Walking to a country pub with one of my Sons the other night, I decided to try to elevate the casual conversation above the inane schoolboy chatter and 'nob-jokes' genre we usually engage in. Looking over to the west, in an inky black clear sky was the majestic heavenly presence of Venus. At this time of the year it is the brightest thing in the night sky (apart from the moon, obviously)….. I thought this could be the time to cram a little more knowledge into my Son’s noggin – I mean, Venus is such a weird place. For instance, it’s the hottest planet in the Solar System – and it’s the only planet that spins in a clockwise direction. It spins incredibly slowly – once every 243 Earth days – which is actually longer than it takes the planet to orbit the Sun. So amazingly, a Venusian day is longer than a Venusian year.
"So what’s that up there then?" I said pointing up to the great twinkler in the sky.
"I don’t know. I don’t know what that is up there in the sky. It’s some sort of star isn’t it?"
"No,no,no – it’s the planet, ‘Venus’ and it's dead weird!…. So what’s so weird about Venus then?…… I’ll help you if you like. Venus is really special. It’s the only planet that……. "
My Son thought a bit - "Venus is the only planet that rhymes with ‘Penis’…."
So much for elevating the conversation. I’m just glad we couldn’t see Uranus.