Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
To order, click

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all of the jolly followers of this blog -- may it be kind to all of us as we press on with our quest for the truth!

The pic is from Blidö in the Stockholm Archipelago -- I think I took it on the shortest day of the year.   Bright sun, low pressure, VERY high water, and ice around the edges of the bay.  You can see some thin surface ice in the photo.  Ice forms in places where the water is still and when air temperatures are around -4 deg C.  The water temperature is around -2 deg C at the moment.   We had a sauna the other day, and gently subsided into the water -- it was less traumatic than might be supposed......

At present there are about 6 hours of daylight each day -- its getting lighter now by 2 mins every day. On 21st December it was pitch black at 3 pm.


chris johnson said...

Happy New Year to everybody. I don't miss the Stockholm winters me..

Myris of Alexandria said...

There is the other side, I remember re-reading The Two Towers at 2am by natural daylight in July in Iceland and builders re-roofing at midnight. Nobody seemed to sleep.
But mainly the wild flower meadows within the lava fields.

Dave Maynard said...

Happy New Year to all.

Out of interest, in Stockholm, do they stack their firewood with the split side up or the bark side uppermost? Something I read about Norwegians and the prevalence of rain or snow.


BRIAN JOHN said...

Yes Myris -- wonderful in the summer in Iceland and those other places far north. I remember well that we often saw small children out playing in the streets around 2 am, and people explaining "Well, we sleep in the winter!"

Dave -- I must admit to never having observed a standard "way up" for lots in Sweden. I suspect that in the east it is probably rather dry, so it doesn't matter. Maybe different in western Norway, where it rains all the time. Have you been reading the unlikely best-seller called "Norwegian Wood"??

BRIAN JOHN said...

Oops -- that should be "logs"

Dave Maynard said...

Got it in one!
Apparently bark uppermost sheds the rain better. Not sure why the opposite should apply to snow.

Myris of Alexandria said...

Is that a top shelf magazine?

Sorry, am reading Nicholas Barrett's novels (an Xmas gift from an ex-student and collaborator and figure in said novels). They are his thinly disguised semi-autobiographical school days in Grantham, I fear. The school is called St Onans complete with School Song and all the pupils are loyal Onanists.

See. Just the one joke but sometimes very witty. Lots of clever puns, some very clever, laugh out loud clever. Claims to be Terry Pratchett-esque, they are in but different classes I am afraid.

It does remind me of my Grammar School days in the 50s/60s (but without the aliens). We had teachers who were drunk in the afternoon; technicians who were a bit 'handy; very, very smelly masters. Mind you ... but libel laws prevent me from discussing Tertiary education.

Looooong books.

Jon Morris said...

Happy new year everyone.

TonyH said...

Happy New Year everyone from Henge Land aka Wessex.

Myris of Alexandria said...

This month's Current Archaeology carries a generous review of Richards' recent Stonehenge book.
More topical than the book itself??

TonyH said...

I like the way you, Myris, or a very good friend of yours, referred to it as "this year's Stonehenge Annual".

Did you know that Nicholas Parsons grew up in Grantham? (home also of Margaret Thatcher).

I once had to disembark a train from Aberdeen to London at Grantham so as to detour towards Bristol and Exeter - I believe they put up a Blue Plaque to memorialise this event. Not sure whether King John ever went there? - possibly after losing either his jewels or his marbles in The Wash.

AG said...

I remember landing at Bardufoss Airport in Norway in the middle of January in a C130 Hercules and being most impressed that the vast thickness of the ice/snow on the runway and thick blizzard appeared to have no effect whatsoever on airport operations? Most of the airside staff were driving 2WD Ford Cortina's!

Which makes me wonder why most of my female neighbours appear to need large 4WD vehicles (which they are largely incapable of reversing) to navigate perfectly paved roads in modern day Somerset?