The clock reads 8:50pm, but the skies outside still glow and the birds chatter happily in the trees around our house.

If you are sensitive to light, suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or prefer sleeping in a pitch dark room, perhaps you’ll find the South Island of New Zealand a bit tricky in the contrast between summer and winter in sunrise/sunset department.

Now that we’ve finally entered late spring and are approaching the summer solstice, our daylight hours stretch longer and longer.

For example, today, 2 December, we enjoyed 15 hours and 10 minutes of daylight.

The sun came up at 5:44am (!) and the sun will set at 8:54pm.

Compare that to the meagre 8 hours and 58 minutes of sun Christchurch received back in late June when we arrived here. Those days the sun rose after 8 and set right around 5.

Those of you who know me know that I crave sunlight; it doesn’t have to be a sunny day, per se, but I get a bit down after a series of overcast days. Winter can be tough that way. It’s less about the cold and more about the absence of light, at least for me. So being this far south and finally tilted toward the sun is a good thing!

Today was the first truly HOT day we’ve had. The high was 30C (86F) and I’m pretty sure it got there. On my morning run I could definitely feel the intense sun and have spent the rest of the day rehydrating myself.

Making the most of the weather, Evelyn’s class swam in the school’s outdoor pool. Charlotte’s teacher took the kids outside to play water games and when I arrived at pickup she was prancing around barefoot and in a swimsuit through the hose in the school yard.

Now it’s bedtime, and I’ve read stories, brushed teeth, and tucked the kids in. But it’s still really light. The blinds and shades don’t really prevent the glorious rays from seeping into their shared room.


Even though they’re tired, it might be a little longer until they drift off, their brains slowly calming as twilight arrives and dreams meander in.




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