Shortest day21 June 2013
Today is New Zealand's shortest day, at 9 hours & 11 minutes, which marks the depths of winter. Although this week is one where temperatures took a dip, mainly due to heavy rain, this winter does not feel like the type of winter I am (at least notionally) used to back in the old country. As recently as last week there were several days where during the day-time it was just about warm enough to get away with only wearing a shirt, which compares to the sub-zero temperatures of my last visit to Bristol. However it is other aspects of this winter that I actually quite like.
The main aspect is daylight. Sunrise in winter tended to coincide with my preferred wake-up time so that I did not mind, but the early sunsets were depressing. A 16:00 sunset is a pretty soul-destroying when you know that you won't be leaving work until 18:00, which is compounded by the few times when having to resort to public transport meant not getting in until after 19:00. It is of no coincidence that I scheduled the notice period of my last job to roughly coincide with the clocks going back to GMT from summer time.
With a 17:00 sunset, and it seems that in New Zealand the trend is to start earlier rather than finish later, the mental drop comes close to finishing work. In effect the depth's of New Zealand's winter feels much like the United Kingdom's autumn.