Tuesday 2 January 2024

Tuesday 2nd January

 In line with the idea of 'hope', I noticed the sun-rise and sun-set times for today;

 and for next Monday

Eight full hours of daylight today, and another nine minutes next week! Although for nearly all of today it was wet, windy and down-right unpleasant outside. There was a brief moment, just a couple of minutes, of bright golden sunshine, lasting just long enough to lift my heart. 


I do like reading books that can accompany me through the year. I might have mentioned this one, which I received as a birthday present back in November; 

"Nature's Calendar: The British Year in 72 Seasons" by Kiera Chapman, Rowan Jaines, Lulah Ellender,  and Rebecca Warren.

I began reading it throughout December, and now I've turned back to the beginning. It is a fascinating mix of scientific and descriptive observation. This extract is from the introduction; 

"Research undertaken at Coventry University suggests that spring moves at an average of 1.9 miles per hour across the UK, from south to north. Of course, some individual species respond to the passing of time more quickly, others more slowly. 

Hawthorn leaves, for example, open first in the southwest, and the timing of their unfurling travels in a northeasterly direction at a rate of 6.3 miles per hour. Sightings of the first flutterings of orange-tip butterflies travel at an average of 1.4 miles per hour. Frogspawn is slower, moving across the country at one mile per hour, which seems to suit its gelatinous state. 

Spring is not so much an event as a movement, and one that is subject to the vagaries of meteorological conditions in any given year."  

The 'noticing exercise' for January concerns watching sunsets, easy for me as the back of the house faces west. The first 'microseason' is from 1st to 4th January called 'Catkins Dingle-dangle', decribing the complex system that hazels have evolved for pollinating their tiny red-fringed flowers. 

I strongly recommend this book if you are interested in the underlying science hidden inside the natural world.

Knitting continues; I made such a pig's ear of knitting the ribbed cuff of the first sock in the round that I have started the second sock flat, and will join it into the round once I've reached the 'real knitting' part.

I strongly recommend these weird bendy needles; once you get used to them knitting in the round becomes so much simpler. I think they are called 'addi crazy trios'; sadly rather more expensive than a set of dpns.

 No cross stitch progress; last night was not a 'sleeping night' - I was very restless and spent some time listening to an audiobook. If sleep isn't coming, there's no point getting agitated. But it did mean I stayed clear of cross stitch as I knew that if I tried, I would end up having to deploy the scissors!

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