Light Pollution 1: Meteor Shower 0

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Well, at least we tried! Last night with an almost clear sky, my husband and I ventured out to try to see if we could see anything of the Perseid Meteor Shower – the night before had been far too cloudy, but last night seemed to provide far more favourable weather conditions, so we decided to give it a go.

However, having walked to the darkest place close by our home, we soon realised that even in the middle of an open green park space as far away from lights and buildings as possible and with minimal cloud cover, here in London there’s still way too much light pollution around to see much of the night sky with the naked eye, no matter where you are.

We could see the waning moon lying low on the horizon, and a sparse few stars – but only the absolute brightest dotted here and there, and not enough of them to make out any constellation patterns to help get our bearings. And standing together in the ‘dark’ of the city night we understood it was always going to be far too light, and however long we stayed outside we were unlikely to see anything in the way of a meteor shower.

We saw several planes with their winking lights – not that out-of-place as we live under a flight path – and a surprise firework or two in the distance, and one late-night dog-walker in a high-vis vest, but nothing else of any note during the hour or so we were outside. The air was beautifully still and calm, refreshing and energising, and it was fun to be trying something different, even though we were sadly unsuccessful in our quest.

So after a while we just called it a day and gave up – but at least we tried!

PS I took a few street shots, just because everything looks different at night – empty, silent, still. And lit up like a Christmas tree…Β  πŸ™‚

Every Cloud has a Silver Lining…

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Although my husband and I had hoped to go out locally to try to see the Perseid meteor shower last night, even by 8pm (see above pic) a blanket of cloud cover was coming in – and by 11pm we couldn’t even see the moon never mind any potential meteor shower, so in the end we didn’t venture out after all.

However, our disappointment was mitigated by having spent our evening watching the Athletics World Championships (held only about a mile away in Stratford) live on TV – GB distance runner Mo Farah won a Silver medal in the men’s 5000m, as did the GB women’s 4x100m relay, and to cap it all the GB men’s 4x100m relay won Gold!

So not quite the evening of potential star-gazing we had planned, but I guess it’s true that every cloud has a silver lining – or maybe even two silvers and a gold… πŸ™‚

Thursday Doors: Funerary Doors

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These delicately designed doors to the catacombs and columbarium in the City of London Cemetery and Crematorium in East London are made of metal – a narrow-guage mesh layered diagonally behind a stamped-out patchworkΒ  pattern. I had to look up what a columbarium was – apparently whereas catacombs store coffins on cool, dark, underground shelf spaces, a columbarium stores funerary urns containing cremated remains, also underground.

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There are two crematoria on site, a more traditional building (main door shown above) and a modern 1970s low-profile concrete design (not pictured).

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As well as the two crematoria and catacombs, there is a purpose-built Anglican church and also a non-conformist (Dissenters) chapel on site for accommodating funeral services – these are the beautiful chapel doors (above).

The City of London Cemetery and Crematorium is the largest municipal burial ground in the UK, covering 200 acres and with seven miles of road throughout. It has been in use since the mid-19th Century, when London’s city churchyards were full beyond capacity and creating a health hazard – in fact, many old remains were re-intered here as the old parish graveyards were unconsecrated and repurposed, with large communal gravestones commemorating the occasion.

Additionally there are also beautiful and well-kept Memorial Gardens within the cemetery grounds, including formal rose gardens… not a picture of a door to end with, I know, but it certainly brightens up my otherwise rather sombre post! πŸ™‚

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See more images of doors on Norm’s Thursday Doors