Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Moon Man in the USA...sort of

Night-Time London Under Snow

As the year creeps through slushy snow to its conclusion, and Moonwalking (the year-long adventure) prepares to hang up its tatty, battered boots (bear with me here), I seem busier than ever. Busy planning. Busy planning a memorable finale to my year. And, as my little project has helped create, a finale to the International Year of Astronomy.

Last night, I appeared on Astronomy FM with two lovely people I met through Twitter. Tavi and Rob, who run an amateur astronomy website (a website about amateur astronomy, not an amateur website about astronomy) called A Sky Full of Stars invited me onto their radio show. One problem - they're in America, in North Carolina. And I'm not. But why should we let a few tens of thousands of miles ruin the fun? we thought.

At 1am this morning (GMT), 8pm on the east coast of America, the world became a smaller place. Just for an hour. But what a fun hour it would turn out to be - full of stories, questions, technical challenges and moon union (moonion?).

By 9pm, I was tired. By 11pm, after a day of editing the same sentence a few hundred times for my day job, I was shattered. By midnight, I was asleep. But thankfully by 1am, I was full of life - or, more accurately, full of tea. And an odd concoction that the pharmacy promised would unbung a blocked ear that, for the last week, has been causing me to say "Uh?" far more often than usual.

So with a mute ear, an echoey laptop, a pair of rather cheap earphones and another cup of tea to my side, I connected with Tavi and Rob over Skype. I then entered an interactive presentation room with lots of attendees who wanted to learn more about moonwalking and, more specifically, this New Year's bluemoonwalk.

After an hour, success! The ear had begun to unblock. Oh, and the show ("Moonwalking with Rob Self-Pierson"), was building to a climax. We showed videos and photos and talked lunar gardening and lunar fishing and horror and lunacy and violence and bras. We shared stories. We reminisced about times we'd found the moon shining down upon us, sparking memories in our minds, warmth in our hearts.

And I realised what I've done. What I've achieved.

I've made it. I've survived a year of challenges and come out of it with a big smile. Each photo that glided through the slideshow reminded me of the people I've met - the paranormal investigators, the drunk Highlander, the pen enthusiasts, the pencil enthusiasts, the hikers, the lunar gardener, the moonrakers, the astronomers, the mediums. And reminded me of the stories - about the mythical waterhorses, the Roman legion, the Devil, lunar harvesting, smuggling, bombing, warring. And highlighted those connections to the moon that are still such an important part of our lives today, even if we don't realise.

This time last year I was boning up on EB White and lunar phases and the biological tides theory. Since then, I've crossed Great Britain by the light of the full moon to make the human connections and discover a side of life that's usually kept quiet. Night life. Moon life.

It's been fantastic. Thank you to Tavi and Rob for helping me to relive some of those memories.

Merry Christmas and Lunar Blessings to you all.


Katy said...

Go you! Will we get to hear any of this transatlantic radio gold?

~Cheryl said...

What a terrific way to end the year! I'm very happy for you.

Rob Self-Pierson said...

Katy - There's a link on the name of the show that will take you to the radio gold...

Cheryl - Thank you for all of your lovely comments through the year. Hope to hear any blue moon stories you have in the new year.

A Sky Full of Stars said...

Hi Rob! Rob and I thoroughly enjoyed our time with you and feel privileged to have been a part of your Moonwalking story. We are very excited about your upcoming walk, that last leg of your wonderful journey - how fitting that it should be under a Blue Moon on the final eve of the International Year of Astronomy!