The months of darkness ahead seem particularly gruelling when the weather is grey and bleak.
And yet there are of course consolations in dark evenings, such as the glowing atmosphere inside beside a fire or at Christmas.
Also, the low angle of the sun at this time of year is a joy when the weather is bright, as this week. Most days in Belfast were sunny and on one or two of the days relentlessly so, dawn to sunset.
The sun penetrates far into many buildings in a way that it never does in summer, when it is so much higher in the sky.
It provides many uplifting moments, when the whole feel of a familiar room can suddenly change.
• Ben Lowry @BenLowry2 is News Letter deputy editor