|Subject: Friends and other heavenly bodies|
Posted Mar 9, 2012 by HonestIago
|I've had a pretty rough week: the people I interviewed with last week have been unprofessional and just plain bitchy about telling me I wasn't successful, leaving me hanging on for a week longer than they said and being very rude when I politely asked for news. My hayfever is in the 'go to bed' range and a few people let me down for something I really needed.|
Then last night a mate called out of the blue, asking if I wanted to go on a bit of an adventure: he wanted to drive to the darkest spot we could find and see if we could see any aurora because of the large solar flare. So off we go to the North York Moors and Tan Hill, via Grassington. On the ridge between Wharfedale and Wensleydale we stop and there were some of the clearest skies I've ever seen and I got to see the Northern Lights, which is something I've always wanted to see. It was utterly breath-taking and awe-inspiring, stood out in the darkness with more stars than I've ever seen and the ghostly ribbons of the aurora. M'mate pulls out a small telescope and we train it on Jupiter and see the Great Red Spot and then Saturn - another dream.
We get back in the car and carry on to Tan Hill, figuring it's higher and further north so we might get even more of a show. We were wrong: when we got up there a warm front was passing more or less directly overhead, the Inn was closed, the wind was screaming and visibility was less than a couple of metres. And yet that was incredible in its own way: it was like a huge sensory deprivation tank and even though we couldn't see a thing I still had this overwhelming sense of wilderness.
We went home the quick way via the A66/A1 and off to the north could see the lights of Newcastle/Sunderland and Middlesbrough which was pretty cool after all the darkness. Didn't get home until nearly 1am and there's a strong chance I'll fall asleep in work but it was one of the most incredible nights of my life and it came about from the whim of a friend. I'm a lucky chap.