We just took it for granted that, in the winter, it was dark when we got up in the morning and when we got home from school in the evening. Feeding animals and cleaning out was done in the dark.
Now we have the benefit of lights everywhere, many of them solar-powered, and the wonderful invention of the head torch means we can work hands-free.
Thing don't seem to improve much in the mornings until well into January. And then, suddenly, we get the extra daylight and we need to get up earlier to see the sun rise.
It is good to see the glimpses of nature awakening. And as we move further into the year, we see that the colours are changing, until we reach the full glory of the summer solstice – and then it is full circle back to the winter solstice!
Sarah Norton is a retired rural dweller living near Shrewsbury