Well the full solar eclipse came and went without really exciting the children, the birds or inspiration. On a hill above Craigellachie we watched for a full half-minute as the scruffy veil of clouds drew back to reveal a brief glimpse of the moon thrusting a thin, blurry sickle across the face of the sun. No squinting was required, and the two sheets of A4 card my daughter had brought as back-up, now seemed a tad ambitious. No pinhole was required. No crazy arrangement of windows and mirrors. And the colander I had grabbed from the kitchen sat in my hands like an unloaded weapon. The moon didn’t so much take bite-sized holes out of the sun as gently coughed all over it. If this was really the greatest show on earth then watching the 10.15 train from Huntly roll into Elgin Station was on par with the Second Coming.

There was some consolation in the days that followed: a humdinger of a sunset on Friday evening and a fresh fall of snow on the Ben this morning.





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