2016-12-26 Mon

Observations

Christmas is gone. The Boxing Day Sales are over. More correctly, the Sales of Boxing Day are over, but many of them will be “extended until New Year’s Eve”, what a surprise.

The days are getting longer, I say, and that is the real celebration.

I am an optimist. From this time on (well, until my birthday, at any rate), the days are getting longer and the nights are getting shorter.

When I say “The days are getting longer!”, the Canadian pessimists say “Yabbut! It’s going to get colder”, which is true, but the cold winter will wither away with the increasing angle of incidence of The Earth’s rotational axis to the solar plane. That’s what I say. Our continuing orbit around The Sun means that starting well before my birthday, we can guarantee days without snow.

When I say “The days are getting longer!”, the Canadian purists will say “Yabbut! They aren’t really getting longer at all. Each day is still twenty-four hours”, and they are right, give or take a nano-second or two of concern only to physicists, astronomers, and the good folks who look after our GPS software calculations. Strictly speaking, “the daylight hours are getting longer”.

When I say “The days are getting longer!”, students in the ESL café will ask me about the difference between “day” and “daylight”, and why do we say “It’s been a long day”, when we really mean “I’ve worked a lot”.

And I will be reminded of my profitless search of my French-English dictionary for a search for a distinction between “un jour” and “une jourmée”.

All I know is that when I enter an enclosed space (café, boulangerie, bus) I must initiate the greeting with ‘Bon Jour”, and when I leave an enclosed space I must initiate the termination with “Bonne Journée!”

So, all I know is that Christmas is gone, and I am glad that the days are getting longer.

It’s about time.