Friday, 13 March 2009

Moonwalking - The Fifth Emergency Service

I’ve returned from Battle – nary a scratch on me. And Brighton – not a stab wound to be seen. My search for violence at full-moon uncovered a spread of opinion, encounters with the police, the fire service, the ambulance, and a warning from a drunk Highlander never to walk the Scottish Highlands by full-moon, as the Kelpies will lead me into the forest and leave me there. Nice man.

The drive down to Sussex on Tuesday night was lit by a perfect full-moon: clear, crisp, spooky, beautiful. Not once did I need full-beams and for five seconds I even flicked my headlights off and let moonlight be my streetlight. I was amazed. The rabbit, however, may remember the account differently…though probably not at all*.

I travelled East Sussex with Christophe, an old university friend and Battalion (clearly the name for people from Battle; or, if not, it should be). With the moon at her fullest 2am Wednesday morning, we took in the sights and silence of Battle. Away from the deadening sodium glow of streetlights, we peered over the battlefields of King Harold’s 1066 defeat by the Normans. Stunning moonlight lit the fields like snow at the dawn of a mid-winter day.

By Wednesday night we were walking the streets of Brighton, looking for fights, scrapes, pile-ups, suicides, domestics; listening for sirens, screams, howls. I spoke to Hannah from East Sussex Police, who explained a little more about the Brighton full-moon police patrols. We met Ian, Scholesy and the boys from the local fire service and sampled their delicious chocolate butterfly cakes. And then a chap near The Lanes asked us where we wanted to die. ‘Not here, thanks.’

Then today – after finding no correlation between violence and the full-moon – I caught up with the news. And I found this.

ELEVEN DIE IN ALABAMA SHOOTINGS

And this.

GERMANY STUNNED BY SHOOTING SPREE

Hmm, I wonder.

*I didn’t

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