I’m very glad and relieved when Arctic Organist laments the inclement weather. Not only is it true, but apart from enriching your experience as my blog reader (Jon really does take some lovely shots: I can only recommend you visit his page), quoting him gives ones own excuse credibility!
The fact is that we have had many a day you would not have thanked me for taking a picture. Not only are we in the Polar Night – and we actually are now even if our neck of the woods were completely flat – most of the last two weeks have been miserable and overcast. We have had everything from snow, sleet, rain, hail, gale force winds, cloud and everything nature can throw at you pretty much. When you consider that if it is cloudy, it is actually dark at midday now, that vastly reduces your photography options.
Otherwise, I am going to try starting on the logo. As many of you know, I was forced to remove the logo just over a month ago when Wiki Commons likewise was forced to remove one of the elements that make it up. It had been lying there “in the public domain”. Unfortunately someone disputed that, and for copyright reasons Wiki Commons removed its viking raven and I took down my blog logo.
I wish to assure you that I have not abandoned the logo. I am sticking with it. I do have a photograph, in the public domain, of the raven in question. I must now draw this by hand, and superimpose that drawing on the symbol’s other two elements. When that is done I should theoretically have a derivative work belonging to me alone. The problem has been getting the time to do this. I promise I shall try harder to find some!
After all, tomorrow is my December “day off”. And Jon Blamire is right about those temperatures – it’s a bit too nippy outside for anything else….
Where I live the sun is no longer visible. Due to geography, my home is already in the Polar Night. Nevertheless, the sun is still visible in other parts of Lødingen.
My colleague in Finnsnes has a countdown to the start of the Polar Night on his competing blog. It should be noted, however, as I have previously pointed out, that these dates are often academic. In Lødingen the Polar Night should not begin until the 6th December…. but of course, the earth isn’t flat, and just like the place I live in Lødingen loses all sunlight the last week of November.
As the Polar Night draws ever nearer, we have now come to the point where the sunset is in the middle of the day! Where I live we are – to all intents and purposes – already in the Polar Night. Although the sun is still there, as you can see from this photograph, you have to get on top of the mountain to see it.
Our church is still lit by the sun midday, but even from here you will see that there is a difference between the maths of when the Polar Night begins and when it does in practice – if you look towards the sunset on this picture you will see the mountains on the other side of the fjord. These will in practice hide the sunshine from all of Lødingen from the end of November. That makes the maths that say the Polar Night starts on the 6th December academic.
The picture was taken at five to one this afternoon. The Polar Night has almost come!
For the photo lovers, here is a bonus picture. As already mentioned, Daily Photo returns for registered users on the 4th November. If you are logged in, you can see a colour picture of our nature every day through the Polar Night.
This picture was taken from the ferry yesterday. It is fitting that I should post a picture of what is known as the “National Peak”. 22 years ago to this very day, I arrived from England to start my new life in this country. That was also a Friday, and I spent my first night at the residency of the priest on Hitra.
Sorry no posts yesterday. It was a complete washout.
However, just for you photoholics…. here’s a little titbit for you! It was taken at 12 midday today.
Today did not go according to plan. At the time of this photograph I was struggling with my computer – being unable to use the net bank thanks to Mozilla having blocked java. It turned out – after several installations and uninstallations both of my java plugin and my browser – that there is nothing wrong with the blessed java I was and am using!
The problem has been previous versions of the java plug in that could cause a security risk. Unfortunately, Mozilla had blocked everything today, and I had to contact my bank’s support by telephone to find out how on earth I was going to get round this.
Thanks to Nordea Bank support for unusually helpful service today, and Mozilla…. not pleased! Two hours were wasted on this, and it really raised my stress too much. I can do without such things.
My colleague reports that Finnsnes is a bit “gloomy”. We have had our fair share of that too, but today conditions eased. Nevertheless, despite the sun now officially being “back”, we still haven’t seen it.
I thought that we might get a glimpse today; unfortunately it clouded over again. Even so I was able to photograph the amazing colours caused by the sun’s reflection in the higher cloud layers. With the new gas ferry, some of these photographs looked positively enchanting. The sun might not have made it, but the clouds and the colours were anything but gloomy.
It is said that the Arctic is a favourite place for painters. Now you can see why. The photograph does not really do the colours justice!
Looking out of my main window, I took the panorama shot below. There is a magic to these colours. Yet I still hope to be showing you the sun sometime pretty soon. If that does not get a move on, the Arctic Organist might just end up catching it first on the 23rd January!
“I’m going to mark its end, because somebody has to. I’m also going to speak well of the place too for the same reason.” – Adwick Style
I cannot tell you how strange it feels. Yesterday I received photographs from Saturday’s tour of Adwick School, and today I was sent more from a former pupil of the even older Percy Jackson Grammar School. As I meditated upon the beauty of the Polar Night here, I tried to take in these wistful reminders of my childhood whilst juxtaposing the thought that EXACTLY thirty-three years ago, I was starting my very first day there.
In fact this is more than juxtaposition in time. I’m now over here in Norway, and these events – both then and now – are way over the sea in England. Nevertheless I also feel a strange satisfaction in doing what I am. I have read many a spiteful comment about Adwick this last year, and feel that someone ought to point out that whatever its difficulties at its end, it was once highly respected. Someone has got to cover its end in a fitting way.
So my blog and I are like a kind of satellite, now with very little connection to the land that originally launched it, orbiting above and separated by a huge distance – yet transmitting a message that more should broadcast terrestrially. Fortunately I know that I am not entirely alone, though. After all none of the pictures I have of Adwick School these last days were taken by me! It may be ironic that a blog based in Norway has taken on this task (for that no one else has done so), but it is fitting that that very irony demonstrates the once great name our school once had.
Indeed there are former pupils living all over the world. One should also include those who went to the Percy Jackson Grammar School that preceded Adwick School. These people have been very active with reunions, and are a truly international bunch. We have perhaps differing views about the demolition of our former school, and the rebuild; but we are nevertheless united by our respect for where we grew up. Whatever our personal views, we do not rejoice at our school’s demise.
What has saddened me in the last year, then, has been to hear what I can only describe as contempt, on the part of certain people who still live in the vicinity, for what is and always will be a part of their own history. It saddens me that for these, it is also incredible that anyone should wish to mark the end…. yet in truth, they have never appreciated the worth of what now is lost.
I would rather not end this on a negative note. Therefore let me leave my point concerning those who have come with harsh words with the following observation. With the exception of one person whom I know personally, and who had a very difficult time at school, most of the comments I have read – on Facebook and similar sites on the Internet – come from relatively younger people. We are all aware of the problems the school faced in its final decade, before ceasing to be Adwick School. Yet let not that generation speak for mine!
So now we enter the very last days for what was our school, what was our childhood, and indeed what we for some time have been mentally preparing ourselves for. Seeing the photographs my friends have sent – I shall publish more (I already have permission for most of them) – I nevertheless can see that our old lady has become tired. The buildings, especially the old senior wing further down from the Percy Jackson building photographed here, show their age; and a certain melancholy pervades all the pictures I have seen.
Thank you everybody who has sent pictures to me. I wish especially to thank Janet Roberts for this wonderful group photograph. I have taken the liberty of posting it, but naturally I shall withdraw it if you would rather I do so. Adwick, there are many who have not forgotten thee!
Today I have been preoccupied with an Advent concert in Lødingen Church, and because the Adwick School business has also taken considerable time in preparing this blog, I have not been able to take any photographs.
However, true to my word, there will be at least one photograph for you photoholics throughout the Polar Night. This was taken yesterday, just at the time my school friends were visiting my old school. Tomorrow we shall be having a concert in this church.
For the photoholics among you, here is today’s shot from where I live. The sun is further below the horizon now, and it is getting still darker. The fiery glow we see there has been replaced by a warm peachy hue. This picture was taken at half past nine in the morning, at the very start of twilight.
As you can see there is still daylight in the Polar Night. At the “lightest” time yesterday, I took my camera out of town, and snapped this picture of Lødingen in that warm peach hue. The temperature at the seafront was minus 4, but only a few meters inland my car was recording minus 8!
Yesterday indeed conditions were fantastic for taking photography. When you are doing posts like this, you have unfortunately to “weed out”, but I really had to include this one!
Despite the chill – it is now minus five here in Lødingen and colder further inland – the air and sea still teem with life! Be sure to follow this blog…
there’ll be more photographs in the ordinary posting later today! Otherwise, the time-stamp will now be given so that you have an idea of what it is like to live in the Arctic night.
Something went wrong with a post I was going to put out, and now it’s getting rather late. You can however still see new pictures by going to today’s post in my Norwegian blog. I’ll post more pictures here tomorrow.