Dawn over Lakeland, the winter solstice and a full moon. But wait, what’s this? There’s a bit missing …
Ah, it’s a lunar eclipse. Always fascinating to watch and this one didn’t disappoint, with the moon turning a dark orange before fading into the early morning light and dropping behind the Langdale Pikes.
Lunar eclipses are not uncommon, although it’s been 362 years since one fell on a winter solstice. Astronomical coincidence, but the astrologers made much of it. As I’d cheated and watched the eclipse from the studio window, I had the computer to hand, so in addition to chatting on Twitter with a correspondent in Australia (“The eclipse is heading your way - it'll be with you in 20 minutes.”) I also took time to issue a few tweets mocking the astrologers.
Fast forward to 11pm. All is quiet. Outside the snow lies deep and even (obviously, we’d hardly be likely to bring it inside). Suddenly there is a massive roar. A jet overhead? An early fly past from Santa?
Check Twitter (much faster to report news than the lamestream media), no - it’s an earthquake! I knew I shouldn’t have mocked the astologers.
The US Geological Survey had details online within minutes - 3.5 Richter and centred on Coniston.
A few minutes later, the BBC announced it was breaking news, although in fact we hadn’t even broken a cup.
And lo, it came to pass that today’s Westmorland Gazette cartoon was about …
Well, you can see below. A nice Christmas gift for a cartoonist. These are the four sketches submitted to the editor and you can see which was picked by skating out on Thursday to purchase The Westmorland Gazette - or by scootling over to my website.
P.S. it may have been me who sent out a Tweet for food parcels for the Cumbria earthquake victims. Specifically for mince pies and sprouts.
P.P.S. To the wag who dubbed it the Kendal Mint Quake on Facebook … well done. I was planning to use that for the cartoon but you beat me to it.
P.P.P.S. Merry Christmas!