Back when we arrived in England, the end of December about a week after the winter solstice, the days were incredibly short. The sun would set a bit after 4 pm every day and I cursed the dark, longing for more daylight than the scant 8 hours we received. Can I take it back now? If I had a rooster, it would be crowing its head off well before 5 am every morning with the rising of the sun. I would have then been forced to snap his crowing at the crack of dawn neck and cook him up with some dumplings at least a month ago. Or maybe some King Ranch chicken because the family really loves that stuff.
Right now the official sunrise is at 4:52 am... and we won't even hit the longest day of the year until June 21. Honestly, one morning I'm gonna just have a heart attack. Make sure you put on my tombstome that I was killed by a combination of the damned sun and my lifelong fear of being late to anything. I roll over, see the light coming through the blinds and freak out. In my half awake state, I assume we all slept through the alarm and panic. I immediately look over to see why my cheap digital alarm clock with the wonky battery backup didn't go off. I'm blind as a cliche bat and no amount of squinting allows me to see the little glowing numbers until it's less than a foot from my face. So I fumble around to find my glasses and take a gander at the clock to realize it's well before 5 in the morning. The alarm is still set for 5:45 and just hasn't gone off yet. Somebody needs to tell the birds chirping ever so joyfully and loudly in the surrounding trees to knock it off until a more decent hour.
At night we have a different issue with the youngest daughter since the sun doesn't officially set until 9:04 pm. She's conditioned to go to bed when it's dark outside and I'm just as bad about using it as a benchmark for her bedtime. Every night I'm startled to realize that it's after 9:00 and she's still monkeying around in her room. It's a good thing school ends in a few weeks because she's probably not getting as much sleep as she needs.
All of the bedrooms in our house have darkening shades under the fabric window coverings or thick wood blinds to keep the sun at bay, which seemed a bit creepy to me at first. In the dark months of winter you're trying to let in every ounce of sunlight that deigns to shine during daytime hours. Did the homeowners have an aversion to UVA or UVB rays? Were they members of some secretive vampire cult? Now it all makes sense. They were just trying to get a decent night's sleep during the warmer half of the year.