Today is the anniversary of something special. I know you know that it is the anniversary of the moon landings, but I bet you don’t know why that is special to me.

Well, that event forty years ago is my first memory. Or, at least, it is the first memory that I can accurately date. Just like Kirstin, I can remember being woken up in the night and taken outside to look at the moon and I remember being told that there were people on it for the first time. I was a little younger than Kirstin too, I was three.

The moon has always fascinated people. It is part of our religious life, determining the date of Easter and consequently all kinds of other things like Mothering Sunday (in the UK at least), some holiday dates in some educational establishments and the date of bank holidays. At least, it is supposed to be the moon that does that. In fact, the moon calculation we use to determine Easter is way out of date and far from accurate. It is based on a virtual moon, not an actual moon.

My Muslim neighbours, of course, rely even more on the moon, to determine the start of months and hence religious festivals.

Perhaps the moon is so strange and alluring because it seems plausible to even the smallest child, that it is an other world. A different place to here. A place where things could be, but must essentially be different to here. The stars don’t do that for me. Lightyears separate me from being able to think about them coherently as other worlds. But the moon seems near and yet far, elegent and gentle, somewhere betwixt here and there.

[NB – Easter Calculation details are here].


  1. So you don’t buy into the conspiracy theory then? I find the idea of it being all Hollywood quite an attractive one!

  2. No, I don’t buy the conspiracy theory.

    I was there!

  3. Zebadee says

    Your parents are now quite elderly but they remember YOU insisting that you be taken outside to see the men on the moon not the other way around.

  4. Really? So I was in charge, was I?

    I think binoculars were involved too.

    I also remember being taken to see lunar stuff, including a bit of moon rock and a mock up of the moon lander at the University of Leeds.

  5. susan s. says

    “So I was in charge, was I?”

    Provost in training even then?

  6. David |Dah • veed| says

    The Statesonians currently have a mapping satellite in lunar orbit and it has sent back photos of the different landing sites and the lunar landers sitting in the dust on the surface. Right where they left them on the moon Kenny!

    I was 5.

  7. David |Dah • veed| says

    BYW, I was up before sunrise yesterday and saw the moon as a tiny sliver. We call it la uña de Dios, God’s fingernail.

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