Thursday, July 29, 2010


It’s cold in Melbourne but I confessed to a slightly incredulous friend today that I wished it was colder. Snowing in fact.

I was so enamored of Stockholm’s crisp, white winter this year that I wouldn’t mind donning a scarf, hat and gloves and turning up my collar against some drifting crystal flakes. Instead it’s a mild 9 degrees and there’s no snow in sight.

To brighten things up, I’ve been to the big blue and yellow store and stocked up on some Glimma for my Iittala votives. Whilst we don’t do winter darkness here with the same depth and duration as Sweden, the flickering of candles on my dining room table lifts my spirits. It wasn’t until my first visit to Sweden that I really understood the importance of candles in the winter-time. They provide light and movement and something indefinable that warms the psyche to inoculate against winter blues.

In Stockholm in midwinter, the sun rises and sets within about 6 hours. It hugs the horizon as if it doesn’t have the energy to push itself up any higher in the sky and it sinks leaving darkness to settle around 3.30 pm. Today we had 10 hours of daylight and patchy blue skies so we really can’t complain.

Even though it would be nice to have some snow.


1 comment:

  1. In Perth, it's technically winter, too, and technically Australia - but a day of nine degrees would be an outrage. We get anxious if the overnight temperature gets down to two or three above zero under clear skies - and then those same clear skies give us a day of eighteen or nineteen degrees of sunshine. There are people born in Western Australia who have only ever seen snow on a postcard, but never in person. And whereas one can hop in a car in Melbourne and drive for a couple of hours and find a frosty landscape with enough of the right white stuff to build a snowman and slide about on with unsteady feet, in Perth you'd have to get on a plane and travel to Melbourne (or New Zealand where they at least have decent high mountains) to find out what "cold" really feels like. So by all means be nostalgic for Swedish snow, while I am slightly nostalgic for Melbourne winter, where there's a magnolia tree blooming bravely in many a front yard, and where daffodil bulbs actually get chilled enough in the soil to bother flowering again, come the Spring.