All this month Venus has been joined in the evening sky by Jupiter (see the Greenwich Observatory's blog). Looking up at these planets after sunset, though while the sun's glow still betrays its position, it's quite easy to visualise the solar system as you see it in textbooks and atlases: a huge, tilted plane made up of concentric rings. All of a sudden what is vast seems a whole lot smaller.
The Greenwich Observatory site has a chart with details of annual meteor showers for anyone who likes to keep an eye out for them. The Geminid meteor shower is due to peak this weekend, although the best of it will be obscured by the light of the full Moon. Unfortunately, we'll be lucky even to see that, as every time I stick my head out of the back door it gets soaked and there's nothing to see but dense, low cloud.
My friend Howard and I have revived our two-man musical effort, The Flying Pancakes. It's hard to describe what we do, but I tend to think of us as a kind of deranged Simon and Garfunkel. Imagine two older men playing (usually non-electric) guitar and ukulele covering The Pogues' The Sickbed of Chuchulainn (which we do) and you get something of the idea. Rather than organise gigs, we generally just turn up to places and play. Whether the surprise is a pleasant one or not is for the audience to decide: all I can say is that we've yet to be thrown out of anywhere. The plan is to take ourselves -along with The Big Bad Beast- to The Station in Richmond this morning.