Saturday, 15 December 2007

Minutes

I tend to get a bit obsessive at this time of year about the hours of daylight: or, more to the point, the lack of them. It never used to bother me as a child. For one thing, there were always the distractions such as Bonfire Night and of course Christmas. Plus, I think, living in a comparatively rural area made a big difference: winter, in that context, seemed to make sense as opposed to being an inconvenience (not to mention a bit of a drag).

Also (adopts suitably Northern accent), when I were a lad, we had proper winters with snow and everything.

Anyway - while I wouldn't describe myself as seasonally affective (far less seasonally effective), it's nevertheless a big relief to get to this point in the year and know that, even just by a tiny margin at first, the days are going to start getting longer again. I know I'm hardly on my own when I say how dispiriting it becomes after a while to have to get up when it's dark day after day, and not return home from work until it's dark also.

Most days at this point in the year I tend to look at the BBC's 5-day weather forecast, especially because it has the times of sunrise and sunset. The shortest day isn't, of course, until near the end of the coming week. But, looking at the 5-day forecast, it's good to see that while the sun sets at 15.52 on Tuesday (round these parts anyway), then on Wednesday it doesn't set until - wait for it - 15.53!

Ok, so it obviously won't make a really noticeable difference for a while, but just seeing that extra minute of sunlight being noted on the forecast makes it feel like a psychological barrier will have been crossed in a few days time.

Right: enough wittering, I'm off down the pub.

12 comments:

anticant said...

I've recently acquired a SAD daylight lamp, and although it's too early to say whether it really helps to boost energy,I haven't felt gloomy since I got it!

Pixie said...

well I hope you use your extra minute of day light wisely hon!
pxx

Charlotte said...

It does help when there's some snow to brighten things up. I'm also looking forward to those extra minutes that start on the 21st.

Ario said...

Oh, yes, I know what you mean. I'm certainly counting the days, too. I had SAD while living in England, but it lifted as soon as I moved to Germany: all that bright snow certainly helped. Then global warming kicked in (allegedly) and there were a couple of miserably wet and soggy winters. And I felt just as gloomy again during this time of year. But then my daughter was born and I haven't had time to feel depressed ever since.

So, my solution for depression? Have children. Lots.

Merkin said...

So, my solution for depression? Have children. Lots.
.
A bit extreme, no?

Bindi said...

Oh you poor northern hemisphere possums!

But Why? said...

Winter in London is all wrong - insufficient daylight and, thanks to the light pollution, insufficient darkness, just milky orange skies.

Roll on the 22nd...

zola a social thing said...

What you need is a pair of those special spectacles, as worn by Jack Straw, where the sun remains no matter what.

trousers said...

anti, I'd be curious to know whether it does make a difference, perhaps you'll report back?

pixie, that's doubtful: it's enough just to know it's there though...

charlotte winter without snow is like brazing without flux.
Did I really just say that? Oh dear...

ario, interesting that the snow did actually help. Maybe it would be nice to winter in the alps or somewhere similar? While I can imagine that having children would help with SAD, I would hope that that wouldn't be the only reason to become a parent :)

Succinct as ever, merk!

bindi, yes but then I can't imagine Christmas in hot sunny weather: plus it's an excuse to have a good whinge...

zola, you mean the rose-tinted ones?

Lady in red said...

I have been thinking about the problems of going to work in the dark and homing home in the dark. at least it is only a few days until daylight beginsto increase.

Anna MR said...

Hei housut, Happy Christmas. Loved your solstice-walk photos - Derbyshire isn't familiar to me (can't actually place it on the map at the moment, for shame) but they reminded me of my Welsh winters, with the soft fog and earthy colours.

I could live with the darkness, if it was complete (with But Why regarding the light pollution) and if there was snow. Oh, snow. The stuff of fables we'll be telling the younger generations about.

Hope you've had a lovely relaxing holiday so far, housut, and that it continues that way. I was horrified to know you haven't had any holiday in three years. Make everything you can out of the lack of restrictions, won't you - with no expectations to "achieving" anything whatsoever. Just being holds the ultimate bliss, if and when it can be achieved.

x

trousers said...

Hi anna, season's greetings to you too my dear! Glad you liked the photos: I did, as I always do, take plenty of pictures though I had to stop because it got so rainy. Derbyshire is in the midlands: just south of north, it borders S. Yorkshire and Manchester at one end, and is sandwiched between Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire amongst others. This may be of no help to you whatsoever.

Your last paragraph is a good description of precisely what I aimed to gain from this break, and it's going alright so far - though perhaps I've muddled you up with my description of my holiday situation - this is the longest break I've had, but thankfully not the only one! What has happened previously at this time of year is that I've not booked time off (due to a number of reasons too tedious to go into here), but this year it felt essential.

Hope you're having a good holiday too :) x