New in for September

PERCY HOUSE GALLERY 38-42 Market Place, Cockermouth

01900 829 667

Inspired by the local agricultural shows, Geoffrey Smith has brought in his new oils of Herdwick, Highland Cattle and his favourite hare and moon paintings.

Ceramic cows by Veronica Ballan, sheep by Simone Noble, rustic lizard pots, ospreys and ravens in stoneware by Martin Norris decorate every nook and cranny of this 14th century building.

With autumn approaching, we have a host of local ladies busily knitting and felting hats scarves and wristies.

Main: Two herdwicks outside the barn by Geoffrey Smith Inset: Highland Cows by Veronica Ballan

Well, we actually had a summer this year, which was nice! As I predicted (ok, guessed... ok, hoped...) the summer's Noctilucent Cloud season was a very good one and I have a dozen different folders of lovely images of decent displays of NLC on my laptop. Unfortunately, the long stretch of gorgeous, sunny weather came to an end, literally a couple of hours before the total lunar eclipse, so our observing expedition up to the remote and famous Tan Hill Inn was ruined, although we were treated to an epic thunder and lightning storm that was like something from a big budget Hollywood ‘End of the World’ blockbuster, so it wasn't a wasted trip.

Now it's September and by 10.00pm the sky is dark enough to see lots of stars, which is great for stargazers like myself who have been ‘star-starved’ for the past few months. As I write this, there is a comet in the evening sky, which I'm enjoying photographing but ‘Comet 21P Giacobinni-Zinner’ (rubbish name, I know, it's double- barrelled because it was discovered independently by two different comet hunters) it's not really a ‘public’ comet - only amateur astronomers with a knowledge of the sky and observing equipment of some sort can track it down. We're crossing our fingers for a much better show from another comet at the end of the year. If current predictions are correct, ‘Comet Wirtannen’ should be easily visible to the naked eye at the end of 2018, looking like a large fuzzy patch in the night sky. Definitely something to look forward to!

However, we're trying to not look forward to it too much because comets are notoriously unreliable and, as other

promising comets have done in the past, Wirtannen might yet let us all down. A few years ago, ‘Comet ISON’ was predicted to become a magnificent sight in the morning sky, with a long tail and a bright head but it didn't survive its swooping passage around the Sun and was torn apart, leaving just a trail of dust behind. Back in the 1970s, Comet Kohoutek was all set to become the ‘Comet of the Century’ but it was barely visible to the naked eye. So, astronomers are always wary now of placing too much faith in comets in case they don't live up to expectations. As one astronomer famously said: “Comets are like cats - they have tails and do exactly what they want...”

...and speaking of cats, by the time you read this issue of The Post I'll be less than a month away from the publication of my new book. Hopefully, the Editors will let me use my next ‘Letter From The South’ to tell you the story behind ‘A Cat's Guide To The Night Sky’...

Stuart Atkinson

Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal

The Melbreak Communities presents:

Make &Mend Workshops Yew Tree Hall - Thursday 11th October, 7.00pm to 9.00pm

All abilities are very welcome. Just join in!

Join Arwen from Lorton Shop to repurpose felted old woolly jumpers into cosy mittens Loweswater Village Hall - Tuesday 16th October, 7.00pm to 9.30pm

Glenis shows you how to make one of her lovely cushions from upcycled woollen blankets BOOKING IS REQUIRED FOR BOTH VENUES

Contact Glenis on 01900 85958 | Email INFO@THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK

Did you know that the clothes we throw out in one year would fill Wembley Stadium? ISSUE 429 | 20 SEPTEMBER 2018 | 18

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