Wednesday, 30 December 2015


Christmas day morning at 9 am.

I have said it before, so no need to repeat myself, winter nights are loong and dark up here in the North. This creates havoc in the brain which needs light to get active in the morning. So what to do, when it is still pitch dark at 7.30, my preferred getting up time over the year?

After many decades of confusion, I have at long last found the answer to this question. You simply have to stay awake a wee bit into the morning hours. If you manage to keep going (by reading, watching TV or working) until, say, 2 am, this will give you a sound 7 hours' sleep until 9 am, when the first rays of the sun will tickle your nose and lure you out of bed.

On Christmas morning, I had pinpointed it correctly. When I rose and stumbled out on the balcony, still half asleep, the very first sun rays already tickled the high risers across Hammarby Sound; the title picture bears witness. It was 9.13 am and time to start a new day.

In contrast, I was up far too early three days later. An eery silvery light shone through the drapes and made my sleepy brain wonder what the world was up to now. This had to be investigated, my subconscious told me, and my conscious self obliged by sliding out of bed and get going.

Hammarby Sound at 8 am three days after Christmas.

It was quite cold out there on the balcony, and I was shivering mightily in my thin pajamas. The reason was obvious. During the night, temperatures had fallen considerably and snow was covering the quays like a white blanket. Real winter had arrived at long last after sensationally warm Christmas weather. Only a few days earlier, on winter solstice day, day time temperature was higher than on Summer Solcstice day in late June!

I first thought that it was the snow who caused the silvery shine reigning over quay and water. But that was not the only reason. After admiring the views eastward for a while, I eventually turned westward and saw, to my big surprise, a full moon hovering over the canal in that direction.

Full moon over Hammarby Canal at 8 am.

Now, I have lived in my apartment for 7 years already, but never before have I witnessed a full winter moon early in the morning. "Thank you!", brain, for noticing the silvery shine and getting me out of bed early to savor its splendor! Isn't it wonderful to make such new experiences at an advanced age?

Having said that, time to look ahead. New Years Eve is upon us! Since I will be otherwise engaged at the right time, I take this premature occasion to wish you, my hardy and patient readers

A Very Happy New Year! 
May all your good wishes come true!

Stockholm in Winter 2010. Building site for railway tunnel in the foreground.


Eva said...

Dear Emil,
Like you, I saw this wonderfully bright moon and was astonished to see it at this time of the day.
I wish you all the best for a Happy New Year und einen guten Rutsch!
Kind regarda from Eva

Bruno Pichler said...

Hallo Emil

hoffe, Du hattest schöne Weihnachten und wünschen Dir ein frohes und glückliches Neues Jahr.

Hab gerade Deinen Blogg betrachtet. Leider sind wir schon um 9h abends im Bett und um 5 h auf, das wäre eine große Umstellung.

Der Hammerby Sound ist aber wirklich sehr schön.

Anonymous said...

Dear Emil,
Returning to Stockholm from Dalacarlia on Boxer Day in the late afternoon,we were surprised to see an almost full moon hanging just above the horizon and illuminating the otherwise dark sky. It was a remarkable sight!

Hans Christian Cars said...

Hej Emil
Din dygnsrytm har jag anammat sedan länge, den enda passande.

Anonymous said...

Lieber Emil!
Danke, dass Du mich Anteil haben lässt an Deinem wunderbar einfühlsamen Blog, der mir die Gelegenheit gibt, Dich neu kennenzulernen. Für 2016 wünsch ich Dir - selbstsüchtigerweise - eine ganz Menge neuer Erfahrungen, von denen Du dann in Deinem Blog berichten kannst.
Liebe Grüße

Anonymous said...

Hej Emil!
Tack för fantastiskt fina bilder. Du har en underbar utsikt och du lyckas verkligen förmedla den till oss alla.
Vi önskar dig ett riktigt Gott Nytt År!
Äva och Gunnar

Anonymous said...

Dear Emil,
First of all, Happy New Year!
I really enjoy seeing the images captured from your kitchen window, and this beautiful one of the full moon is one of the most impressive yet!
All the best, Heather

Anonymous said...

Hi. Happy New Year. That is a very nice picture with the moon. I can't see the moon or the sun from my condo as I am facing north. Maybe I can enlarge the picture the size of my window and paste it on it. Jerry

Anonymous said...

Cher Monsieur Ems,
Merci du fond du cœur de nous tous pour vos œuvres tellement remplies de bonté et de beauté !
Une merveilleuse année pour vous et vos proches!
Docteur Xavier Langouche et sa famille

Anonymous said...

Now I'll not feel guilty about 9am lie-ins! You would concur that the recent snow has brightened our Nordic world somewhat, with more to come if one believes the meteorologists. Good reading, Emil.