Ok, ok, we were tipped off by Pepe who sent us an SMS 15 minutes prior.
We checked the state of the sky from the back garden and it was clear.
So clear that we could actually see the stars.
So we got reasonably excited. It’s not every day that you get to see the stars in Ireland.
So there was a fair bit of oohing and aahing. And jumping up and down.
It helps to keep warm when you are in your t-shirt and pyjama bottoms, outside, at night.
And then Mrs mememe2U spotted the ISS. And we got even more excited. And there was much pointing, and explaining to Finnzy where it was, based on the position of the neighbour’s palm tree and our rotting shed’s roof (not sure if that’s an internationally recognised triangulation).
It looked like a star. Same size. Same light. Just moving across the sky instead of staying stuck there.
And we called Pepe and he was quite upset because he had not managed to see it.
And I told him about the website to track the ISS.
And then he saw it, except much brighter, and bigger, and travelling faster, and he got excited (well, he sounded excited on the phone), and we saw it too, and we got excited again, and jumped up and down and pointed and oohed and aahed, and that second bout of excitement was most welcome as we felt a little bit less cold.
And then we all went back inside.
We had seen the International Space Station.
And Mimi was beginning to wonder what we saw the first time around. And she thought it was a UFO. And she began to worry.
Now they will have dreams filled with space stations, and pyjamas, and the steam of their breath in the October night air, and the silhouette of the neighbour’s palm tree against the neighbour’s sensor-triggered intruder’s floodlight, and UFOs vomiting hordes of tentacled laser-gun wielding aliens, and hypothermia, and a small bright shiny object zooming across the night sky, and having had a very valid excuse to delay the bedtime ritual.
On the way back in, Finnzy declared that the night almost smelled like Halloween.
A few days ago I was talking with Luca about seeing Haley’s comet in 1986. I told him that I won’t see it the next time around. Nothing sad, nothing to be worried about. Just a fact of life. And I asked him if he’d spare a little thought for me if he manages to see it in 2061. And he said that he would, and I know he will.
And the thought of it feels even better than seeing the comet in person again