Shorter days04 December 2013
Only a few months ago, I wrote about the shortest day in both Wellington and Bristol, and how the Bristol one was the depths of depression. Today is not the shortest day here, but the length of the day is already shorter than Bristol's shortest day. Seeing it get dark at work is one thing, but getting up while it is still dark is a different kettle of fish. Sunrise is a good wakeup signal, and being without it is a real drag.
While it makes it harder to have the clockwork regime I had in Bristol, especially at a company where many people turn up as late as 10am, I decided that walking to work in the dark is less of an ordeal than seeing a sunset and realising I still had a long time to wait post-sunset. Many days I have a 4pm-5pm meeting, which means mentally switching off quite early, and given my general reputation as an early riser sloping off earlier than the official 17:30 close-of-business has never attracted attention. Of the two times I have arrived after 09:10, one of them was due to delays related to a flight from London.
In all of this, is it pretty clear that light plays a major part on mental well-being, which brings me onto another thing I realise now that I also realised during my time in New Zealand. Florescent lighting is pretty nasty, and this is even when they don't burst. As an experiment I equipped the bathroom with an LED bulb, but my calculations are that this investment will lose me money, and in any case looking at my last bill my spending on lighting is significantly less than various green taxes.