Saturday, August 05, 2006

Total Eclipse of the Old Fart

It's my birthday on the 11th. It always seems to be a day of strange coincidences and surprises. Not that I assign any deep significance or meaning to that fact. I am the least superstitious or religious person I know.

For example, the 11th of August 1999 was marked by a total eclipse of the Sun. And in the UK the total eclipse was only visible from Cornwall ... where I just happen to come from. The eclipse took place at 11.11am on the 11th. And the greatest coincidence of all is that the Sun is approximately 400 times bigger than the Moon and also 400 times further away, which means that they are the same size in the sky. Consequently, our planet may be unique in the universe in that our Moon blocks the Sun precisely. Weird, eh?

I spent that day on the beach at Gwithian in Cornwall and watched the entire event in the company of my family and a large crowd of hippies, some of which had - for reasons best known to themselves - drawn a Celtic knotwork pattern in the sand accompanied by the enigmatic words WELCOME ALIUNS. Once they found out it was my birthday, I became a kind of totem and strange men and women kept asking to touch me.

I said that they could if they wore gloves.

As the sky started to darken, someone in the car park on the cliffs above started to play Pink Floyd's Great Gig in the Sky (from the appropriately named Dark Side of the Moon album) on their car stereo. The soundtrack was perfect, and Clare Torry's extraordinarily orgasm-like vocal performance matched events exactly, reaching a climax as it went pitch black and becoming quieter as the light began to return.

There are some who say that Dark Side of the Moon has a hidden meaning and that if you listen to it while watching The Wizard of Oz, the two experience some kind of extraordinary synchronicity. If you fancy trying it, check out The Dark Side of the Rainbow website. If you go to this page you can download a printable script to follow. Of course, it's a load of old cobblers but there are some curious coincidences. But aren't all coincidences curious?

So what can I look forward to on the 11th? Who knows. All I know for certain is that I'll be 45. And that's weird enough.

I'm sure I must be 21. That's how old I feel.

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