Why is it that the darker it gets, the later I want to eat every night? Coming back after a long night out I always find myself rummaging through the contents of my fridge looking for the unhealthiest fat-filled product I can find, always a regret the next morning. It’s been very unusual experiencing the darkness here in Rovaniemi, especially if you wake up a little late and find that you’ve missed the little daylight you were promised. I’ve noticed slight changes in my behaviour, I become tired quicker, however, I also become more active towards the evening. They say darkness triggers the release of melatonin which in turns makes us sleepy, a fact I’ll be happy to repeat once waking up from an afternoon nap. As for the warnings I was given before arriving here, the “you’ll get really down in the winter months”, they have been somewhat of a misconception for me. I find it intriguing to see how the city deals with the extreme circumstances here. It’s been snowing for some time in England now and its effect is catastrophic. Such conditions make it to the news headlines, schools close down, and trains get cancelled, and let’s not forget the excessive use of the phrase “threat of heavy snow”. In Rovaniemi the story is completely different; I now consider temperatures such as -10 as “not bad”, something I would never have imagined myself saying. Everything continues as normal, nothing seems to be cancelled, and I have to say I much rather prefer the snow here than in England! As for the darkness, I try and catch the few hours of daylight that I can, but it’s not too bad, especially as quite embarrassingly I was labouring under the delusion that we would reach a time of perpetual darkness here in Rovaniemi, clearly I was mistaken.
But alas, today was the darkest day of the year so it will only get lighter from here onwards J To be a bit more active I even tried cross-country skiing yesterday, only to spend longer on the floor than on my feet, and to say tiring is an understatement. I really hope I can manage to somehow grasp the notion of skiing as it’s a popular sport here, and having Ounasvaara right next to me is definitely a reason to go. The employee at Santa Sport was extremely trusting, providing us with the keys to the storage room so we could basically “help ourselves”, but for those sport enthusiasts out there I would really recommend it! It’s a great way to get some fresh air, and be able to feel more active in these dark times. So, they say darkness can affect your mood, but for now I can only suggest embracing it if you want to survive it!