August 1999

Back from Africa, I settle down and tried to finish my MA dissertation. Of course, in London there are always events to provide distractions. Click on each photo to see a larger, more detailed version.

On August 11, 2000 the last total solar eclipse of the millennium occurred. From London, the eclipse was supposed to be around 98% total. A few of us gathered in Regents Park, along with all these other people, to watch; why, I wondered, is there such a fuss made over an event that hides the sun in a city where the sun is hidden most of the time, anyway? Eclipse-observing device Looking directly at the sun is always potentially harmful, even during an eclipse. The correct way to watch the eclipse is to use certain certified eye goggles. Otherwise, as television and newspapers made sure we knew, one can use a piece of cardboard with a hole to case the shadow of the eclipse onto another piece of cardboard.
Eclipse-watchers in the park
Andreas attempts the same feat, with questionable success. Andreas demonstrates eclipse-watching safety
View of the solar eclipse in central London
The view of the eclipse from the center of London. No surprises here.
Notting Hill Carnival parade Crowds at the Notting Hill Carnival Later that month was the annual Notting Hill Carnival (yes, that Notting Hill), with huge crowds, revelry, and not-so-tasty hot dog vendors. People came from all over to see one of Europe's biggest block parties. I didn't spot Hugh or Julia, though.
The huge parade of dancers and floats with incredibly loud sound systems slowly wound its way through the neighborhood.