- Holidays and Celebrations
As Winter Arrives, Hope Begins in the UK
the colorless days are nearly over again
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