See How The Light Of Infinity Bursts In Upon Us!

..or it would, if we cleaned the window a bit... Never mind, here are some of Monty's alibis for spending so much time alone up here in the Observatory, with only his telescope for company

In case you hadn't guessed, this is Comet Hale-Bopp. The bright thing, that is. The sort of frondy stuff in the lower part of the picture is some trees. So why is Monty taking pictures of trees, you may ask? Well, unfortunately, on the night in question, some fool had let off a small thermonuclear device down at The Fin (tut! Boys!), and the resultant glow caused more light pollution to the sky than Peeps ritual sock-bonfire. So poor old Monty had set off, telescope in hand and special funky film in his camera, down to the ancient and mysterious

woods around The Towers. Fortunately for him, there were no relatives swinging from the branches that evening, waiting to plop on him from a great height Don't you just *hate* it when that happens?

Mudshark kind are no strangers to comets, of course. During the last pass of the (unfortunately disappointing) Halley's Comet, Florentina unleashed upon the unsuspecting world her magnificent creation the Gin & Comet - very similar to another great mainstay of the Refreshment Repertoire, but with the added bonus of a bloody great dirty snowball in the middle of it ! Who said ancient detritus can't be fun? Our regular reader will, of course, be familiar with the sordid tale of Comet Shumaker-Levy and the Grand Barbecue given in its honour. Yes, the grass has almost grown back now, thank you..

Anyway, here's another photo of the dratted thing, this time taken a few days previously. The evening in question was clear and fine, with only a fifty-fifty chance of hypothermia, and so, on Monty's advice, and armed with a nice glass of Australian Shiraz, I stumbled up the dirt track which leads from Mudshark Towers, cursing the stiletto heels every step of the way, then stood to wonder, both at the firmament, and at the extraordinary talents of our Antipodean friends in the wine-making business. And to think, barely 20 years ago, we were still drinking Hirondelle! *

(Now aren't you glad you visited this site, instead of one of those ones where they bore you with film speeds and exposures. Not us! Here at Mudshark Towers, we tell you what to drink with your comet! Slainte!)

*Actually, no-one in their right mind was actually drinking the stuff. But as I recall, on its journey frrom bottle to drain, it made an excellent job of cleaning the toilet**

** Mind you, you should have seen our toilet*** in those days. Or, if the thought of a damp, crumbling, outhouse infested with woodlice and centipedes causes you to reach for the electrodes, perhaps it's just as well you didn't

*** The toilet belonged to a house called Brian, which lived up to its rather organic designation by having various bodily parts. Thus, the two protruding dormer windows were his eyes, the long, winding stairway to the ground was the throat, and the toilet was the Bowels. No ordinary Bowels, though,! Dear Brian had Electric Bowels after an intrepid expedition by Alexi Mudshark over the rooftops dragging a length of cable with him, fired with the conviction that no Mudshark should have to pee in total darkness! As far as I was ever able to make out, judging by the "strike rate" (or rather, the lack of it!) by the male members of the Clan, it really wouldn't have made a blind bit of difference! However, let us now pause a minute to remember Alexi Mudshark in his vigorous youth, when even climbing trees from the top down was not beyond his capabilities, and reflect on the fact that since he has been ".. sitting down and getting his breath back" for the better part of 20 years now, he must be due for some sort of radical activity any minute now...

Grab the comet's tail and jump off at Mudshark Towers