(Description: Late evening, almost night sky, shining stars of Orion in southern hemisphere orientation i.e. upside down from the p.o.v. of people in the northern hemisphere)
This image looks odd, I’m sure, given that there are trees hanging upside down from the top of the frame. That’s because I have rotated it to its southern hemisphere orientation, which will be perceived as upside down by northern hemisphere readers. It took me years and years to realise that the illustration of Orion in my northern hemisphere produced books simply didn’t match what I saw in the sky because the illustrations were wrong, not me (wrong for the southern hemisphere, that is). I was astonished when I saw Orion standing with his feet pointing towards the ground when I travelled to the other side of the world.
Orion was the first constellation I ever learned to pick out in the night sky, ‘though I first learned it as The Pot, based on the three shining stars of his belt. For me, it is the constellation of summer nights spent stargazing.
Each year, my dad’s family meets somewhere for family camp, at varying locations, but most often at Whangamomona. In the evenings, people sit together and talk and sing and stare at the sky, picking out the constellations, and watching the satellites passing overhead. One summer night, a very bright satellite came into view, heading straight for the base of the pot. Speculation was intense as to whether it would pass over or under, with everyone having a settled opinion about it (this is an unsurprising state of affairs in my family). As it got closer and closer, the chatter stopped, and in complete silence, the satellite went plumb through the middle star of the belt. Without losing a beat, my youngest uncle strummed his guitar and sang… “There’s a hole in my bucket.”
This is why we are making the move home.
Star the twenty-fifth is just for me. Mr Strange Land had work entertaining obligations to do with corporate boxes and footy matches, so he obtained an indulgence (with thanks to Idiot-Savant for describing it so).
(Description: Dry July golden ticket, allowing the bearer to enjoy alcoholic beverages on 25 July)
But he’s back on the wagon tonight.