She got me good


I watched man walk on the moon yesterday. And I cried.

Why did watching a man walk on the moon almost 50 years ago make me cry?

OK, I was a little emotional after having a tummy bug for the seventh day in a row – woe is me – but …

Context: the eldest and I were crook on the couch again yesterday and if I had to watch another rerun of a kids’ TV show I was going to scream, so I headed to JB for the three-for-two DVD special.

One of my purchases was The Dish.

Tom Long and Sam Neill in The Dish. We had those exact coffee mugs when I was a kid (I may have squealed that excitedly at the eldest).

Tom Long and Sam Neill in The Dish. We had those exact coffee mugs when I was a kid (I may have squealed that excitedly at the eldest. She was polite enough to smile and nod.).

The Dish is a gorgeous movie. It’s the sort of Aussie film making I adore. Tom Long was divine … actually all the acting was divine.

It kinda blew my mind being reminded that a year after I was born in 1968, Apollo 11 landed on the moon.

Man. Landed. On. The. Moon.

I. Was. Born. In. The. 60s.



Well, two men walked on the moon, and one poor bastard had to wait in the spaceship for 21 hours for his fellow astronauts to return.

Though he was apparently too busy being terrified to be annoyed.

According to The Guardian: “All three astronauts believed there was a real chance such a disaster would occur. Armstrong thought his prospects were only 50-50 of making it back to Earth. And so did Collins, the pilot of Columbia [the bloke left behind] and one of the world’s most experienced aviators.

“Nor were the astronauts alone. Richard Nixon, then US president, had even prepared a speech that he would deliver in the event of the Eagle’s engine failing. ‘Fate has ordained that the men who went to the Moon to explore in peace will stay on the Moon to rest in peace,” it ran. “These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.'”

I hadn’t really thought about how equally amazing it was that not only did man land on the moon but he actually got back to Earth again.

Collins wrote a note while he waited for his astro mates that said: “”My secret terror for the last six months has been leaving them on the Moon and returning to Earth alone; now I am within minutes of finding out the truth of the matter. If they fail to rise from the surface, or crash back into it, I am not going to commit suicide; I am coming home, forthwith, but I will be a marked man for life and I know it.”


I digress … bloody Google … so damn fascinating, so many rabbit holes …

I’d seen The Dish before, but I’d forgotten how totally cool it was that the telescope in Parkes, in NSW, got to be the location that broadcast the actual images of man landing on the moon.

But the thing that really blew my mind was that almost 50 years ago NASA was bold and brave enough to do something so incredible.

(I was about to say I wish I’d been born a bit earlier so I could have watched it all first-hand … but, no, I don’t … I’m having enough trouble coping with the slack skin that comes with being 47.)

And they’ve NEVER done it again. Not in five decades. Not with all the advances in technology. Bizarro.

I also gave the eldest a lecture on how kids becoming obsessed with computers and ipads and gaming has dulled their creativity and imagination – made their brains dysfunctional – and how it was much better for kids’ brains when they got outdoors.

She nodded sagely and said: “Exactly! That’s why I should go camping in the bush with Claudia in the school holidays.”

Damn. She’s smart that one.

The idea of a no-parents camping expedition – more like a glorified slumber party over her friend’s back fence – was raised a few weeks ago. I was all namby-pamby-I’m-not-sure-about-that, but she’s been doggedly chipping away at me ever since.

And she got me. She got me good.

Song of the day: Tom Hadfield “Space Oddity”







6 thoughts on “She got me good

  1. I watched the moon landing when I was eight. Our entire school crammed around a tiny black and white television and the girl sitting beside me (Beryl Stuart) told me that her auntie said when they stepped on to the moon the world was going to explode. Even at the tender age of eight I knew Beryl’s aunt was an idiot, but I was still a bit nervous.

  2. Nice one! The Dish was indeed a brilliant movie. We had those coffee mugs, too and I recall making the same comments when I saw the movie.😄

    I was home from school that day…convinced my Mum that I was sick. I watched the landing and walk on TV in our lounge room on Strathallen Ave., Northbridge.

    I was absolutely fascinated with space travel at 11 years old and had built a Saturn 5 Rocket with a Lunar Landing Module at the top…the model was about 5″ high. It became a dust-catcher in my bedroom for many years in many different houses! 😉

    • I wasn’t so much into building spaceships as fantasising about being an alien. I’d dream about living on a planet circling Alpha Centauri. I can remember lying on my driveway looking up at the stars and wanting desperately to explore other worlds.

  3. My brother was adopted and just 4 weeks with my mum and dad on this day. So for my parents it’s always amazing – 1969. I think they were more amazed at having a baby on the rug on their suburban floor!

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