As Winter Arrives, Hope Begins in the UK

the colorless days are nearly over again

A Couple of months away:  Daffodils and fruit trees glory.
A Couple of months away: Daffodils and fruit trees glory.

Winter's Beginning - But Days Are Lengthening!

This date in late December brings a surge of new energy and hope. Nothing to do with Christmas, which is seen as something of an abomination by many these days, nor New Year’s Eve festivities which are left to those with stronger livers and who still enjoy driving in traffic-choked Britain.

No, to this contributor, it is the fact that the clock is on our side again on December 22, and the days are once again getting longer after 6 months of the reverse.

People living nearer the Equator, like our cuzzies in the US and those in the Antipodes, don’t perhaps realize how little daylight is left in our days as the Winter Solstice arrives. It gets fully light well after 8:00 AM and is dark again soon after 3:00 PM. The sun is also so low at noon, even if we do see it, that lowering clouds and rain mean we are in half-light all day. Add this to freezing drizzle, morning frosts and frozen automobiles, the bitter N.E winds, and hibernation would seem a welcome alternative.

If man began his existence in Africa and spent the first million or so years there, he must be genetically unsuited to a climate like the UK’s. And if the absorbing of vitamin D from sunshine is so important to our health, Britt’s must be practically languishing for the lack of it.

Sunshine seems to play such an important part in mental health as well. Is it any wonder that the billions of poor people in nations like India, Brazil and Mexico, to name but three, seem to be happier with their lot - or little - than the glum and joyless occupying castles and palaces in sunless Northern Europe? Just look at the po-faced queen here!

This writer has spent about half of his life living in the Tropics where winter and summer hardly affect the length of the days. Having lived for the last 8 years in Britain it seems no one can be prepared for the winter and short days. Kids go to school and return home in the dark, or close to it, and the awful commute in and out of London and other major cities, along damp and dark, Hadian tunnels, is only endured by many because they cannot afford the draconian prices of train tickets.

I often wonder if our gun-possession laws are so stringent, because the authorities are more worried about the citizenry turning them on themselves!

The bright mornings and long days, with the sunny evenings where we have the sun with us from about 4:00 AM until well past 9:00 PM is a huge tonic during the months of May through August. Then Britain, with its truly lovely countryside: trees, flowers, birds and butterflies, puts on another face to the world and allows its beleaguered population to expand and become filled with hope again.

We start to anticipate these mellow days as the New Year comes in; the intervening months before it becomes reality are discounted, even though December 21 is actually the start of Winter!… as we make our plans for the New Year and shake off all that was bad in the past year. In Britain, this has meant the most sunless and wettest summer on record in 2012. Thousands have lost property in floods and the gloom and dank decay has just augmented our ongoing economic woes.

But here we are, like a wet dog shaking off the damp and the bad memories and anticipating our vacation days in the sun…OK, just to make sure, let’s book somewhere in the South of Spain or in the Canaries!!

A prosperous and happy New Year to my friends in Hub pages…oxxo

 


 

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Comments 6 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I have yet to visit the land of my ancestors, but I have always pictured it as gray, damp, and dismal in the winter, alternating with the glorious green and warmth of summer.

You seem to agree.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

You had it right, Will...give me Arizona any day!

Bob


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

As it happens, today is gray, damp, and dismal in Arizona!


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

And today is grey, dismal, snowing, and cold as hell (-18 C). Add the howling wind from the North and wind chill makes it about -28. Didi you folks know that one of the most dominant features of Canadian literature is the bloody weather. So, Bob my friend, I can more than understand your need to write something (well) about the changing seasons in good ol' England!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this. I'm afraid we San Franciscans are very spoiled.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

Here in TX the winter months mean darkness 'til about 7:30-8 AM and dark again about 5:30-6PM. More light than you get, and it hardly ever rains. The sun tends to be relentless most days year around.

When I lived in Boston, it wouldn't be light 'til 7:30 AM and all but dark by 4 PM. Same in WI where I grew up. The summers in WI were great though. Getting light around 4:30 AM and dusk 'til about 10 PM.

I can see how you prefer the light as I think most of us do, but here in TX where we have all 4 seasons -- HOT, HOTTER, F'ing HOT, and Hell, light usually means sun and that usually means HOT. I really love a nice cool cloudy day because we get so few of them.

Voted up and interesting. Will share!

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