21st December – the Shortest Day with the most to do


Today is the winter solstice. Only 8 point something hours of sunlight – but actually that would be a lot more than on other days if we actually had some sunlight.

Luckily I’m not a farmer and don’t have to work outside. The weather usually actually makes no difference to me whatsoever. Except rain. I am not keen on going out in the rain. But if it does rain I now can usually find a reason not to go out. Not so when I was working, of course. Or if I’m on holiday because I don’t want to miss anything. But normal day to day life, the weather doesnt really impinge.

What today though is short of is time itself. Not just day time – but time to get things done. Christmas Eve on Friday. Preparations to be made. Cooking to be done.

The picture above was taken in the local Polish shop where lots of young expatriate Poles were buying all the provisions for Friday. Carp is the main component of most Wigilia tables – but not ours , I have to admit. I really don’t like it. My mother used to dream of eating it prewar Jewish style with raisins and almonds, but never found the recipe. the only times I’ve had it its been muddy and bitter. Not my cup of tea at all. Yet in the shop today small children were licking their lips excitedly in anticipation. I bought mustard and herrings. Couldn’t carry any more.

It was also strange to see the fish lying there, like dead fish. It always used to be sold alive and people would keep it in their bath tubs for a couple of days. I think they thought that the muddiness would somehow filter out. They were wrong.

Anyway, the day is getting shorter and tomorrow we are having something done to the electricity, so I won’t be able to write for a while. So I’m leaving you now – happy solstice, enjoy what’s left of it. Today is also officially the first day of winter. Brrr.

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