At the start of every year I promise myself that this spring I will head out onto the South Downs late one evening and actually see the Milky Way. Light pollution: there are still certain spots on the Downs where it’s actually dark enough to see the galaxy that we are a part of. To look up and look through the lurid gassy wilds of our home. Maybe with a Thermos of something because it’s probably quite chilly.
I have never done this. Last year I was particularly eager to, having read Gary Filde’s thrilling memoir An Astronomer’s Tale, charting his life from a bricklayer to a navigator of the stars. But still: I don’t drive. The buses stop. I have duties at home that involve getting a daughter to bed and all that jazz. One day.