Posted by / Category Cultural Differences, London /

I woke up all excited: today is the day of the total solar eclipse. My excitement was short-lived. The sky in London is hopelessly grey and you can’t see the sun anyway. I wonder whether the solar eclipse will make any difference whatsoever. It is probably one of these things: at the end of the day, the pictures that you see on TVs are great but normal people weren’t able to see a thing. Maybe the sky will just be a different shade of grey (no pun intended!)…Maybe not. To be honest with you, I can’t see any difference with a regular day. There it is.

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Grey skies in London. Just like today.

Newspapers are talking about the fact that the solar eclipse will plunge Britain into morning twilight. Well, here is a newsflash for you: almost every morning in London the sky is grey, and my guess is that it has nothing to do with the eclipse. Have you noticed how normal words are not good enough any more? Obscurity isn’t enough, it must be total obscurity. Everything must be over stated, and it is starting to get to me. It must be my French side. Yesterday I went to the supermarket to buy some tights, only so see that they were now called ‘super sensors’. We are talking about tights, right? The sort of stuff that gets damaged just when you look at it. My guess is that super sensors can get torn as easily as regular tights.

But I digress.

As I was disappointed, I let my mind wander and started to think of what eclipse meant: the word is the same in French. It is a word that transcends language barriers. Very cool. From memory, it comes from the Greek word ékleipsis, which means to fail to appear. I started to wonder whether we should start to use it more. After all, if there is still light during a total solar eclipse, why can’t we have an eclipse of our mind? As in, ‘sorry, I have had a temporary eclipse of my mind’. And what about an eclipse of the heart. Sorry, a total eclipse of the heart. Bonnie Tyler has already sung this one, right? Oh, and what if we were not going to sleep, but rather having an eclipse of our senses? Wouldn’t it be more poetic than just falling asleep? And for the records you didn’t just yawn, you suffered from an eclipse of your jaws.

And of course you didn’t make a mistake, you had an eclipse of judgement. What can I say, these things happen. There could be total eclipses of judgement, or just temporary ones. Or maybe partial ones (because surely you can be a bit right).

The sky is a bit darker than usual, as if it was going to rain. Except that it isn’t going to rain. Maybe that’s what the eclipse is about. What can I say? on top of the total solar eclipse I am having a partial eclipse of the mind.

  • I remember the one in 1999, standing on a roof in Hammersmith. I came in before the end – it was dull, you couldn’t look at the sun, the shadows were a bit different … there were lots of clouds …!!

    • Well, it sounds like what happened yesterday in London: we all waited for something that never happened…

  • Lol. There was a total eclipse this morning, but only ‘total’ if you live in the Faroe Islands. For the rest of the UK it was a partial eclipse. The further South you were, the less spectacular the effect.

    Still quite a rare event though.

    Where I live, it was overcast and I couldn’t see anything, but it did get noticeably darker. If I hadn’t read the story about the forthcoming eclipse, I would have have thought that a bigger, blacker cloud had blown over and it was going to rain…

    • Same here…I have to say that we didn’t see a thing…

  • So, the good thing is that you don’t have to shield your eyes 🙂

    • That’s one way to see it, Roy…