…or more precisely get up at stupid o’clock to see a satellite pass over your house you know you’ve been on a lock down for too long.
Let me clarify for you, dear reader.
Among all the pages I follow on Facebook is one called Dartmoor Skies. They posted a link to a website that shows you when satellites are going to pass close enough to your location for you to see. It even tells you which satellites.
I duly typed in our address and it showed me that at 05.16 Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites would be passing by. Ooh!!! How exciting! That’s worth getting up for. I’m not sure Boofuls agreed with me but hey, we have nothing else to get up for and it’s not as though we are sleeping well. The chances were that I’d be awake anyway, and I was.
When I went to bed I set the alarm for 4.45. That would give me time to get up and dressed, get the dogs into their harnesses and get to a good vantage point. Plan!
At approximately 4.30 I heard a noise outside. It was the sliding side door of a van being closed really slowly and quietly. Then I heard a few taps followed by a metallic sliding noise. I pricked up my ears. Ey up. Who’s out robbing? Betty Blunderbuss also pricked up her ears.
Have I mentioned Betty Blunderbuss? She’s a great dane/labroador cross and we are looking after her for a while, probably till June’ish. She is the most reactive dog on the planet. She only has to hear, well, anything and she bounds out of her seat and gallops across the room with her stupidly long legs to see off some imaginary adversary. Douggie the doggie then jumps up and joins in thinking something must be terribly wrong. When he realises it’s just Betty overreacting he looks at her in disgust and carries on with what he was doing.
Anyhoo. Bizarrely, having heard unidentified sounds outside, this amazon of a pooch was not only not barking she was huddled up as close as she could get to me, almost trying to get into the bed and quaking like a leaf. What a wuss. I peeped out of the window and realised that it was Sky laying new cabling so nothing to worry about. The dogs and I were wide awake by this time and it was only a few minutes till my alarm was due to go off so I checked it was a clear sky, got dressed and went downstairs. Boofuls stirred so I whispered, “I’m going star gazing.”
The dogs both had a look of incredulity on their faces when I reached for their harnesses and put my coat on. I could actually read, ‘what the actual fook’ on their faces. As I locked the front door I saw one of the satellites go by. ‘Ooh, this is going to be GREAT’, I thought as I set off.
The workmen from Sky, who were working directly at the top of our drive looked more than a little nervous when I walked up the drive with two huge dogs. They audibly breathed a sigh of relief as I just nodded and walked down the hill.
Through the park, past the golf course, down to the seafront we walked to a good viewing point, eyes skyward. Nothing. Not a sausage. I stood on the seafront gawping at the sky like a fool until a bank of cloud appeared and I decided to give up and go home. How disappointing.
Boofuls was standing on the patio fully dressed when I got back. “What are you doing up and dressed?” “I was going to come with you.” “Oh, bugger. You have to move faster than that to keep up.”
We spent the next half an hour gazing hopefully at a rapidly brightening sky until we decided that it was too light to see anything anyway and went inside.
So that was that. Was it worth getting up at 04.00 for?
Actually, yes. It was so quiet. Not a soul was about and the sky was beautiful, until it clouded over. As I walked home the dawn chorus started and all I could hear was the sound of the sea and the birds. I didn’t acheive my goal of seeing the satellites but it was still a lovely way to start the day.
Just as a Friday treat. Here is a picture I took today of Douggie the doggie and Betty Blunderbuss. The story behind it is for another post.