Sunset is now before 4 PM in the afternoon with sunrise soon to be after 8 AM in the morning clearly winter is upon us.
The week starts with parts of the north suffering temperature of minus 9c. Even in London which as a vast metropolis is a heat spot the day time temperature will climb from 1c to a not very warm 6c. Frosty, though as the skies will be clear it will also be sunny.
For Londoners the rush hour is not going to be dominated by concerns over terrorism but rather will there be any trains? A not so seasonal 27 day strike is getting under way. Meanwhile the politics of the election grind on though at least we can see the end in sight with the 12 of December in sight many have already voted with the decision cast by postal ballot.
Top of mind lately though has been Christmas shopping with the starting pistol being fired on the 29th November with Black Friday.
As the weeks pass counting down to the day itself the country prepares for a feast on Christmas Day and a commercial shopping bonanza along the way. With all the coverage and chatter of climate change with associated green challenges there is a certain dissonance in the air.
One the one hand some are promoting a more frugal indeed monastic life style while others shout spend and enjoy a blow out of the most epic proportions you dearest consumers can manage. The dissonance is evident to the lightest passing glance; its the Christmas lights of course.
They appear string by string more of less stealthily on shopping streets randomly across the country. Over the weeks of November more appear some are vast confections of lights illuminating hundreds of yards at a stroke.
By Advent the night has been driven back. Each shopping streets illuminations reinforced by the windows of the retailers and their winter shopping festival displays. As November turns into December the light displays appear to connect one with another to form one vast glow. With occasional mists and fog softening the glare one can discover romantic impulses sparkle across your mind.
Turn the corner from the shopping avenues and into the suburbs and you will see whole houses decked out in lights.
Indeed some suburban streets can be found where individual households cooperate and formulate a plan in effect the whole street is illuminated. Trees in gardens are garlanded with strings of lights. More strings are draped between houses and over houses.
There are even illuminated effigies and statues attached to roofs. People from miles around travel to see select houses that appear to be draining entire power stations to keep the dark nights at bay. T
hough the lights are not keeping the night at bay, they use the night to show off. Climate Change, what climate change? Or rather Climate Change, solar powered, eventually. Meanwhile and there after the lights will go on.
Nick Horne, London, England