This time of year is always a little depressing in Sweden. As the winter arrives and the days get colder, the night starts to creep ever so slowly into the day. Not enough to be oppressive, just enough to say, "I'm here." At around 2:30 PM you can start to see the horizon become that sweet shade of orange that lets you know that it is almost time to go home. Only here, it's not. There are still four more hours left in the workday; unless you are a scientist, and then there are six more hours. By 5:00 PM it is as dark as if it were 10:00, so my perspective of time is completely skewed. Luckily, I so rarely leave the lab before nightfall, that this phenomenon has little effect on me. It is sometimes hard to function in the afternoon however, when I feel as though I should really be winding down.
It will get better as the Christmas season catches up with the winter darkness, because Christmas in Sweden is FULL of light. Here, the darkness serves as a negative canvas for the beautiful tapestries of light that adorn the buildings of Gamla Stan (the Old Town), the brilliantly lit shop windows of Hötorget (Haymarket), and the tall clocks that can be seen from miles in Stockholm Centralen (Stockholm Center) and Medbogarplatsen (Citizen Square). It will be beautiful, but it can't come soon enough.