I don't know why it shoud be so bad this year, but the Shetland winter darkness is really hurting. I think it was two days ago it just didn't get light. Dawn didn't break - it sort of bent slightly into view. The rest of the "day" was a kind of sullen twilight, and with the truly awful weather we've been having - gales, sleet and rain for three weeks - the result is debilitating.
I have one of those special "daylight" desk lamps which is supposed to alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder and and turn you into a cheery, lightsome loon. I switch it on, I switch it off. Goodness knows what I'd feel like without it.
But the truth is, you don't feel like moving. The rumour is that on certain more remote Shetland islands, people hibernate. Truly. Because I work from the Barn of Bannocks, and we have the dogs, I at least have to stretch my legs occasionally, and when I can, I take the bikes out for a bit of a spin (pedal, not motor). It gets you down, though. You turn more and more to chocolate (caramel shortcake seems to be my own personal crack cocaine) or to be more precise, sugar. And of course, there's alcohol. Always good for clearing ice off a windscreen.
For the first time in my life, I'm looking forward to the Up Helly Aa season - the fire festivals that mark "the lightening of the year". It'll be good to see a few vikings putting galleys to the torch. And then the lengthening of the days...