The sun returned to Lapland today. The polar darkness is over and the north got 48 minutes of daylight, the first of its kind, this year. (16.1.2017). It sounds like a blip of a day but it must be such a relief after all that darkness and blue light. They really must be experts on stars, bless their woolly socks and all that.
We have more than 6 hours of daylight during the day now, but it feels like we are running a military operation, fitting everything within to that timeframe. With all I mean for everyone to see a bit of natural light each day and to get all things done, that are tricky to do while using a flashlight as the main source of illumination. The tractor has a good set of extra spotlights and sometimes I wish I could have some too. Instead I end up stumbling along, falling over a lot and generally feeling like a slow worm. Everything seems to take so long in the darkness and snow.
Having said that, I do enjoy the darker time of the year, as such. It's just that there is not that much time to sit around lighting candles and enjoying the slow pace of life, like the Danes wants us to do. Their concept of cozy called "hygge" is still popping up everywhere, in books, magazines and on the radio. I am one to call a spade a spade so to me that's a wonderful evening at home, but that's just me being ordinary.
Ebba likes the darkness. With her ability to see in the dark, hear everything that's going on for miles and miles and her amazing sense of smell, she is sorted. I on the other hand wobble along behind her, seeing some, hearing less and with my small, blocked nose smelling nothing whatsoever. So, I cannot say that it's my favorite time of the year for evening walks. Not even short ones. I can see the point in driving to a more lit up area with your dog and walking comfortably for some time before drive home again. Ebba would not agree as she still finds cars to be unsafe. She would also hate walking amongst strangers, especially men. So yet again, dear husband is the one doing the long walks with our funny, sweet but slightly hyper dog.
This is the first winter in a long time when I have flicked through my agenda, dreaming of the spring to come. First time that I'm doing it in January, that is. We still have most part of the winter left and Mindy, Mandy, Molly, My and I are discussing green grass, coffee under the Rowan tree and roaming hens. It's going to be a long wait.
I know this sounds like a tale of the winter blues to you but it really is not. It's just that all we get is super cold, super warm, mega icy and dry snow on top of that. What are we supposed to do with that, the animals and us? Only the hens and Ebba can stay upright in these conditions and it's getting me down. I want everyone to have fun and to enjoy the few rays of sunshine there is to catch at midday. Apparently, it's too much to ask and I'm greedy.
In the meantime, we muddle through with artificial lights, bruised knees and some very dark humour. Not to forget good books, good company and lots and lots of food. My dear husband sings while skating about and he organises his use of daylight more efficiently than me. Nothing new under the sun there but I still admirer him for it. Ebba just admires him, full stop.
Through all this our dear young hens produce eggs as beautiful as near perfection can be. Brown, light brown, light green and blueish in colour with thick, strong shells to boot. The hens eat enormous amount of food and like cooked food every day. Porridge, risotto with corn and peas, potatoes made into mash and some leftovers from our table and it all seems to be their favorite food. Apart from cooked food they get apples, chopped up cabbage and carrots and sometimes some more exotic vegetables. I think I just figured out why the eggs taste quite nice. (As I've told you before, they always have access to dry food for egg laying hens, pealed sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and oats).
Preparing this plus the chopping vegetables for the sheep takes me almost an hour each morning. I drink my morning pot of coffee and plan the day while chopping carrots and throwing a ball quietly, with Ebba. If someone saw us they would get in the men in white coats or a team recording cookery shows. Ebba could host a show about how to play football the stylish way. They would just have to edit out the gnawing of the football as that is not healthy, nor stylish at all....
So, these ramblings prove that what we need some good old fashion winter weather. Crisp air, packed, non-sloppy, non-slippery snow and some sun. This would mean long walks with our dog, happy meandering sheep and everyone else just happy.
Is it really too much to ask?
Turned out that it was not, as the following week showed us the sun for two whole days. Oh, what happy days they were for all and everyone.