please empty your brain below

Actually, I think you'll find that with 52% daylight, September is overwhelmingly daylight and isn't called the month of the midnight sun for no reason
People always told me that January was the most miserable month. I always felt it was December as in January the days were getting longer.

Glad to be proved correct ;)
January is not as “bad” as December but it does feel gloomier to me. Maybe it’s colder and it rains more and the constant cloudy sky makes it darker? Even though it’s all balanced, winter seems to drag along for much longer than summer but it seems to have more to do with the weather and temperature than the amount of daylight. (I’m not necessarily complaining as I like winter)
January is worse because it comes after Christmas, and its traditionally when the decorations come down, so it all looks miserable.
I always cheer up after December 21st with the thought that daylight is increasing. Likewise feel sad after June 21st.
Before Brexit when it was possible to do such things I would go to Southern Spain from December until April and enjoyed more daylight even in December.
I think social activities around Christmas distract from the gloom. So the full force of winter darkness doesn’t hit until after Christmas - in January
January is the gloomiest month - dark, a long wait until payday, decorations are down, shops display the tatty end of the Jan sale. But the first week of the clock change also feels pretty gloomy, the darker evenings arriving like an unwanted guest.
I moved to the UK from Southern Europe a few years ago. I don’t mind the colder weather here. But the lack of daylight in winter (and the quality of the daylight you do get) I find harder to bear every year.
There are 745 hours in October.
Damn, yes, absolutely :)

(rounded percentages remain the same)
I’m with John, even if it’s imperceptible I enjoy knowing each day is getting longer after Dec 21.
Pre-pandemic, December didn’t feel as bad as January. Most days I left home in darkness and returned home in darkness but the streets were full of Christmas lights and there were far more social nights out to enjoy. Working from home last year felt odd. I didn’t miss the dark mornings because I woke later. Once darkness fell at 4pm it was a struggle to leave home in the evening to go for a walk, something I’d continued to do post-lockdown and far more enjoyable than the commutes of previous years. I went shopping at lunchtime. The Covid restrictions ruled out socialising so the evenings dragged on and I noticed I went to bed much earlier. This year I’m still working at home and there are a few social events planned but I can’t see myself venturing out of the door much after sunset.

I’m sat here now, having gained an hour, berating the torrential rain outside for stopping me from getting out and enjoying daylight while I can. It’s due to ease around midday but that only gives me a few hours of daylight to enjoy.
The onset of winter gloom notwithstanding, when living in a subtropical place, I always felt short-changed all year round when on lovely warm days, dusk would suddenly hit soon after 6pm and it was dark by 7. Our light summer evenings are a good payoff for the winter. Perhaps the Mediterranean latitude is the kindest.
I'm one of those folk who can suffer with seasonal affective disorder, I really don't enjoy the dark days. In previous years I have been lucky to be able to spend our summer at northerly lattitudes and then have winter escapes to places nearer the equator. I saw the New Year in a few miles from the equator a few years ago and the blast of light and heat did wonders for my mental health.
However, covid travel palaver plus a tedious series of hospital stays lately will prevent me doing that this year - not looking forward to the next few months of gloom.
It's not just the hours of daylight, but also the strength. First thing that hits me when flying to southern Europe is the brilliance of the light and the way it enhances the colours of everything.
I've found that covid-related staying in has made the darker, colder, wetter days easier rather than harder to bear. Going out in the cold and dark and wet is miserable; staying in with heating and electric light is far nicer.

Changing the clocks doesn't make the mornings any lighter or the evenings any darker; it just changes when we do things in relation to the available hours of daylight. I celebrate the return to GMT because it's 'real' time, but sometimes I do think it would make sense to keep doing things earlier.
Each feels right in its turn.
I love the energy the summer brings and struggle for a while as it starts to fade, but by the time the clocks go back I'm ready to embrace the dark and hunker down in my cosy nest. Covid has made this so much easier to do!

January can still do one though! Horrid month!!
I can take whatever the weather throws at us (never the wrong sort of weather, just the wrong clothing choices, etc.) but the dull cloudy dark days of winter leave me feeling damaged. It must be an age thing, because I wasn't affected in this way until my late 30s. I guess prior to then I was simply too busy with stuff to notice as much. Spring can't come quickly enough
You’ve answered your own question in the last paragraph.

The sweet spot is to live in the Northern hemisphere between April to September and then live in the Southern hemisphere between October to March. Has always been my goal …
Lusaka is in the tropics so whilst you don't get long sunny evenings, there is something to be said for regular hours of daylight.
In June (winter), sunrise is always around 0630 and sunset around 1730.
In December (summer), sunrise is around 0530 with sunset around 1830.

It means you can plan events well in advance without having to give too much thought about how light or dark it will be.
The weakness of the sun from October onwards also has a serious impact on the amount of Vitamin D our bodies can naturally produce, making supplements necessary for many.

I really ought to shift my personal hours to adjust for the clocks going back, getting up an hour earlier etc. But I can't see it happening!
Saying there's 40% daylight today is a bit of an oversimplification because of the various kinds of twilight. So here in Cambridge today we have 9:38:45 of "daylight", but over an hour more of "civil twilight".

(This webpage shows more than most people would ever want to know)

dg writes: See my clocks back post from 2006.

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