Sunday, 26 February 2012
In several decades of – more or less – organized working life I acquired the habit of getting out of bed at 7 AM. Up here in the North, this goes against the natural flow of life most of the year. In wintertime you have to force yourself up despite a depressing dark and in summertime the sun is far ahead of you and already blazing when you stumble out of bed after a sleepless night.
But, twice a year, nature is accommodating your wish of a natural day circle. This happy state of nature starts at end of February and lasts about a month ahead. In autumn, October is the beneficial month. This is the time when the rising sun is tickling your house at the appropriate time to rise and there is no need for a wake-up call from your mobile phone (or your wife).
Take a look at the title picture: isn't it nice to be welcomed by such a rosy view precisely when you are supposed to get out of bed and prepare your morning coffee?
This may sound trivial to you, but fact is, that the mind works at its best in those two beneficial months, when nature is leading you on to a new day. This is the time to start writing your memoirs, or polish the proof of a theorem you have been pondering all winter but unable to come to grips with. As a young student I was well aware of this effect and concentrated my learning efforts to those precious few months of the year.
Sunday, 5 February 2012
This winter is supposed to be a mild one, but weather conditions far too the East have put a stop to that: a mighty High over Siberia has stretched its wings to cover most of continental Europe, with some tendrils even reaching as far north as Stockholm.
When I woke up this morning, around 8 am, serene stillness was reigning over Hammarby Sound. White ice greeted white sky slowly turning pink, and the Sound was completely frozen over. The sun had not yet risen over the horizon, but soon it would appear to shed more warmth over the scenery. It was Sunday morning and no large boats had been trafficking the strait since Friday afternoon, preventing smaller boats from daring the thrip.
Whilst bathing in that white and peaceful splendor, I spared some thoughts for less fortunate people down south. Apparently, temperatures in the minus tens have been prevailing for some time as far south as the Balkans, leaving people down there wide open to the travails of extreme frost. Whilst these poor Southerners are freezing (some even to death) in their barely sheltered lodgings, here in Hammarby Sound we barely notice that it is minus 18° outside this white morning. My apartment is keeping a constant healthy 21° inside, whatever temperature may be hounding the air over the Sound.
Whilst I am contemplating this, time has passed and it is now already 9 am. The sun has briefly won over high fog and is shedding its splendor over the ice. Time to come to closure with this blog and hurry outside, to benefit from clear frosty air on my nose and ears!