The first few weeks after the clocks change in October are always a bit of a struggle for me. Losing an hour of daylight in the early evening is a big deal for someone who's not a morning person.
It hasn't helped that the small amount of daylight we have had has been of the dull, damp, grey variety. Or dreich, as we Scots call it.
So, in an attempt to head off a bout of the winter blues I've been assiduously using my SAD lamp in the workroom, every day. As well as adding a blast of welcome brightness, it's hopefully boosting my serotonin levels and raising my mood. Even if it's not actively helping, it's certainly doing no harm, and the extra light in the room is extremely helpful work-wise.
It's getting much colder now too, which is an excellent excuse to make full use of our little woodburner. Straight after we've finished work, we vie over whose turn it is to set the fire.
PP favours a very particular method, involving newspaper twisted into lengths and laid in parallel formation, with a graduated structure of varying sizes of kindling and compressed pellet thingys then a log.
My fire-setting method is much more random. I scrunch up the newspaper into balls and lay them two abreast. Then I lay a haphazard grid of twigs, interspersed with compressed pellets then a log.
Both methods result in a roaring fire but there is usually intense discussion over whose is best and why.
Meanwhile, Small Dog can be absolutely anywhere in the whole house (usually napping) but within 10 seconds (we've timed her) of either of us opening the door of the woodburner she's suddenly right there, sitting hopefully on the rug, overseeing proceedings. She watches very carefully, simultaneously keeping one ear on noises emanating from the kitchen, which herald the preparation of dinner.
If we were to do a poll in our house, on "What is your favourite time of the day?" this would win hands/paws down.
I've come to the conclusion that a real fire acts like my SAD lamp in raising my spirits, much more so than the previous gas coal effect fire. There's something mood-lightening and comforting about watching flames dancing around the wood with occasional flaring and sparks, along with the sound of crackling and the faint smell of woodsmoke.
And Small Dog wholeheartedly agrees......