Night Skies

Orion the Hunter

Orion the Hunter

Perfect running weather last night. At just above freezing point along the seafront, the skies were clear enough to reveal glittering constellations. Yet, the paths were free of ice.

Had perfect views of Orion on my mile and half outward journey, and lovely views of The Plough on my return.

So three miles under starry skies. Yes, it was very pleasant.

For tonight`s run, the skies had clouded over. But at least it was dry and not too cold. Added another four miles to my Janathon total too so yes, maybe some proper training is beginning to kick in at last.

As most of my Janathon runs happen at night, I`ve decided to take the chance to learn at least a couple of more constellations while I`m out there. I can identify Pleaides, Casseopia and Little Bear along with the aforementioned Plough and Orion. But that`s about it.

Can any of you name any other ones?


Picture of Orion from



Skerries By Night

Moonlight on Skerries Bay

Moonlight on Skerries Bay

Easing myself back into a running routine again. A moonlit run along Skerries coastline seems the best way to do it.

Teen Girl is in tow. But, at her request. Damned I am if I`ll ever drag anyone running-they`ll really need to want to be there to fully enjoy it. And that goes for my teens, especially. But this is her second time to run with me this week. Her third time in two weeks. Could it become a habit?

I wouldn`t have run two yards when I was Teen Girl`s age. Not willingly, at any rate. So I chose Skerries by night, for our jog.. A run by the sea on a moonlit night has to embed itself in her memory forever. Maybe the sights and sounds of the night would serve as enough incentive for her to keep this whole new fitness phase going for a little longer.

The temperature is a surprising 17 degrees Celsius as we set off along the promenade. Sounds of laughter, chat and lapping waves accompany us as the last of the day`s light seeps westward. Soon all was shadow-the Martello tower, and distant windmill to our right, the softened curves of eroded rock, beachside. Faint orange pools of nearby streetlights, and the silvery rays of moonlight light the path before us.

Teen Girl is getting fitter. She easily keeps pace with me all along the route. Our cadence is mismatched-much like our views on most things- as she has a longer, slower stride. That creates an  amusing contrast between the sounds of our footfall and yet we`re both side by side for most of the route.

Overhead, the azure sky begins to reveal its constellations. The Plough, of course, points to a faint North Star, while Cassiopeia sprawls languidly in a faint, broad W. And Orion, the hunter, is struggles to stand guard and overcome the brightness of the moon.

Twinkling lights line the coast, silvery waters slap the blackened rocks and a solitary lighthouse stands guard on Rockabill Island.

I see all these things and wonder what Teen Girl can see. I wonder what treasures here might draw her back; what payback she sees in pounding the concrete path and panting and sweating her way around the bay.And, critically, if she will want to come again and shuffle along a running route with her uncool mother.

Run over, we take a little time to stretch out, walk and cool down. And then Teen Girl drops the clanger

“Please Mum, can I go to the disco next week?”