What were the skies like when you were young?
They went on forever – They – When I w- We lived in Arizona, and the skies always had little fluffy clouds in ‘em, and, uh… they were long… and clear and… there were lots of stars at night. And, uh, when it would rain, it would all turn – it- They were beautiful, the most beautiful skies as a matter of fact. Um, the sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire, and the clouds would catch the colors everywhere. That’s uh, neat cause I used to look at them all the time, when I was little. You don’t see that. You might still see them in the desert.
Of course, there are no deserts in Sheffield, where I grew up. And while there may have been little fluffy clouds, there were (of course) a lot of days with grey clouds and even some with no clouds at all. Much like Cape Town, where I am now – although I can’t actually see a single cloud out of my study window right now.
One thing I remember seeing a lot of as a kid in Sheffield was vapour trails from aircraft passing far overhead on the Great Circle Route. That’s one thing that you don’t see in Cape Town. Geographically, it makes perfect sense: to leave a vapour trail, a plane must be above 8,000m (26,000ft) and why would any plane be over Cape Town at that height? Where would it have come from and where would it be going?
The planes we see here in the Cape (like this example from today, which was what got me thinking about this) are generally on their way in or out of the local airport.
That’s what makes this photo by arepeegee particularly special – because it has vapour trail, elements of a sunset and it’s taken in Sheffield.
I almost felt homesick, but then I looked out of the window at my no clouds and had another beer and things were all ok again.