Sunrise/sunset: 10:35/12:34 Daylength: 1hr58min
I took the picture at the top of the page on Thursday 17th November without really thinking much about it, and its sister photograph was in last weeks blog, but it didn’t cross my mind at the time that it would probably be the last I saw of direct sunlight in 2022. Although technically the sun will rise above the horizon for almost two hours today, there aren’t many places where the horizon is visible, surrounded by mountains as we are. The upper slopes of the snow covered peaks have still been lit up for parts of the day until very recently. They looked so beautiful when I arrived home from work, all glowing with a pink tinged light, but even that is now going. Polar night is one of my favourite times because it can be so beautiful. When the weather is clear, the southern sky becomes golden and it reflects on the frosty ground with the magical warm glow you sometimes see on Christmas cards. To the north, the horizon turns a dusky pink colour that I had never seen before I moved up here. Here’s a photo that looks so surreal, even to me, that it’s hard to believe the colours haven’t been enhanced, but I haven’t made any adjustments at all.
I took a few photos as I was driving around this week. There is still no snow, but the world is white anyway, with thick frost and ice. The ice crystals have formed slowly. I have shown photos before of hoar frost, but seems a little different as the crystals are large and flat.
We had a celebratory lunch this week at the abattoir. Ernestas and Vaidotas will be going back to Lithuania at the end of next week, and Øivind was missing waffles and the party spirit, so we decided to have a meal together, where we would bring something from our homeland. I brought an apple crumble, which went down well. Vaidotas brought honey and garlic roasted chicken wings, Oivind brought some Thai style chicken (his wife is from Thailand and is a wonderful cook). Konstantin brought a traditional Latvian bread soup, which tasted of cinnamon and raisins and Trude brought some amazing wraps, some with smoked trout and goats cheese, the others with smoked grouse that she had hunted and smoked herself. Everything was delicious and it was really very cosy.
If you look in the back of the photo above, there is a blue box containing Roses chocolates, which was Ernestas’ contribution. That was another treat for me. When I was young, we didn’t get a lot of chocolate at home, but an exception was made at Christmas, when there was always a large tin of Roses chocolates. Though the packaging has changed, many of the sweets were still the same, so although it wasn’t very Lithuanian (though for all I know, maybe they’re made there) I really enjoyed the nostalgic taste of Christmas past.
And with the mention of Christmas, I can’t ignore the fact that tomorrow will be the first Sunday in advent. I’ve already bought candles for my advent crown and the first candle will be lit tomorrow. Last year, I looked around on the internet for some kind of advent calendar app as I love advent and hoped for something that wasn’t chocolate based, as most advent calendars are nowadays. I didn’t manage to find anything particularly special, and it crossed my mind that perhaps I could make one myself. So from Thursday 1st December until Christmas, I will post an image each day. I can’t promise they’ll all be from this year. I may include some of my particular favourites from the past two winters, but hopefully I will be able to capture my Arctic Advent for you.