Happy Solstice! Today is the longest day of the year. The sun reached its highest point in its bounce between the tropics at 11:28 today. Tomorrow it will start to head back towards the tropic of Capricorn. It's the world's slowest game of pong. Today is also the first day of summer. Congratulations! You made it through five months of winter and that confusing time that should be spring but some days feels like summer and some days feels like winter with maybe a day or two of spring sprinkled inconspicuously in there. But hey, on the upside, it's a great time of year to be so far north on the planet. The sky starts getting light at 4 and still has a touch of blue at 10 after 10. Tomorrow there will be 3 seconds less of sunlight and so the long descent to sun at 8 and night at 4 begins. But before SAD takes over and the sun bolts across the equator, there's many days of sunshine to be enjoyed and I plan on doing just that.
I spent much of this wonderful day out of doors--sort of. It started off with a walk to the bus stop, then a wait at the bus stop, then a walk from the bus stop; about a mile in all. I spent a few hours in a polytunnel picking strawberries and weeds. One of the weeds was covered in caterpillars--it stripped it of all its flowers and leaves. Very cool. Also got acquainted with the shield bug--which reminds me of this amazingly creepy bug I know back in DC. And took a nettle leaf in the face. Don't worry; I weeded them out. Every last one of them and everything else in a section up to the sunflowers. I uncovered many snails and slugs and plenty of spiders. Then I took a break in the sun for lunch, followed by bottling and pasteurizing elderflower cordial. Lovely way to spend the day. Didn't get quite as dirty today as I did last week. Didn't see quite as many spiders, either, which is a good thing because last week's spiders became last week's nightmare about spiders. (The ones that carry their egg sacks really gross me out, much more so than the rest of them.)
In other new, I have written the first 1,000 words of my dissertation. They were possible the hardest I have ever written. Just 19,000 more to go. It's all down here from here.