Ok, so I cheated. As mentioned in the account of my journey, the video camera broke for about 3 minutes just before and during totality but I promise you we did see the corona in all it's glory, all be it obscured by clouds after about a minute and a half! This picture is a frame grab taken from the BBC's coverage and shows the eclipse as it appeared in Reims, France. Although I've seen better pictures, this is similar to how it appeared to us near Metz through a thin layer of cloud, though the red prominences were much clearer. The BBC web site contains many other spectacular images of the eclipse (plug plug...).
This picture was taken by Martin Mee, a friend of Stephen's, who took this photograph using a Canon EOS50 + Canon F2.8 70-200mm lens with x2 converter attached, and then zoomed in and is probably equivalent to about 800-1000mm. The pictures were taken at Mylor Bridge (near Falmouth) Cornwall, standing in the garden of a friend's house with an umbrella over the camera and tripod praying for a break in the clouds and drizzle! You can see the other pictures he took by clicking here.
The camera was quickly fixed and we got this nice sequence showing the shadow quickly receding over the cloud base. The camera is pointing towards the west where you can see the horizon is noticeably brighter than the rest of the sky in each frame. There is roughly 5 seconds between each photo.
NOTE: There is also an animated gif of the following sequence which you can view. It's 670K in size so may take a while to download. click here to view.
The auto-exposure in the camera really doesn't do this sequence justice. This next image was taken about a minute later.
Although taken a couple of minutes later, this picture of the garage from our grassy viewing area shows how dark it still is despite the auto-exposure of the camera. Notice how the garage lights are slightly over exposed. That's me walking into shot by the way...
All that remained to do was to get back in the car and drive home!