Bitesized Bereavement: Total Eclipse of The Hound
I’m sitting here at my desk getting ready for the solar eclipse later this morning. I say getting ready, I’ve actually been Googling how to look at the eclipse without burning my retina so badly I won’t be able to watch Coronation Street ever again, let alone see the sun and the moon pass each other.
I remember exactly where I was during the last solar eclipse in August 1999: sitting outside a cafe on Islington High Street with The Old Hound, Rufus, and JS. We had taken Rufus to the vet – I forget what for – throughout Rufus’s life we practically lived there he had so much wrong with him, and stopped at the cafe for a drink. As now, the papers were full of advice about how to safely watch the eclipse, make your own viewer and so on, but in achingly cool N1, there was absolutely no sign that any astrological phenomenon was about to happen.
I said to JS, “Do you think Rufus’s eyes could be damaged by looking at the sun?”
JS gave me one of his affectionate you are a crazy woman looks. “Why would a dog be interested in the eclipse?” he said.
And then the sky darkened, and people stopped in the street and looked up, and because everyone else was looking up, Rufus looked up too and JS said, “You’d better cover his eyes, just in case.”