Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Dawn is completely unlike sunset. Sunset is all about pinks and patterns and particulates in the sky, still aglow and dancing in the heat of day. Sunrise, now... sunrise is a much more demure affair. The air is cool and clear and still; the sky changes gradually, the colours of the whole world grow stronger and clearer, and it becomes very hard to resist pretentious words like "suffuse". I can quite see why the Greeks had a goddess of the Dawn, while Dusk was left to its own devices.

I shouldn't be aware of this yet. It's still too early in the year to be waking up in the dark. But a couple of years ago, our government extended daylight savings for an extra three weeks in the autumn. It was one of those pointless moves that unfailingly shows that a party has been in power too long. (Incidentally it has flummoxed Microsoft, which despite having released at least two patches specifically to accommodate the change, still hasn't managed it - Outlook is currently reminding me of appointments an hour late.)

I'm not sure whether this illustrates MS's incompetence, or the inherent silliness of daylight savings. Both, I think.

Back home, the beginning of September was always my favourite time of year. For a couple of weeks the tail-of-summer weather continues glorious, the oppressive August heat is gone, the leaves just beginning to look interesting. Maybe it's the childhood associations of the new school year, but to me it always felt like a beginning, not an end. When I fell in love, it would usually happen in September.

Here, I've discovered, March occupies the same slot. The leaves are just beginning to turn. And because our weather is milder, late March is as good as early September back home. It's cool enough in the evenings, now, that one doesn't feel silly taking a jacket to go out, but the days are still relaxingly warm.

One of the nice things about our present city pad - one reason why we've stayed there for several years now - is that it's very well designed. Our bedroom faces northeast, which helps us get up in the morning. The living room is on a north-facing corner, which means it gets sun throughout the day. The kitchen is deep inside, away from the aggressive sunlight altogether. Pretty good feng shui.

And now in the mornings, I can lie in bed and watch the sun rise. Well, what I watch is the shadows moving down the wall, as the sun moves up the sky. Even after all this time, I'm still amazed at how quickly this happens - I can actually see the movement while I watch. At 7:30a.m., the navigation lights on the Sky Tower blink out, which I take to mean it's officially daylight. At 7:40, there's no help for it but to get out of bed and start the day.

Another ten days until daylight savings ends. I'm counting them down.


Deadlyjelly said...

When I lived in the Middle East, I used to get up at dawn and go to the beach for a power-swim. The sea was often flat-calm and I used to watch the sun rise swimming along the shoreline. Wonderful times, great memories

Nodressrehearsal said...

I've read and reread your opening 'graph and still can't seem to get enough of it. A lovely post, every vivid bit of it.

vet said...

'Jelly: power-swim? That sounds horrificly energetic. But I can imagine seeing the whole thing from sea level could be very lovely, too.

NDR: thank you. You're making me blush again. I do like it when you do that.

Ruby Apolline said...

Oh, "suffuse" isn't pretentious in this case. Overused, perhaps, but accurate.

Lovely piece.