It has been the shortest day in our part of the Northern Hemisphere and I never noticed.
There was also a lunar eclipse but the cloud cover concealed the moon and the sun. According to NASA it was the first time since 1638 that the two events coincided.
You could look at some amazing photos of the event here.
So on this Winter Solstice the axis of the Earth we will be at it's utmost so that the North Pole will be angled 23.5 degrees away from the sun -- at 6:38 p.m. EST, after which the days will gradually grow longer until the summer solstice in June 2011.
I could do with a few more hours of daylight and sunshine!
In ancient Rome the winter solstice was celebrated at the Feast of Saturnalia.. The Feast of Juul (Yule) was celebrated in pre-Christian Scandinavia. However no one knows exactly when people first began to honour this important calendrial day.
In England and the UK people have had the coldest temperatures since records began and records suggest that it could be the coldest December since a Little Ice Age in the 1890s.
Minus 20 degrees has been recorded near where to Captain Sensible was born.
Today we have had a reasonably mild day. One woodburner has been installed but not yet lit. Only a small fire is allowed for up to 8 days when little by little the heat can be increased. The other room is presenting a greater amount of angst, conundrum and concern. The chimney place has to be finished. We thought the chap would be inserting the angular tubage but he had so many work-related problems yesterday. After over 4 hours working by himself in stinging rain I think he was glad to be going back to base! Having given some thought to the problem we have decided he must come and do what need to be done so that we can get on.
It's a grim season that's for sure.....we hope we can light the fires and get through the winter and progress further with the renovation.
But for all friends and family in the UK, it cannot be easy. Thinking of you all.