I missed it. This morning most of Northern Europe experienced a partial eclipse of the sun. And seeing as I don’t happen to have a telescope and a piece of card handy, I missed it. The shot above is the best view I could manage. Crap, isn’t it?
Oh, if only it were overcast! In the right conditions, the cloud layers filter the sun’s beam, letting the solar disc shine through in a perfect outline while cutting out all that nasty, retina-melting glare. I’d only have to look up, and there I’d see it — the sun, with a chunk bitten off. But alas, this morning we were cursed with the clearest, bluest sky we’ve had in months. Fuck.
I missed the last one too, the better one. It was a morning in mid-August 1999. They issued warnings about going outdoors in the hours preceding — lest you be burned alive by magnified cosmic rays or some such, I don’t know. Anyway I had a shift on the concession stand at my local multiplex that morning, stuck behind the counter serving popcorn to gluttonous philistines as the sky grew gradually darker, so the warnings didn’t apply to me.
Turns out, in the end, I didn’t really miss all that much. There was no sudden pseudo-nightfall like I expected; just a slight dimming, like what normally happens when a large cloud passes overhead. Big deal, I said to myself as I snatched glimpses at the glass-fronted foyer every now and then.
Now that I think about it, I didn’t really miss all that much today, either, which makes me feel a little bit better. Still, would have been nice though.