Sunday, 14 December 2014


For as long as I can remember, I’ve only had to look up into the night sky to escape the daily grind. Trundling through the day-to-day, I sometimes forget that what is decreed as “living” by the puppeteers in power is not the true reality of our existence. When I lose myself in the spectacle of the heavens, I am grateful for the reminder that our planet is a mere speck of dust in the swirling spirals of a galaxy which, in itself, is insignificant in the depths of space.

The sheer scale of the universe is both grounding and wondrous. It reminds me not to concern myself with what car I drive or how many i-gadgets weigh my pockets down. Yet it screams at me to dream big, to believe in the impossible. Most weeks the impossible is as simple as making it to the weekend with my sanity intact. But every so often I journey out of my comfort zone.

Recently, I enjoyed “A Night of Astronomy” at the Lawrence House Astronomy & Space Science Centre based at Rossall School, headed by the enthusiastic and engaging Dr. Lister. I was a teenager the last time I indulged my inner-geek in this way.  At fifteen, I joined a local astronomy club and have fond memories of times such as being huddled on a dark hillside with my fellow anoraks as we gazed in awe at Halley’s Comet racing past the earth.

When I was that age I wanted to be an astronaut. So much so I wrote to Mary Cleave for tips. She was a real-life N.A.S.A astronaut who flew two Space Shuttle missions and I wanted to be her. I’m unsure how long we exchanged letters for, but it felt like Christmas each time a pale blue Airmail envelope landed on my doormat. What I remember most is the smell of the cellotape she used to seal her hand-written letters. The opaque American sticky strip had a strong, yet fragrant, plastic aroma that I thought was so much better than our clear, odourless version. Every so often I catch a waft of something similar and I’m transported back to being that excited child devouring every word in those letters.

Here’s a Haiku I wrote about the moon:

Beacon of the night
Inspiration beaming down
Captivating me

Thank you for reading,


Christo said...

Love your "first go", Fiona, and share your early activity and dreams - with me mainly through The Eagle comic (Dan Dare) and Journey into Space on radio when radio did not consist merely of plugging records.
That amazing moment of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the surface of the moon had me glued to a 12 in. black & white TV in Swiss Cottage when I worked in London is unforgettable.
Thanks to recapturing the magic.