Friday, 20 March 2015

As through a glass, darkly

Well, the eclipse has now swept over Europe and there's been nothing on the one o'clock news about massive power outages and general chaos* as the continent's partly-solar-fed power grids fail to cope with this entirely predictable event. Goodness me, I was relieved (not really)!

If there really were people out there who were reduced to a state of panic, I guess the biggest threat to the grid would come shortly after local maximum coverage, when any panicky pants who'd been fearing the coming near-dusk experience all started breathing normally again and switched on their kettles to brew themselves a calming decaffeinated beverage.

Fortunately, it was sunny here at around 9.35 (well, the sun was shining through a very light haze) and I did manage to stop what I was doing for a few minutes and witness the drop in light levels. It wasn't that dramatic, but you could tell that something was subtly different. The sun was high and the visible bit was still too bright to look at, but the light levels felt more like the immediate post-dawn or pre-dusk than half past nine on a bright equinoctial morning.

More than anything else, being outside at the height of the eclipse felt like looking out on a bright spring day from inside a building with tinted glass windows. Plus a slight drop in temperature. Casualties are thought to be light to non-existent, thank Sol Invictus.

*I'll update this post, should news of any actual disruption come in, but don't hold your breath.