Ongoing hot sunny days and warm nights with clear skies occasionally crossed by meteors.
Admin1 is rereading The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith and Admin2 is reading Uncanny and Improbable Events by Amitrav Ghosh, which is meant to be about climate change but is mostly about the impressive number of books in all genres that Amitrav has read.
Another lovely full buck moon, photographed by Admin1 who is reading The Dark by Emma Haughton, who overloads her useless protagonist with a ludicrous number of problems — by page 30 we’ve learned that this doctor, who apparently passed a rigorous selection procedure to spend six months on a cramped and pitch-dark UN Antarctic base in midwinter, is afraid of the dark, afraid of enclosed spaces, afraid of heights, is a drug addict, is chronically insecure, is incapable of normal social interactions with family and co-workers, and suffers from crippling anxiety about herself and her recently killed partner (for which she may be to blame). Oh, and she’s facially scarred. You really have to wonder about this “rigorous selection procedure”. Thrown aside with great force after 100 pages.
Admin2 is reading Eversion by Alastair Reynolds.
Another super June moon, rising at midnight.
Our luckless ringed bird has been traced. The poor thing had only lasted 7 days and flown 3 kilometres after being ringed.
Some interesting facts discovered from ringing data….
* Oldest bird – Manx shearwater, 50 yrs 11 months
* Furthest travelled – Arctic Tern from Wales to Australia 18,000 km
* Strangest recovery – Osprey ring found in stomach of a crocodile in The Gambia!
Admin1 is reading Where Ravens Roost by Karin Nordin; another unfinished book, this time given up in irritation at the useless protagonist and his constant arguments with everybody.
We are watching Borgen – Power and Glory.
The moon is laughing because the trees are tickling her head.
Admin1 is reading 1979 by Val McDermid, which was … well, dull. Admin2 is rereading Dr Futurity by Philip K Dick.
Crescent moon, with a faintly visible Jupiter above it, preceding the coldest night of the winter so far at -3.3°C.
Admin1 is rereading Bryant and May on the Loose by Christopher Fowler. Admin2 is reading Bad Day at the Vulture Club by Vaseem Khan.
Despite a day of clouds and rain the solar panels managed .679kWH, making today one of the top twenty sunniest December days of the last ten years.
Admin1 is reading Nighthawking by Russ Thomas. Admin2 is reading A Question of Guilt by Jørn Lier Horst, in which, for once, the detective’s daughter did not get kidnapped.
If we had been on the other side of the world we would have seen the longest lunar eclipse this century and the longest partial eclipse for 580 years.
Admin1 is reading Beloved Poison by ES Thomson — Gothic, gruesome and gory, with a gallery of grotesques. And very odoriferous. Admin2 is reading Still Life by Val McDermid.
We scored 10 on the GSQ.
The waxing moon sits next to Jupiter in the clear evening sky.
Admin2 is reading Hidden Depths by Anne Cleeves.
Admin1 is reading Cold Kill by Rennie Airth. Admin2 is reading Death in Florence by Marco Vichi, another book set in the 1960s, this time featuring the catastrophic Florence flood.
We scored 12.5 on the Guardian Saturday Quiz which we had to do online because there were no newspapers in any of the shops yesterday. When the lights go out we’ll have beautiful views of the stars.
A bright blue band low in the sky. Probably the last noctilucents of the season.
Meanwhile, earlier tonight Admin1 looked up at the sky and saw a glorious golden fireball trailing sparks. Make a wish, everybody.
Also on display, by a lucky coincidence, was the International Space Station. Try Heavens Above if you’re interested in spotting the ISS (also excellent for many other events of astronomical interest).
Admin2 is reading Have Mercy on Us All by Fred Vargas,an early Adamsberg book in which we meet many characters in the subsequent novels, and in which Paris is threatened by Vargas’ research subject, bubonic plague. Admin1 is reading, very appropriately, Masked Prey by John Sandford.
Today’s solar eclipse, partial from the UK and annular in parts of Canada/US. We were lucky with the weather — totally overcast at 9am but it cleared up somewhat in time for maximum eclipse at about 11am, giving us some atmospheric shots through the cloud cover, which then rolled in completely.
Admin1 is reading A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee, and Admin2 is reading, rather aptly, Black Sun by Owen Matthews; a KGB agent investigates a suspicious death in the run-up to the real-life biggest nuclear test ever.
A waning crescent moon rises in the dawn sky. Admin2 got up to look for meteors but it was too light and too late.
Admin1 is reading The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel. Admin2 is reading The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead: ghastly goings-on at a Borstal for bad black boys.
The Mars rover Curiosity looks curiously at its little baby, the drone Ingenuity, due to take its first flight on 10 or 11 April if all pre-flight checks go well.
The most recent weather report from Mars is from 29 March, with a daytime maximum of -20°C and night-time minimum of -73°C. Brrr! At least it’s sunny…
Meanwhile on Earth, last night was our coldest-ever April night at -2.1°C. Brrr again!
Welcome our little flying Martian robot overlord!
We ingeniously scored 11 on the GWQ; best this year!
Admin1 is rereading Want You Gone by Chris Brookmyre. Admin2 is rereading Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd.
And the owls are hooting outside.
February has been averagely cold and the second least sunny, but today was in the Top Ten of our all-time warmest February days: 17.6 °C.
Admin1 is rereading The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter and Admin2 is rereading Emotionally Weird by Kate Atkinson which was laugh out loud funny and something like a Scarlett Thomas book with scatty students and useless lecturers and their uncompleted essays and partly written novels, and a protagonist with revelations about her parentage.
We scored 9 on the GWQ.
The moon celebrating the end of this ghastly year with a corona. December was our third coldest and second cloudiest December ever, but 2020 was our second warmest and second sunniest year in the 10 years we’ve been counting.
Admin1 is reading The Secret Life of Mr Roos by Hakan Nesser — a lovely book, funny and mournful without being sentimental. Thanks, Admin2! Admin2 is reading The Dark Isle by Clare Carson.
Jupiter and Saturn visible together for the first time since 4th March 1226. Jupiter is the faint dot near the centre of the picture; Saturn is the even fainter dot slightly above.
Admin1 is reading The Long Call by Ann Cleeves. Admin2 is reading Hell Train by Christopher Fowler.
We scored 12 on the GWQ.
Admin1 is reading Ordeal by Jorn Lier Horst. Admin2 is rereading Middle England by Jonathan Coe, a hilarious but heartbreaking book which lays bare the background to brexit.
October was our cloudiest and rainiest (>110mm) October ever but we have had more sunshine this year than in the whole of every year except 2015.
Seen though thin clouds at 6am.
Admin2 is rereading Bodily Harm by Margaret Atwood.
Glaring redly in the evening sky, but silvery in this photo.
Admin1 is rereading Dead Girl Walking by Christopher Brookmyre.
Jupiter is the dot above and right of the gibbous moon and Saturn is on the other side, wiped out by the dazzling street lamp.
Admins 1 and 2 are suffering the after-effects of flu jabs, but we still managed to score 11 on the GWQ.
Admin1 is rereading The Sacred Art of Stealing by Christopher Brookmyre.
The moon is as round and orange as, um, an orange.
Admin1 is rereading Tooth and Nail by Ian Rankin.
At last, a clear night! Welcome, visitor from outer space!
Admin1 is rereading Let It Bleed by Ian Rankin. Admin2 is rereading The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell.
Here comes the Moon. Like a red balloon.
Admin1 is rereading Even Dogs in the Wild by Ian Rankin. Admin2 is rereading London Rules by Mick Herron.
We scored 11 (again!) on the GWQ.
This is actually a lovely big golden moon with a corona (erk) but photographs never do her justice. Today was the warmest day this year so far: 26.2 °C.
And here is the moon from a couple of days ago; on a stick: