Wednesday 1 September 2004

Stars under the eaves

My top-floor Linhope bedroom, full of clutter, home of a mattress that bears the scars of battles with heavy sleepers and bedroom gymnasts since long before I was born, moonlights (literally) as an observatory.

Some time ago a previous resident took a brush and some luminous paint and, with an eye for the stars, painted dots on the ceiling. No tacky five-point stars or smiling man in the moon for this Marylebone Michelangelo, they accurately recreated the uneven distribution of brightness and density that the true night skies exhibit. A few large, bright blobs, many of average size, and the occasional tiny, turn-your-head-to-see-properly, pinpricks.

The simple genius of the effect is that the dots are invisible under normal light; neither daylight nor bedside lamp allow for a viewing. Only when all lights are off and the sole light source is London's perma glow filtered through the curtains does the room turn into a mini planetarium.

Most times I forget about the ersatz stars that hang inches over my bed, but sometimes, as I flick off the lamp and turn to sleep, it's as if I were beneath the heavens.

No comments:

Post a Comment