Winter has really arrived in the last week. I’ve shifted my cotton clothing to a spare room set of drawers, and pulled out my thermals and woollen tops, I have been wearing a winter coat every day, and I even pulled out my scarf the other night when I headed out with a friend. Winter doesn’t always gloomy skies though. For the last few days we have enjoyed beautiful sunshine and blue skies. Today though, as I drove along the fault-line highway beside the harbour, I noticed the wintry atmosphere to the view. The hills at the opposite side of the harbour were hazy due to the changing temperatures, the sea was calm but an icy, palest-of-blues blue, almost the same colour as the white ferry heading towards the South Island. Shadows are longer, and despite the bright sun it felt cold and dark tucked in under the western hills on the motorway. The shadows were longer and the sun was lower and hurt my eyes. I realised it isn’t actually that long till the winter solstice.
But arriving home was a pleasure. Our house is a great house on a fine winter’s day. The sun streams through our large, north-west facing windows. It is easy to open the windows and bring some air through the house without freezing our fingers and toes. And unlike the gloomy days, when we need our central heating on full to warm our house with few doors, many windows, and ridiculously high ceilings, the sun warms our house to over 20 degrees and dries our clothes for free. Oh, and it makes me happy. That’s priceless.
Of course, in the time it has taken to write this, clouds have arrived. That must mean the weekend is about to begin.