The Nights are Getting Lighter

I made breakfast in daylight for the first time in ages the other day.

And yesterday I started work at 7am – which still involved driving there in the dark, but not for much longer!

There are flowers on the clematis – spring is springing. There’s hope on the horizon. We’ve turned the corner.

Once we’re going to work and coming home again in daylight, we’ll feel like the winter is just about over.

I’m looking forward to evenings spent in the garden. I might actually do some gardening, or I might just sit with a glass of wine. Whatever – I’m looking forward to it.

When you live in the UK, you get used to the seasons – and the daylight – coming and going.

Winter evenings by the fire are good too. Draw the curtains, get the kettle on. There’s something to be said for it. And if you find that the long dark nights get you down, at least you know that this too shall pass and the evenings will start to get lighter again.

I was lucky enough to visit Australia a while back. And I spent a bit of time in the tropics in my youth. These huge swings from dark mornings and evenings to light mornings and evenings simply don’t happen closer to the equator. In Australia sunset is between 6pm and 6.30 pm – all year round. Summer and winter. The sun sets at pretty much the same time in August as it does in January.

Australia is a very hot and sunny place – but they don’t have long summer evenings. In the tropics the sun sets quickly – there’s barely half an hour between full daylight and full darkness. Nothing much in the way of dusk or twilight.

I know we complain about the dark nights in the winter – dark by 4pm, doesn’t get light until after 8 o’clock the next morning. But if we didn’t have the long dark nights over the winter, we wouldn’t have the long light evenings in the summer.

I love nothing better than to go for a walk at about 8 o’clock in the evening during the summer – there’s still some warmth in the sun, the birds are singing. It’s a peaceful end to the day. I miss it over the winter. But if I lived in a place where the length of the day hardly changes, I would miss it all year round.

I lived on Shetland for a while (yes, that’ll need a blog post or two!!). For those of you who don’t live in the UK (and, to be fair, for many people who do) Shetland is the most northerly group of islands off the north coast of Scotland. They only just make it on to the screen on the TV weather forecast and on maps they’re usually in a box. They’re further north than the southern tip of Greenland. The nights are long in winter. They had a special word for the part of the year around midsummer when the sun hardly sets at all –  they call it the Simmer Dim. It would still be daylight at 11 o’clock at night, and starting to get light again by 1 in the morning.

Of course, they pay for it at the other end of the year when it’s still dark at gone 9 o’clock in the morning and the daylight’s fading again by 3.

Unfortunately, just because the days are starting to get longer again, we’re not out of the worst of the winter weather. Looks like we’re going to have to be battening down the hatches this weekend. Weather warnings for the whole of the UK by Sunday – keep warm and stay safe!!

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Joan Mudd says:

    Being a retired from work kind of a girl, I usually get to make my breakfast in the daylight nowadays but I know where you are coming from. Back in the good old working days I had a 40 mile drive to work and 40 back. In the winter I would set off in the dark and drive home in the dark. I never saw the light of day, just endless tarmac in front of the headlights. It was so exciting when I could drive home in the daylight again. Spring had sprung. I want to go out and warn all the chipper little birds and budding flowers to slow it down a bit. I think that March will come and bite us on the behind. You heard it here first.


    1. Sadly I think you’re absolutely right.


  2. SisterStay says:

    Sorry I’ve neglected you – life’s been really busy, but I saw this heading and just had to read it. I ADORE Spring. Actually I love all the seasons because I grew up in Queensland, Australia and just as you so rightly point out, we don’t really have much seasonal change or variety. I used to iron a Summer dress every night and just know it would be fine to wear pretty much every day. Ok, so I sometimes added a cardigan in Winter, but really, it’s so exciting to be living in the UK and even 30 years after moving here, I am still in awe of Spring bulbs in bloom, long, light, late Summer evenings and crisp Autumn mornings! All the poetry we learned in school about daffodils and snow and the like only made sense when I moved to the UK. People complain about the British weather, but for me, the endless variety and unpredictability is something truly wonderful.


    1. And it gives us Brits something to talk about!!


  3. Joan Mudd says:

    Sisterstay, I was brought up in Canada. They certainly do the seasons there LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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