I could have taken the easy way out of this one and celebrated the winter solstice (= get up to get the sun up at approx 8.15am), but that felt like a bit of a cop out, so the Summer Solstice it was at approx 4.45am instead.
Anyone who knows me will be crying with laughter at this point as I am categorically NOT an early bird - my absolute pet hate is the alarm clock, and I can ALWAYS roll over and go back to sleep, no matter what the hour is. So getting up really early to see the sunrise on the longest day is a good Challenge for me.
I looked up online how one celebrates the Solstice, and apart from going to Stonehenge, or dancing round a maypole, there seems to be a lack of traditions.
So I made some up.
Aurora is the Roman goddess of the dawn, and in yoga, I know that there is a series of moves called Sun Salutation. So what better than to go to the highest point I know (just above the Hill allotments, 3 miles away) before dawn; and perform a sun salutation as the sun comes up, and drink a toast to the goddess.
The one problem with this scenario (apart from the obvious loony-alert of parking up in a lane in the middle of the night to do a spot of yoga in the entry to a farmer's field, then swig out of a hip flask) was that the weather forecast was very poor - black clouds and rain followed by mist/fog. Not much chance of seeing the sun come up, then.
My plan B was a compromise which would be to get up in time to get in the car to complete my challenge should the weather be fair, BUT if there was no prospect of being able to see the sun come up due to the weather, to do my observance here at home.
So come the Big Day on Friday, I was up and ready at 4.15am, and looked out into the gloom. It was misty and drizzly. Plan B, therefore, kicked in.
I padded downstairs, took a big towel outside and faced to look due east; and at just about 4.40am I stood and stretched and performed my sun salutation in the rain; then raised a glass of gin & orange in a toast to Aurora. Then I whizzed upstairs to the attic room take photos of the dawn (such that it was) as the sun (apparently) came up at 4.44am.
Well, you ain't getting pics of me doing yoga in the rain, but here's the dawn, such as it was (and the proof of the time!), and my toast.
I felt awake and invigorated for, I think, the first time ever at that time in the morning! That said, I went back to bed for a couple of hours - and could I get up when the hated alarm went off in the morning?
Could I heck.
Nonetheless, that's my week 25 Challenge: done!