the church looking fine in the slanting morning
I have always been a bit interested in star gazing. Regular readers might recall that I fried the mother board of my last camera while trying to take repeated long-exposure shots of the Perseid meteor shower. A good friend of mine in Kent, John W, may have known this when he advised Santa to send me a brilliant book, the Collins/Royal Observatory Greenwich 2017 Guide to the Night Sky.

Clearing the local river
This is a lovely little paperback in full colour packed with maps, 'artist's impressions', charts and other graphics but is specific to the sky as seen from London. That is close enough; they all work. I have had some fun with it just knowing what the moon will be doing and what events are due. The moon was very closely aligned to Jupiter, for example, on the morning of 19th and on the 24th passes very close to Saturn. Next item on the shopping list is a half decent telescope.

We have muscari coming into flower.
Meanwhile, closer to home and working with a different group of 'stars', Liz has another project under way. This is this year's village play, due to hit the stage on Easter week. The play, 'Cupid Wore Skirts' was written by Sam Cree (who also wrote some 'Carry On' stuff) in the 60's  and was originally set in Northern Ireland in the 50s. The gang here have tweaked it into the 80s and moved it South to the Republic but with very few changes.

Director Tom C advises the actors how to deliver a problem
Last year, Liz got involved in theory as "prompt", sitting in the side backstage and watching progress of the dialogue like a hawk, whispering in reminders when ever anybody faltered or got lost. They described the role as "Continuity"  but she ended up doing all manner of other support tasks involving admin, tickets, costume adjustments, props and so on. The whole team thoroughly enjoyed themselves, the play was a huge, sell-out success and the Lisacul Players were back up and running after a gap of a few years.

Pussy Willow
This year, Liz is 'hired' as Assistant Director, so she will probably being doing exactly the same list of tasks as before, this being Amateur Dramatics where everybody does everything anyway. I went along last night just to watch them rehearsing and to take a few pics. I am the (unofficial) photographer. It is early doors at present, so the actors are all 'walking the boards' armed with scripts and Director (Tom C) dives in occasionally to get them to move in different directions or change their hand gestures or expressions. It is going to be quite a ride. Good luck to the whole team.

Rhubarb emerging.
Other than that, we continue to chug gently into Spring with some lovely, calm, blue sky days and some lovely sunsets.
Some lovely sunsets

Snow drops just starting
And here
Your basic tortilla.


Mr Silverwood said...

Is Liz not going to attempt even a walk on part?

Elizabeth Cottuli said...

Not. A. Chance.