Ben Lowry: Already the evenings in Northern Ireland are much longer than just a few weeks ago
For me that has been apparent this winter in the speed with which we have reached the latter half of winter.
Winter for me is arguably at its worst in what is technically autumn, late November, long before we get the sort of chilly conditions that we have been seeing in recent days, when the season is at is most cold. Rather, in November the days are not only horribly short, but getting shorter.
The earliest sunsets in Northern Ireland are not in fact on December 21 or 22, at the time of the winter solstice, but in early December, when the sun falls under the horizon at 3.57pm.
November has none of the cheer of December, and there is also the fact that months of cold and dark weather lies ahead.
But we are already in notably brighter days, with the sun not setting until almost 5.30pm. Soon it will be 6pm, and on bright days it will seem like it is still daylight well after 6pm.
It is a joy to behold, particularly when it is sunny.
For months from now the days will be edging ever longer, and even after the June solstice it will be bright over the summer.
Spring and rebirth will be fully with us soon.