Monday, 18 April 2011

Spring has come

Spring is here and the light makes me bubbly and happy. That's a very Scandinavian sentiment. The days are longer and the heat is in that perfect stage when it's not too hot and not too cold. Just perfect. Last year when I was in Tokyo I felt a little cheated of spring and summer, since the sun's rising and setting don't change there. The sun sets at 6.30pm. Full stop. The end. Nothing else to it.


I've heard such funny reactions when I tell of the sun here - from almost 2 years ago at Metaltown in Gothenburg when an American band complained about the sun never going down, to my friend who thought it was crazy that the sunlight changed that much.

But after the dark and cold days of winter the brighter and warmer days of spring are so welcome. I live in the very south of Sweden and the sunlight here differs so much from the one in the north. During winter the sun rises about 9am and sets around 3.30pm, up in the far north it hardly ever shows itself during December-January. In summer, on the other hand, the sun rises about 3am and sets around 10.30pm, in the far north it hardly goes down. I admit it sounds crazy but the change those few more hours make... It's not unusual for people to get a little depressed and sad during autumn and winter here. It's so dark. People need sunlight, whether they like it or not. Without the light, people get depressed. Then when the sun starts to show itself it makes some people very happy, like me, or the drastic change can make people frustrated and sad for a little while until they get used to it. But I love it. I have a love-hate relationship with the sun.


Late summer nights are commonplace. Since the sun is up for so long, people stay up and outdoors longer. BBQ, football, rounders...

I love spring for it's change in light, nature and temperature, but I'm not a big fan of summer. I don't know how summer is further north but down south it usually can't get any hotter than 23 degrees without it turning into heavy thunderfilled air that presses down on you and makes you want to be at a place ten degrees colder. That heavy air feels hard to breathe in and just turning your head makes you sweat. And it's not the moist thunderfilled heat either since the air here isn't very humid. So it's not a greenhouse that can feel nice after a while. It's a sauna, and staying in a sauna 24/7 isn't the best of things.


Then there's also the thing that my skin can't take the sun. As soon as the sun comes out in spring I get freckles. Staying out in the sun for too long in summer makes my skin red and then it all falls off leaving my skin as pale as it was before I got out into the sun. That was very popular in Japan, however it's not nice to have a flaking half-assed tan. I like summer in the late afternoon, evening and night when the temperature has gone down and the sun isn't as unforgiving.



Anyhow I love spring (I guess it has occurred to you by now that I'm not allergic to pollen) and for this Easter vacation I will be enjoying spring in London :) Next blog post will be one from my touristing ordeals in the capital of UK ;)

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