The Romans never conquered Ireland. Never even tried. The combination of Celtic warriors and wet, wintry conditions meant that this small island on the edge of the Atlantic didn't fall favorably into the Roman cost/benefit analysis. They did give the island the name Hibernia (literally - wintry). This time of year (no surprise there) the name is appropriate. Not because it's freezing cold, it really isn't here normally, but because Ireland's so far north, the daylight never seems to get too bright. It seems as if its twilight all day long.
On December 21, the winter solstice, the sunrise in Dublin will be at 8:38 and the sun will set at 4:08. More than two thirds of the day will be in darkness. Though I prefer the long daylight we get in the summer, there's something about this time of year that brings on a strong sense of nostalgia. Part of it is the Christmas season, but part of it has far more to do with the crisp cool air, the bare stripped tree branches, and the way that the fullness of day never quite seems to come. These days take me back in time. - Shay