It's all very well to be offered a fabulous early-evening spectacle of Jupiter above the clifftops to the east of Choranche, especially on my 70th birthday, but I wasn't warned, and it gave me a shock last night.
You see, it doesn't twinkle. (Of course, it doesn't, since it's a planet, not a fiery star.) All on its own in the semi-darkness, just above the horizon in the direction of the French Alps, the fixed light in the sky was eerie. I was alarmed that workers might have started to erect a skyscraper on the Vercors plateau. Or was it maybe a gigantic laser device designed to spy on Sophia, Fitzroy, Moshé and me? That seemed to be unlikely, because none of us has run into any trouble with espionage authorities… except maybe Fitzroy, who's a newcomer in the family, and about whom I know little. Was it an intervention of Silvio Berlusconi? No, that fool wouldn't have enough men to install a big lightbulb up there. I concluded that the most likely explanation was the presence of a hovering flying saucer. This reassured me somewhat, but I remained a little spooked.
This evening, I'm unlikely to be disturbed. As of yesterday, I've become older and wiser. Not only do I now know that it's merely the planet Jupiter, but there are so many clouds on the horizon (as is often the case at Gamone) that I'm unlikely to see anything whatsoever.