And so it begins – the end of British Summer Time. The clocks go back an hour, the evenings draw in and the night is longer than the day. I hate the darkness. And the cold.
It happens this coming weekend and I’m not looking forward to it.
Admittedly the nights are already longer than the days; sunrise today in my part of Wiltshire was officially 7.37am and sunset is 6.06pm, but there’s an illusion of a longer day because it’s still daylight when I get home from work – just. Once those clocks go back it will be dark before I get home and quite quickly it will be twilight on my drive to work – so depressing.
To add to my misery I’ve just read that we are forecast a month of snow this winter because the Atlantic is the coldest for 80 years. I hope, that as usual, our weather forecasters have got it wrong.
So what can I do?
- Wear more layers – until I can hardly put my arms down.
- Look forward to Christmas – there are only 66 days to go according to the countdown clock on xmasclock.com.
- Close the curtains, turn up the lights and distract myself – box set of Pride and Prejudice anyone?
- Admire the sights – when the frost is thick and reflects twinkling lights it reminds me of Narnia. What could be more magical? Just hope I don’t meet the White Witch.
- Write, write and write – this is what I really should be doing. I’m working on my next romcom and it’s partly set on a beach in Devon – I can distract myself with sun, sea, cream teas and, of course, romance with a few laughs along the way.
Last year I was lucky enough to visit the Arctic Circle in the summer. Apparently near the solstice they only get about 15 minutes of night and even that is twilight – they can watch the sun set and rise in that short time. The flip side is that in the winter they don’t get much daylight – just 15 minutes in the middle of the day. Imagine that. Not for me, I can barely cope with our short dull days in December.
But for now there is a beauty in autumn, the leaves are twirling in the wind as they spiral to the ground, red, gold, russet and brown. Or, as Shelley put it, rather more elegantly in his Ode to the West Wind:
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing
And after Christmas there is always spring to look forward to. I steal from Shelley again:
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?