The dark days are here! November in Riga should have its own season, the season of strangeness, Novembrumn!

It seems that after the optimism of spring, warm summer and beautiful autumn, November falls into an unknown season. I will call it Novembrumn, somewhere between autumn and winter, when the locals of Riga become a little odd.

I have seen this with my own eyes, amongst friends, colleagues and on the streets. Couples splitting up, excessive debauchery, bizarre advances by strangers, a desire to knit, cook and sleep a lot, coated in an overall sense of nihilism!

Now the dark, short days have arrived and it is at this time of year that people in Riga start to act a little strange. Yesterday was a great example of this. Around the city, drunk, wandering men bumped into lamp posts and walls on their search for another 100ml of vodka. It is not like the sight of drunk men is unusual but it is the surreality of their expressions, lost like homeless dogs.

Streets almost empty at nights, where once tourists filled the beer gardens enjoying the long days are now frequented by few people, all wearing the obligatory, November black outfit. Should not we all be wearing bright, warming uplifting colours, pink perhaps?

Im sure that the human body and mind does go into a sort of shock state as the days get shorter but it is around this time of year the symptoms seem to show. I am by all means not suggesting to visit Riga in November, in fact I am sending out the message to come in Novembrumn and see for yourselves this strange phenomena.

So here is to Novembrumn, get your knitting needles ready, make a good hearty soup and raise a glass of hot Black Balsam to the occasion.