Summer Sun

As kid growing up, I always loved the long sunny evenings. I could play outside right up until bedtime. I always remembered that it got dark around 9pm in the middle of June. On the contrary, I remember that in the middle of December it always got dark around 5pm, about an hour before my Dad got home from work.

When I was a bit older, for various reasons, I found myself needing to know when it got dark at various times during the year (probably for planning camping trips or something). I developed a quick rule of thumb to easily estimate what time it gets dark at any time of year. Remembering December gets dark at 5pm and June gets dark at 9pm, I can fill in the middle in half hour increments. Of course April and November need an additional hour adjustment for daylight savings time. So, the result is June is 9pm, July is 8:30, August is 8:00, September is 7:30, October is 7:00, November is 5:30. Then starting with December is 5pm, January is 5:30, February is 6:00, March is 6:30, April is 8:00, May is 8:30, and back to June at 9pm.

While I had visited many places, I had only lived in Virginia and North Carolina so this has served me well for many years. Not surprisingly, this hasn’t worked so well here in London — as would be expected. Now, K is finding that the sun is waking her up at 4am and there is still some light in the sky when getting out of the theatre at 10pm.

I can’t say why, but I have been fascinated with visiting the arctic in the summer and winter to experience the full day of sun and a full day of darkness (and the northern lights! I read a great article in one of the airline magazines about Hammerfest, Norway and the northern lights). It has to be a weird feeling standing outside at 2am in sunlight or at noon in darkness.

We haven’t booked that trip yet, but we are talking about a last minute weekend trip to Sweden in a couple weeks — figure hit the northern countries when it is warm. It will be interesting to see what it is like there — I think it gets dark around 11pm.

This week I am left to hold down the blog, as K is in China. As I write this, the sun has set in China long ago and K is sound asleep (it is 3am in China). She spent the day in Beijing seeing the Forbidden City and the Great Wall wrapped up by dinner al fresco by the Great Wall. Tomorrow starts the seminars for the Business Symposium.

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