Saturday, 21 December 2013

Solstice

I can't be the only person who absolutely hates getting up in winter when it's still dark.  My current way of trying to improve how the day starts* is to have a small lamp on a timer.  It's a far more peaceful way to wake up and a cheapskate version of these "dawn simulator alarm clocks" which cost a fortune and get lousy reviews. 



Happily, today is the Winter Solstice.  Shortest day or longest night?  Either way, this is the date which really marks the turning of the year for me, none of this 31st December nonsense.  The solar system doesn't care about the Julian or Gregorian calendars, or how 1752 was a really messed up year.  Today is the annual moment when our little rock is as far away from the sun as it ever gets.  From here, for the next six months it gets warmer (theoretically) and most importantly for the plants upon which all life depends, the days get longer.  Imperceptible to start with but day by day it will now get lighter earlier.  Thank goodness :}

I'd like to think the weather would improve sooner rather than later but I wouldn't bet on it.  When I took Daisy around the block first thing the walk started well, and then the hail stones arrived, acompanied by thunder and lightening.  Herself was Not Impressed and we both agreed that running home was a damn good idea.

Fortunately things improved an hour or so later and Management joined us on a windy walk at the sand-dunes.  We timed it perfectly and had 90 minutes without rain although the wind was not as strong as it has been, it was relentless and took its toll on all of us.  We were all surprisingly tired and Daisy didn't move for the rest of the day.







Don't blame her - by mid-afternoon the wind and rain had returned accompanied by thunder and lightening again.  If the power goes off the



And there I was, about to type "if the power goes off the log baskets are full and the emergency lights are charged" when a huge clap of thunder shook the house, the windows sounded like they were being pebbledashed with the force of hailstones and everything went black ...  A quick look outside revealed that everything had gone dark - including Cockermouth and the village on the other side of the river.  We had a very peaceful hour or so with no electric.  Management read his tablet, I read my Kindle, Daisy snored on the sofa.  It seems poetic that I'm muttering about the longest night when it all goes very black :}

A power cut during a storm might not seem remarkable, around here it's a common occurrence.   What is phenomenal however, is that it happened at 17.11 precisely ...




* getting up at 10.00am is really not an option

14 comments:

  1. And I know why 17.11 is significant as I looked it up earlier - trying to work out if the 21st is the shortest day, is it the night of the 20th or the 21st which is the longest night. I still don't know, but I did find out that the actual 'turning point' is 17.11, as you mention. :-)

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    1. Gold Star for Hazel :} I'm not sure either, perhaps Solstice isn't really a day or night but a moment?

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  2. So it's nearly summer now then is it?

    Thanks for showing part of my favourite quilt at the start of this post.

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    1. It doesn't feel like summer Sue, 50mm of rain this week.

      Thanks for liking the quilt, can you believe I made it 12 years ago?

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  3. Love having the 21 Behind us! Never thought about ebooks being good for power cuts! Can you get e jigsaws too?

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    1. Sue, YES. you can get eJigsaws!

      I have a program called 'Jigsaws Galore". Originally downloaded it as a free App from the Apple Store and immediately paid for the full game, it's that good :} There is a windows version too. If you had a full battery on your laptop then there's no reason why you couldn't use it in a power cut. No affiliation, just think it's a tremendous little bit of software.

      You will find it at www.dgray.com

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    2. Thanks I'll take a look - we have an Ipad so I'll try on that

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    3. Hate to rain on your parade Sue, but I not convinced an iPad has a large enough screen for more than small puzzles. I'm using it on a 27" iMac and really need that much 'screen real estate' for anything with more than 500 or 600 pieces. I'd hate to try a 1,000 piece puzzle on a smaller screen.

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    4. Just had a go on the demo on my desktop and it kept my interest so who knows I may invest.

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  4. So pleased Hazel had commented and therefore saved me having to either google or reveal my ignorance :-) What I find really weird is that BEFORE the 21st, on exceptionally bright days, maybe for as long as a week or two, it seems to me that the days are already lengthening.

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    1. Jill, the last thing I would ever think about you is ignorance.

      I'll let you into a secret - I had to Google the 1752 reference because I knew what had happened but couldn't remember the exact date :}

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  5. The timing of your blackout is sort of spooky. Hope that is the worst of your "windy" weather over even though I know you'll still get cold etc. Have a lovely Xmas and take care. Ditto with Sue on that quilt, it looks lovely.

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    1. Hi Susan, yes, I thought the timing was a bit too much to be a coincidence:}

      Much higher winds forecast for Monday and Tuesday . . . oh goody (not). Does the quilt pattern look familiar to you?

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So there I am, chuntering on to myself, but it would be lovely to hear from you. Thanks to all who take the time to comment - it makes my day :)

and I always delete spam - my blog, my rules :-}