November is the hardest month

Or so they say in Finland. I personally have always loved November. But here, it's dark (we're at eight hours of daylight now, rapidly diminishing, with sunset at 16.15). It usually hasn't snowed yet (except...it has, last Wednesday, and it's still here and there is more in the forecast). People haven't put up their Christmas lights yet (except some have! Bless them). The word 'November' in Finnish (marraskuu) literally means 'dirt month' (or so I've been told). You get the idea: November is hard.

But after November comes Christmas Month! That's right, in Finnish, December is literally Christmas Month. I'm looking forward to it.

(Finnish also has Oak Month, Pearl Month, Summer Month, Life Month (?? not sure about that one), and Autumn Month.)

This winter I don't have five years of eternal Sharjah sunshine stored up, so the darkness is affecting me more than it did last year. But the dark and the cold are so cosy - I am sleeping so much better than I did in the summer. Even with blackout curtains, it's like your body knows that sun is out there shining at midnight.

So we're hunkering down and enjoying Dirt Month. Christmas Month is on its way.

Bikes in the snow

Wintry hike

Wintry hike