It’s The Shortest Day

The Shortest DayToday is the shortest day of the year, here in the UK, and strangely some may say, it’s my favourite day of the year. Why, I can hear you asking, isn’t the longest day of the year more favoured, all those lovely hours of daylight, and often sunshine too. Well it’s because today marks the nadir of the year in terms of daylight. From now on we get an extra minute or so more light each day, and that’s something to look forward to.

Daisaku Ikeda has some very wise words for these long dark days, and offers a welcome ray of hope …

“Even if today may seem to be a time of total darkness, it will not last forever. The dawn will surely come if you advance, ever forward, without being defeated.

The day will definitely come when you can look back fondly and declare, “I am savouring this happiness because I struggled back then.” It is those who know the bitterness of winter that can savour the true joy of spring.”

~ Daisaku Ikeda

Silhouette Solitude

Bournemouth Pier SunriseMaking good use of the fair weather today, I decided to ride the seaside route to work. Once I was onto the promenade at Sandbanks, heading east towards Christchurch, there was almost total silence, save for the rumble of my tyres on the tarmac and the waves lapping gently on the almost deserted beach.

The cold air did a great job of purging any last traces of sleep from my person and in fact, compared to the last few weeks, it was decidedly chilly. Coupled with the effect of morning mist, my arms started to get really cold and wet, and I was beginning to wish I had put a long-sleeved top on.

I knew that a little more effort would speed me towards my destination as well as generating the heat required to thaw my frozen limbs, and so it proved. After just a few minutes hard pedalling I was feeling pretty toasty and was whizzing down the promenade at a healthy 30kph.

Now I know that some people seem to think that I am a bit crazy, cycling over 30km to get to work, but it really does have benefits. At current petrol prices, it saves me about £8 a day in fuel, it helps keep me physically fit, it makes me wide awake and alert, ready for work, and I get to see some amazing sights that others often miss. I also get time to think, in perfect solitude. There are very few others mad enough to be up at this time of day.

This morning, my timing was such, that as the first rays of the rising sun popped over the horizon, they fell directly behind the skeletal structure of Bournemouth Pier. Now the pier itself is no Victorian masterpiece, and the funfair that perches precariously at the far end is no oil painting, but in silhouette against the rising sun it made for an amazing sight.

With the return journey promising to offer similar views of the sunset, and with the weekend just around the corner, I’m looking forward to my ride back to Poole. The weathermen have promised that we will have a little more of this amazing summer during the next few days. I hope you can make the most of our good fortune, I know what I’ll be up to.

Utopia In My Back Yard

Hamworthy SunsetThe beautiful weather continues, and combined with the Bank holiday, it’s brought all the tourists down to Dorset this weekend. Hamworthy Park was heaving in the sunshine today, families having picnics on the grass, children making sandcastles on the beach and paddling in the sea, and everyone having fun.

Seeing all these people, and the shouting and laughter, is a big contrast from the quiet of Moriconium Quay. I seem to spend a lot of time on my own, and although I’m fine with that, I do find it very different from when I go into town or out when there are a lot of people about.

It’s been so warm here today, and although I’ve had the doors and windows open, it was too hot in the lounge this evening. So as the sun was setting, and the temperature dropping, I decided to go out for a stroll, in an attempt to cool down a little. There were still a few people about. A bunch of guys out for an evening bike ride and a couple walking their dog, but it was much quieter than it had been earlier.

By the time I got to the park I was almost alone, the hoards had gone and because there was little or no wind, the waves were lapping gently on the deserted beach. Looking out towards Studland, there was a beautiful crescent moon rising into a soft sunset. The contrast between the backlit jetty and the peach coloured sky was stunning.

Little Signs

Ringwood Sunset - Click to see the full size imageOn a day where there has been rather less than usual to get excited about, the end of the day brought a beautiful surprise. A gorgeous sunset, across the watery floodplain, gave us all a little boost as we packed up and headed for home.

The other little sign, although the weather has certainly taken a turn towards the chilly end of the thermometer, was that there was definite daylight peeking over the line of trees as I made my way to my car tonight.

Just knowing that the days are getting longer puts a smile on my face. The promise, though it certainly doesn’t include any written money-back guarantees, that the warmer, drier weather is on its way, is enough to put a spring in anyone’s step.

As with any progression towards a better situation, the little steps are almost too small to measure. But when you add them all up, take a look back from the position you now hold, the delight in the progress is palpable.

And the photo is just another drop of joy for my friend MidniteRainbow.

The Shortest Day – Woo Hoo !!!

The Shortest DayToday is the shortest day of the year, here in the UK, and strangely some may say, it’s my favourite day of the year. Why, I can hear you asking, isn’t the longest day of the year more favoured, all those lovely hours of daylight, and often sunshine too. Well it’s because today marks the nadir of the year in terms of daylight. From now on we get an extra minute or so more light each day, and that’s something to look forward to.

Daisaku Ikeda has some very wise words for these long dark days, and offers a welcome ray of hope …

“Even if today may seem to be a time of total darkness, it will not last forever. The dawn will surely come if you advance, ever forward, without being defeated.

The day will definitely come when you can look back fondly and declare, “I am savouring this happiness because I struggled back then.” It is those who know the bitterness of winter that can savour the true joy of spring.”

~ Daisaku Ikeda

Another Sunset Anyone?

What is it with me and sunsets?

I just can’t get enough of them, I’d have one every day if I had my way.

Anyway, this time lapse sequence was taken from the office window this afternoon … click on the image to play the video …

Click to view the timelapse video

I can hear MidniteRainbow’s squeals of delight from here.

Just Stunning

Nothing to say tonight, other than there was the most beautiful sunset, which I have tried to capture, hand held on my smartphone.

This is specially for my blogging buddy MidniteRainbow and all those who are equally entranced by sunrise and sunset …

January Sunset

The bright dot in the photo is not lens flare or dust, it is the Evening Star, Venus. When nature is this beautiful, life cannot be all bad, can it?

Contrasts

Hamworthy SunsetThe beautiful weather continues, and it’s brought all the tourists down to Dorset this weekend. Hamworthy Park was heaving in the sunshine today, families having picnics on the grass, children making sandcastles on the beach and paddling in the sea, and everyone having fun.

Seeing all these people, and the shouting and laughter, is a big contrast from the quiet of The Quay. I currently spend a lot of time on my own, and although I’m fine with that, I do find it very different from when I go into town or out when there are a lot of people about.

It’s been so warm here today, and although I’ve had all the doors and windows open, it was stifling this evening. So as the sun was setting, and the temperature dropping, I decided to go out for a stroll, in an attempt to cool down a little. There were still a few people about. A couple of guys out for an evening bike ride and a family walking their dog, but it was much quieter than it had been earlier.

By the time I got to the park I was almost alone, the hoards had gone and because there was little or no wind, the waves were lapping gently on the deserted beach. Looking out towards Studland, there was a beautiful crescent moon rising into a soft sunset. The contrast between the backlit jetty and the peach coloured sky was stunning. So I took a photo and that’s the image at the top of this post.

If you like it as much as I do, you can click on it and download the full size image. It’s big enough to use it as a desktop if you want. I hope it conveys the tranquillity of the scene and that some of that transfers itself into your life.

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