In our occasional attempt to make everyone feel old, today we celebrate Kate Bush's Aerial, which came out ten years ago this weekend. For an artist who took the best part of 35 years between tours, the 12-year interval between this album and its predecessor, The Red Shoes, now seems almost reasonable. Yet, when you consider the fact that first single, 'King of the Mountain', is said to have been pretty much completed in 1996, it is fair to say that Kate was really enjoying the luxury of being able to take one's time.

But, hey, we are talking about Kate Bush here so, naturally, the wait was very much worth it. The first taster from the album came on 21st of September 2005, when 'King of the Mountain' premiered on BBC Radio 2. The electronic pulses, Kate's Elvis-honouring vocals and the nod to Citizen Kane's Rosebud proved a hit with fans and the single peaked at number 4 in the UK Singles Chart - Kate's highest since 'Running Up That Hill', twenty years earlier.

As with Hounds of Love, 'Side A' of Aerial (titled A Sea of Honey) was a more straight-forward pop affair. Alongside 'King of the Mountain', it included a rendition of the numerical equivalent of π ('Pi'), an ode to Kate's then toddler son ('Bertie') and 'Mrs Bartolozzi', a piano ballad whose chorus-of-sorts found Kate singing "washing machine" repeatedly. OK, when we say 'straight-forward pop' we obviously mean by Bush standards.

A Sky of Honey, the other part of Aerial, was essentially a stand-alone concept album. At the start of September 2005, EMI hosted its fourth quarter retail conference at Abbey Road and announced initial release details for Aerial, telling retailers that its second disc will consist of only one track, lasting more than 30 minutes. Indeed, Kate's plan was or A Sky of Honey to be an uninterrupted single recording, but - so the story goes - retailers' reactions to the idea and EMI's counsel convinced her to break the track into nine separate cuts, which is how it eventually ended up appearing later that November.

The problem was how to chuck this onto iTunes, with Kate's insistence that A Sky of Honey should be heard as one piece of music and not broken down into separately downloadable tracks. Kate's solution? She withheld the whole of Aerial from iTunes altogether. That is until former EMI and PolyGram executive, David Munns, who did some consulting work for Kate, helped broker a deal whereby in May 2010 - almost five years after its initial release - Aerial was finally made available on iTunes (and other digital streaming and download websites). Aerial's second disc was newly represented as An Endless Sky of Honey, a single track clocking at just over 42 minutes, "which is how it was always intended to be heard," so said Kate's press release on her official website at the time.

A Sky of Honey - or An Endless Sky of Honey, depending on how you listen to it - sees Kate finding joy in simple things like birdsong, the light and a child's laughter. It opens with Kate's son, Bertie, waking his parents up as "the day is full of birds." Accompanied by pigeons cooing and a light piano, Bertie tells his parents: "sounds like they're saying words."

On 'Prologue' the morning unfolds and Kate sings: "Oh so romantic, swept me off my feet / like some kind of magic /like the light in Italy /lost its way across the sea". The day then moves on and the beautiful orchestration layered on top of Kate's piano is met by light drums and a choir's chorus of "what a lovely afternoon!".

The song of the oil and the brush, 'An Architect's Dream', sees Kate casting Rolf Harris in the role of a painter, making the most of the afternoon's light to perfect his work of art. Harris's brief soliloquy opens: "Yes, I need to get that tone a little bit lighter there, maybe with some dark accents coming in from the side." For obvious reasons, Harris was left out of Kate's Eventim Apollo residency, Before The Dawn, last year and the role of the painter was taken over by Bertie.

Delicate percussion from Bosco D'Oliveira underscores this laidback track as we follow the painter painting. "That bit there, it was an accident / But he's so pleased /It's the best mistake he could make." In his hands, a smudge becomes something else altogether and the drawn lines are what is described as an architect's dream. But the weather's changing: "It's always the same /whenever he works on a pavement it starts to rain."

On 'The Painter's Link', evening approaches and Harris laments the rain's effect on his creation. Kate joins in: "So all the colours run, all the colours run, see what they have become? A wonderful sunset." Here we get one of the shimmering highlights on the whole of Aerial: Kate starts alone at her piano, her silky voice likening the setting sun to honeycomb "in a sea of honey." At the 4-minute mark the tempo alters and the song takes the guise of a sanguine flamenco celebration. It's exhilarating and uplifting.

The quirkiest part of the suite is 'Aerial Tal' which consists of a conversation between Kate and the birds outside. Chirping, tweeting and trilling over a looping piano, they're bidding each other good evening, as the light begins to dim. Watching Kate do this live during Before The Dawn was certainly a highlight (as a side note, if you have cats at home, play this song to them and watch their reaction).

If A Sky of Honey hadn't been intended to form one continuous track, one could imagine 'Somewhere In Between' being a big Kate Bush single. It certainly has the most traditional verse-chorus song structure on this concept piece as well as a rhythmic and melodious backbone. There is no doubt as to what part of the day it is: "...where the shadows come to play 'twixt the day and night / dancing and skipping along a chink of light." Kate sings of the transitional hour as twilight being neither night nor morning. There is also lyrical homage to her 1980 single, 'Breathing': "somewhere in between breathing out and breathing in," before Kate bids good night to the sun and good night to her son. "Good night, mum!", Bertie replies.

Sleep is soundtracked by 'Nocturn', an eight and a half minute long accompaniment to dreamtime. "We dive deeper and deeper /Could be we are here / Could be in a dream," Kate muses before letting slumber turn into awakening with the re-emergence of the sun: "It came up on the horizon / rising and rising / in a sea of honey, a sky of honey."

24 musical hours later, A Sky of Honey's final chapter, 'Aerial', roisters the arriving day with a greeting of and praise for the new morning. "The dawn has come and the song must be sung and the flowers are melting... What kind of language is this?" - Kate is rejoined by the birds - "I can't hear a word you're saying, tell me what are you singing?", she asks.

We're left with an up-and-at-'em drive to start the day, with gusto. "I want to be up on the roof," Kate sings in closing and 'Aerial' serves as a euphoric ending to an epic celebration of a midsummer day cycle that is exciting both as an uninterrupted, on-going piece and a collection of individual sonic vignettes of the various times of day.

Staged as the third and final act of Before The Dawn, it's easy to see why Kate wanted to perform A Sky of Honey in its entirety. The concept, the music and the thematic flow of the suite worked well as a performance piece and made for a bright counterpart to the dark and moody The Ninth Wave, which came before it.

Happy birthday, Aerial. Here's hoping Kate gives you a new sibling in the not too distant future.

Parts of this article were first published in The 405's series of features celebrating Kate Bush's return to stage last year. Head over here for our Essential Kate Bush Playlist.