Monday, 30 March 2015

March catch up - Solar eclipse, vernal equinox, pinhole camera's and Persian New Year...


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Friday 20th was the vernal equinox, the first day of spring, and there was a solar eclipse. It was bound to be the start of a magical weekend. 

We made a makeshift Heath Robinsonesque pinhole camera  from a colander and spied a myriad of tiny crescents reflected on the path. The moon's shadow passed in front of that fiery globe shading it's light, birds hushed and an eerie darkness crept in. It was as if a light bulb had suddenly been switched off. Neighbours emerged with their own homemade contraptions and we compared inventions and attempted to photograph the spectacle. 

Saturday we drove to Bristol to stay with Hannah. She invited us to stay for late Mother's Day and Persian New Year celebrations. Another bright sunny day with a sweet unexpected gift...I'll show you later. We walked down to the river and pottered around the St Nicholas Markets. Had lunch by the harbour here. Amazingly crisp pastry pie crust filled with pumpkin and all sorts of other tasty things served with big chunky potatoes and crunchy salad, or thin goats cheese and spinach pizza, and a spicy meaty one for Ahmad. We even shared the cider plank, tasting five local varieties. Watched (and badly recorded) a boat race, spotted Brunel's SS Great Britain and at last two Banksy's...

We climbed the hill back to H and B's cosy flat and ordered Persian take-away from here. Very good joujeh, tender chicken marinated in saffron and lemon, or koubideh, minced lamb kebab with steamed saffron rice, sumac and mast-o-moussir, yoghurt with wild shallots. Enjoying late supper to celebrate the new year drinking to a happy one. 

Sunday a lazy morning then an afternoon exploration of Clifton hill. A beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. It seemed as though everyone was out on the hill. We climbed up the downs to clifton the observatory to visit the camera obscura that was made in 1828 and shows a 360 degree panoramic view of the area. It was surreal to watch the image play out in front of us on the massive white concave screen. People playing, running, crossing the bridge outside, lovers canoodling on the grass...all unaware that we were spying on them...

We had a last minute coffee and cake and then waved our goodbyes then home again home again, jiggety-jig... 

...Have you ever spied a solar eclipse?

9 comments:

  1. Great photo of the solar eclipse. We missed it in our corner of the world. I hope to someday witness one.
    It sounds like you spent a lovely holiday with your daughter. The observatory must have been amazing! That bridge...I still can't get over it.

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    1. I know I'm amazed the one turned out. It was a great weekend Emily and the camera obscura something else. I have a bit of an obsession for old cameras and camera obscuras. One of the museums in Oxford had quite a collection of small ones, but this was amazing.
      I once experienced a natural camera obscura too...it was weird. I walked through our kitchen doorway on extremely sunny day and the shadow of the garden had been transposed and was reflected on the white wall in front of me. It was beautiful and never happened again. Just a trick of the light. I've known of artists use a whole caravan as a pinhole camera. Amazing...
      I hope that you get to witness one, one day.
      dx

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    2. Wow, Debbie, that is amazing that you witnessed a natural camera obscura in your kitchen...what a neat thing to have witnessed. :)

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  2. how very clever of you.....!! never would have thought of a colander!!! You always are in the midst of the best outings, too! Someday, I want to spend a weekend being your shadow!

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    1. I'm afraid that I can't take the credit for the colander Steph...There was lots of news coverage before the eclipse and I think it was suggested on the BBC program. We've had some fun ones. You would make a lovely shadow.
      Happy Easter.
      debx

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  3. when I visit here I end up a little hungry, a little itchy for some travel and a strong desire to visit you and see your sights. One day maybe!!

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    1. That would be the best day Karen.
      Have a wonderful Easter holiday.
      debx

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  4. It's all so beautiful (as usual) Debbie. Looks like you are making a wonderful segue into spring. BTW: I have a colleague (in physics) who was up in Svalbard for the solar eclipse! Sounds like it was amazing.

    I also agree with Karen, above, that your posts always make me want to visit England, where I've only been once and for just a few days (conference).

    Happy spring!
    Erin

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    1. Thanks Erin. It's the second one I've been lucky to see clearly. We were in Tunisia in 1999 I thought that would be the last one. Both amazing.
      Maybe one day...and for a little longer this time...
      debx

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