It comes yet once a year, and should be celebrated.
Do I mean the shortest day, and the beginning of longer days?
Well, that also, and here is a photo taken on the Winter Solstice.
I have had Christmases with kind people in many lands now, in Canada, in New Zealand, in Iceland... and in Norway. Wherever you are, the magical ingredients are good company, good times and good food. In Norway, we can also enjoy good snow (or at least wish for it, as some years the snow can be a bit lacking at Christmas). This year, there were all the components for a good Christmas, as snow had been with us since early October!
Being in Norway over the New Year period for many years now, I have also come to enjoy the rom-jul ('between Christmas and New Year-period'). This year I spent Christmas with Per, at the family farm = local ski trips, great company, and immensely good food! And the rom-jul was topped off with a trip back to Målselv and some snowy skiing to an hut inland... and yes, I couldn't resist, and I borrowed a husky to accompany us: Snehvit ('Snow White') A real princess, this dog, with her snowy-white coat, positive personality (for people, huts, and...er, reindeer!), and clear enthuiasm for pulking (and sneaking into the hut, at any opportunity ;)). Thank you, Sanja, for loaning us Snehvit, and thank you, Weather Gods, for being so kind to us!
Enjoy the photos. Some people maintain that the 'dark-time' is drear and depressing - as you can see, it is a most beautiful time of the year!
And every day now is lighter and lighter...
My two trusty New-Years trip companions, man and dog!
And the constant company of the landscape itself...
You can see here that the sun hasn't forgotten how to colour the sky,
even if she is determined not to show herself!
Packing our gear to leave from one hut... Snehvit is reluctant to pull the pulk, and seems to opt for the softer option of trying to cadge a ride: oh! if only dogs could talk...
Snehvit's clear fascination for huts, i.e. being inside huts soon became clear to us! As dogs are strictly forbidden in most Norwegian huts, then she soon had to learn of the disappointments of life...
|"Wow, a hut, out here? In the middle of nowhere. Game ON!"|
|"Well, we've arrived, now it's just to go inside and stoke the fire for me, no?"|
|"And whilst you're inside in the warm... ahem! REMEMBER ME?"|
Positive-reinforcement of negative behaviour as we have to travel down the valley and towards flocks of reindeer ahead of us. Snehvit thought this was simply the best!
I don't believe she has ever pulled so hard, or with so much conviction!
|"Ah! I spy with my little eye: REINDEER AHEAD"|
|"Always check for reindeer, they can be hiding behind every single stone or outcrop!"|
If a husky is not racing, they are either snoozing, or... rolling....
A sequence of shots of Snehvit and me, taking it easy, waiting for the one without the dog!
Letting them overtake you...
And then playing catch-up!
...hours of fun!
|"Another hut. Another possibility..."|
Happy New Year to you all!