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November 09, 2009


What wonderful ways of saying that it is dark too early, I particularly like "half-light". It sounds so romantic. One day I can't wait to have a fireplace, it will seem so much cozier, but for now it's piling under blankets with a cup of cocoa and a good book. Your crumpets look wonderful, I miss them so much. I finally found a recipe and really do need to try them soon.

crumpets shumpets... I can't take my eyes off your lovely plate!

Gloaming and twilight have always been favourite words - in spite of the fact that I hate the short days of winter! I must get out more and eat more crumpets, and then perhaps I will be reconciled to November.

Pomona x

Crepuscular - one of my favourite words. Her diaries on are my list too.

Virginia liked her knitting, too.

I remember her writing that candlelight was best for dinner parties as everyone looked so much better and younger...or words to that effect.

Wise words...definitely...and Virginia Wolf...I've really got to get acquainted with her...I avoided To the Lighthouse at Uni and I really should not have... xxx

Half-light, gloaming - lovely words for a lovely thing, if you ask me. My father is fond of remarking that the Christian prayer "may perpetual light shine upon them" clearly arose before the spread of electric light. A perpetually bright space would be his idea of hell!

I love the way you plan little systems for making the most out of an experience: you line up the fire, the books, the right lighting, good food and drink - but you go for the walk first, to make sure you appreciate these comforts when you come in from the cold. Enjoy!

i must admit i wish sometimes i could hibernate - but there are, as you say, compensations - going out in the pitch black to hay up the horses when its blowing a gale and chucking it down with rain can be daunting sometimes- the upside to getting soaked is listening to them whinny to me as i dish out the hay and the lovely warm fire and hot chocolate when i get back indoors!

That sounds like a very inspiring approach to the long evenings. May I be very nosy and ask about the plate you're using for your crumpets? It has the air of Bawden or Ravilious about it...

I've been cursing the short days too. If I don't get organised and take photos in the morning, I've missed my chance. It can be frustrating but the beauty of this time of year more than makes up for it... as do the fires and the yummy indulgent food! A x

I struggle with that lack of light too. I like the idea of thinking more poetically about it. However, everything is better with things like crumpets.

Beautiful words and photo. Jane Austen is very good on autumn, too, in Persuasion.

The winter always makes us hibernate, we retreat into our homes and hang out as a family! As we are enjoying spring here and coming out of our self-imposed exile, we are enjoying meeting our friends and sitting in the sunshine.

Gloaming has long since been a favourite word of mine. As for the light, I'm with you. I normally hate this time of year as the dark starts closing in earlier and earlier and I never see my house in daylight apart from weekends! But this whole jobless thing has it's compensations in that I am actually home in daylight!

Oh Jane, here in Australia we are having our first searing heatwave of summer which entails long endless hours of burning sun and what I would LOVE is cool darkness to settle in midafternoon!!!

I think the key is whether or not you have to do something in the dim light/gloom. Running errands and grocery shopping is no fun when it gets dark so early. But sitting by the fire with my mug of tea, with a kitty on the lap and a doggie curled up against me while I knit on a colorful knitting is absolute heaven!

It's so true that it's all in the perspective, isn't it?

We're heading into our second English winter and the absolute changing of the seasons, the stark contrasts between the four when it comes to nature, are quite something. And yes, it does feel as though I can finally relate to all the English authors whose books I grew up reading in South Africa. Great post.

I love this time of the year, when the leaves vibrate with color then whirly-gig down into mountains foot-shuffling fun! I like that the mornings have a slight nip to them (Kentucky, here) and the light is beginning to fade as I withdraw a bit into the cozies with my four cats, a steaming cup of tea, and a good book. I never see the inside of my home when the sun shines, and this is the time for that. I do, however, like the suggestion of a good walk in whatever kind of weather to make the time inside that much more enjoyable. Journey

I think I am entirely too grumpy these days! I am a color-focused soul, and twilight deprives me of true color. It makes me nearly mad when there is less light and colors are untrue. I often have to go for a walk at that time of day, because my body becomes agitated by the frustraton.

Brian and I sing songs of 1900-1930 on stage, and many talk about gloaming in romantic terms. I can't find positive meaning in it myself, though I sing with a smile anyway.

Ironically, when the sun is all the way down, I settle in. I use more light bulbs than other humans but I can see things again.

Thank you for a good perspective. Maybe my real problem is that I try to work till midnight and I should settle in with tea and a book!

I read this post yesterday and mere hours later wandered into a bookstore and fell upon a similar collection of Virginia Woolf's diary entries (called "A Writer's Diary," edited by her husband). After reading your words, I had to have it.

One positive side to the early darkness. I can indulge in some spying. Twilight is a great time to wander a street or two and see what is happening beyond the lit windows in those houses where the curtains remain open. Whole stories of peoples' lives can be seen....or maybe a quirky kitchen arrangement.

Jeanette Winterson wrote a lovely piece about long dark afternoons and how to revel in them.
It was in the Guardian newspaper last Saturday (I think) in a special pull-out section on night/dark/skies etc.
If you can track it down online it's definitely worth a look. She makes autumn warm, welcoming and wonderful.

I love your take on the time change. In my house, which is in the hills near the beach, it becomes dark at about 3 as well. If I drive down my hill into the flat lands around me,it is still daylight. It's a good thing I enjoy this play of light since the only way to remedy would be to cut down a hillside of giant trees.
Regarding your last post, have you seen this color wheel project. So simple yet appealing.



i bought the diaries from Amazon.com in the USA last year. More easily available in the USA than here...


I must be very strange,as I love the nights drawing in and dusk coming early.Maybe it's because I was born on January 6th 1947 and could'nt be taken home from my Grandmother's house,where I was born,to the other side of the village because of the snow for six weeks.1947 was about the worst winter on record.I love all the seasons,and cannot bear the thought of living in a hot climate where there are no change of seasons.Cosy by the fire on a winter's eve is a good place to be......

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