Clink Street, London, 17th December 2013
Anyone who works at sea will be conscious of the most mystical cycle of all: the moon’s. What’s a good night to sail? Will there be moonlight? Will the tide be high enough to enter the harbour? Life at sea is as governed as much by the moon as the sun.
Even here in London it affects my life. At low tide, the Thames drains and the shore opens up, offering quick short-cuts along the river in the company of mudlarks searching for centuries-old discarded clay pipes.
At a full moon, such as today, or new moon, the tides are most extreme. On these days, London’s high tide is at around three o’clock, and it’s fun to have a late lunch by the low embankment of Custom House Quay. The wash from passing ferry boats can suddenly flood the path, sending unexpecting tourists scurrying like pigeons from a prancing cat.
Do we get slightly crazier when the moon is full, perhaps? Despite all the rumours, research concludes that we probably don’t. But you might want to keep that quiet. It can be a handy excuse.