Friday, April 23, 2004


The Sky at Night

Life can be a frantic rush from cradle to grave, with little chance to slow down, stop, and take in the beauty of the world around us.

When we are not working for others, we are catering for our own selfish needs, and as such, there is little left for those around us.

Every now and then, you have to seize the opportunity to stop for a while, lie back and marvel at creation. An island in a sea of chaos. I think I've managed it a whole three times in my entire life. Under a tree by a block of flats in Reading, on a beach on Okinawa and lying on my back in the middle of an Air Force base.

Like I said, you've got to grab the chances when they come along, and every last detail of the last of these is still engraved in my memory some twenty years on.

We were under a Bomber's Moon in Lincolnshire; that legendary August full moon that war time bomber pilots used to find their way home after a long dangerous trip over occupied Europe. Full moon, cloudless night, and miles from anywhere, the canopy of the sky was filled with stars from horizon to horizon.

As a group of Air Cadets, we were on summer campand had spent the evening on a so-called night exercise, which was, in effect a bunch of spotty kids running around an airfield shouting "Ner-ner-ner-ner-ner" with fake guns while grown-ups launched flares into the sky and set off loud exploding things.

It had been a long, tiring evening, and at eleven o'clock the whistles went for the end of the exercise. In groups of ones and twos, we staggered back to the rendezvous point and waited for the bus to come and take us back to the barracks as arranged.

We waited, and we waited, lying on our backs in the long grass still warm from the heat of the day, heads resting on backpacks. The best part of forty teenagers, but hardly a word was spoken.

The first meteor skittered across the sky in a tumbling streak of white light. There were gasps from one or two, but otherwise, silence prevailed, each and every one of us lost in our private worlds. The meteors became more and more frequent until the sky was criss-crossed with trails, reminding us all of the power, the magnitude and sheer scale of the universe that we are such an insignificant part of.

A perfect, humbling moment. Nothing else mattered, as my friends and surroundings faded out of existance. Just me, silence, a small patch of ground, and the umbrella of the sky above my head, pockmarked with stars and the great, wise, smiling face of the moon.


“That Jackie’s got a fucking great pair of norks.”

"Too bloody right. A ripe pair of 36Cs, smooth and rounded like gossamer coated peaches. With the sweetest nipples, pert and proud."

“Yeah, but not as good as Gail’s. I wouldn't mind....”

And that was the end of that...

Brucie Bonus: Robber Rabbit has the sketch I wrote for Little Britain, which they didn't want. Punks.

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