I was rescued tonight from an evening of dullness by my lovely chum McHarg.  He took me on an expedition up into the Bathgate Hills to view the full moon, which is currently at its perigee – the point in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to the Earth.

Night sky near Cockleroy

We picked our way through the dark, silent woods of Beecraigs then clambered up Cockleroy Hill.  I don’t see well in the dark but the moon was bright enough to light my way.  As I walked my moon shadow walked beside me.

From the top of Cockleroy, in daylight, we could have seen from the Bass Rock to Goat Fell.  At night we stood on an island in a sea of darkness, edged by the lights of the surrounding towns.  In the distance I could see the lace-like ironwork of the Forth Bridge – arguably the most beautiful structure in Scotland.

The moon hung above it all, fat and beautiful, occasionally veiled in cloud.  The night was silent except for the wind and the periodic bleating of distant sheep.


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