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  • Writer's picturetinawatson

Happy Litha 2018

Updated: Aug 6, 2022

Sunrise over Martinsell Hill, Wiltshire

‘Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.’ – Regina Brett

Bed In Summer

In winter I get up at night And dress by yellow candle-light. In summer quite the other way, I have to go to bed by day.

I have to go to bed and see The birds still hopping on the tree, Or hear the grown-up people’s feet Still going past me in the street.

And does it not seem hard to you, When all the sky is clear and blue, And I should like so much to play, To have to go to bed by day?

-Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you celebrate the Summer Solstice?

I clambered up Martinsell Hill in Oare, Wiltshire, armed with cider, sandwiches and a sleeping bag and got myself into a 'comfortable' position to await the dawn.

Dark clouds threatened rain but I was lucky, the clouds shifted a bit and the moon shone through together with a sprinkling of clouds.

I dozed and faggoted around trying to get comfortable when I was perched on the side of a hill, then at 4.43 the sun peeked through, filling the sky and bathing the hills in sunshine....well worth the discomfort.

In the build-up to the summer solstice we gain minutes of daylight each day and directly after the solstice, we start losing seconds and then minutes of daylight until the winter solstice and the pattern reverses.

The solstice does not always fall on June 21 but falls within the same three day period between June 20 and June 22.

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year - the sun rises at 4.43am and sets at 9.21pm in the evening.

This equates to Britain enjoying 17 hours and 38 minutes of sunshine on June 21.

Stonehenge (just up the road) is the iconic place to celebrate the Solstice and English Heritage have done an amazing time lapse video of last night/dawn 2018 - enjoy!

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