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What a hectic week this has been! To close ... what else, of course, but a partial solar eclipse!

Cursed by a thick blanket of grey cloud, I joined my astronomy friend, Geoff Shaw, with his two daughers, Becky and Flick, in the beautiful grounds of their home, Follers Manor in East Sussex - recently voted the Sixth Best Garden in Britain and featured with Alan Titchmarsh on national television.

(our stunning location: Follers Manor in East Sussex)

What a stunning backdrop and our base for a live interview with BBC Sussex and Surrey Radio later as we approached the maximum coverage of the partial eclipse.

(with Geoff overlooking the stunning South Downs)

We repeatedly gazed skyward, in vain, knowing that other parts of the country were enjoying uninterrupted sunshine!

(with Becky and Flick Shaw - having some fun whilst waiting for the clouds to clear!)

But all was not lost! Suddenly, at around 0915hrs, the clouds thinned. Moments later, they parted and for almost two minutes we watched the Moon eclipsing some 70% of the Sun's disc. Wow! We knew how lucky we had been!

(The clouds beginning to thin and part ... at last!)

Just three minutes later BBC Sussex and Surrey Radio were on the line with a live Interview with their reporter, Simon Jenkins, and I was able to share with their listeners the thrill and awe of what we had just witnessed!

A truly magical time ... and much fun was had by all!

Thank you, Geoff, Becky and Flick for all the fun and for making me feel so welcome in your lovely home! Here's to 2026!

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