Life Coach Magazine

The Shortest Day

By Xrematon @EleanorCooksey

A long endless tunnel of dark – curtains not ever needing to be drawn, a house blanketed from the inside all day, getting to work lit by the neon of artificial bulbs, waiting on a damp chill platform, staring in the darkness for the welcome fugginess of the train, arriving at work in the dawn but disappearing straightaway into a hermetically sealed modern building during the hours of natural daylight, so that, when released, the world is still not there but all is sealed in black with fake brightness to guide only but not to reveal.

The shortest day

Well, there is another way. On the actual shortest day of the year, I escaped the routine of work and spent a day out in Portsmouth, and thus was better able to appreciate, even savour, the fragile and vulnerable light of this time of year. The day began with a sunrise on the beach…


…and was then followed by a ‘full English’ with a suitable English entertainment: watching hardy middle-aged folk go for a swim in the foaming waves, a fair few with bare skin. Bracing and bold.

The shortest day

Next was distraction and diversion in the form of a visit to the Mary Rose museum. My top highlight were the boxes from the officers and gentleman on the ship – as ever – history is often easiest understood through the relics left from those wealthy enough to both afford to have their own possessions and be able to keep them relatively safe. These boxes contained the expected items of clothing and shoes, as well as more personal items reflecting that individual’s background and culture (a book, a icon from Italy, the latest gadgets, such as a candle snuffer, and more). The most entertaining item was the a pepper grinder complete with a supply of peppercorns – spices were a luxury then and therefore worth keeping as a secret stash! I can empathise with that gentleman from 500 years ago – I too have my secret stash of special chocolate.

The shortest day

Walking out in the daylight once more brought with it the opportunity to admire the shining white powers and pillars that form part of Portsmouth’s distinctive skyline (!).


The day was closed with a trip up the Spinnaker Tower. For such a fake construction, it was surprisingly entertaining thanks to the views across, down, and even inside (of watching people respond to the glass panel on the floor in the viewing area).


And, for once, an early sunset was perfect timing – to provide an atmospheric background to our afternoon tea.

The shortest day

The shortest day in fact turned out to be one of the ‘best’.

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