I woke up to the alarm clock set for 9 something. 9:30, that's it. I closed the window, turned on all the heaters (yep, real Norwegian habit, that), and wandered out from my bedroom. From the kitchen window, while I made coffee, I looked out on an absolutely quiet world - no sound of traffic or neighbors or wind. Still. Silent. It was such a peaceful start to both day and year, and it reminded me of summer vacation. In my living room, I was drawn to the soft light outside. There was frost on the ground, some left-overs from the fireworks last night (my neighbors gave me quite the free show last night with some gorgeous displays I hadn't seen before), and a rosy glow in the west, peaking through the trees lining the ridge.
The apartment building to the left and that ridge are the reason why I don't get sunshine in my apartment for about 3 months. By the time the winter sun has cleared the building, it is so low it can't clear the ridge. I have my own little version of life north of the arctic circle going on here. But if the weather cooperates, I see sunshine, and today's didn't seem so weak to me. Shining from absolutely clear skies, the low sun hits all the tops of trees and buildings, and casts long shadows.
Seeing this lifts my spirits after all the dreariness we've had this fall and this year; Bergen matched a third-wettest record from the 1930's with 3040 millimeters of precipitation in 2007. That's like the deep end of most pools. (The joke is that the people of Bergen are born with webbed feet.)
I'm watching the New Year's concert from Vienna while I write this, and commenting out loud on my own, but it does make watching by myself feel like "old times". Grandma's right: The flowers are stunning. And I love the French conductor, who is conducting the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time: His face is so expressive and he looks both very fit and very happy. His voice, when he wished us all a happy new year, was very strong. He may be 83, but he's not old.
Oh! I may have to revise how long the sun avoids my apartment! The fact is that I, after over 20 years in this place, have just discovered that the sun just barely touches my window sill on New Year's day (either I haven't been home, or there hasn't been sunshine). But I can see how I missed it: The sun touched my sill for only a couple of minutes, then it was gone. The sun's behind the neighboring building now. I wonder if I'll see it again before it sets.
UPDATE: Sun is setting now (15:30-ish), before it cleared the ridge, so that's it for the light of day today.