"In London, the climate was wonderful compared to here," Ms. Sveinsdottir said wistfully. "I felt I was living in paradise."The reality is a lot of them are probably inured to it, and put a brave Nordic face on it. In Seattle, we've had the season of full darkness for almost a month I drive to work in daybreak twilight, work in a windowless office all day, then drive home in the dark, which I normally find really wearing. This year we have a full-spectrum lamp in the house (which helps some), and I'm coping with the darkness well so far. Some nights lately as I've walked down the hill from the bus stop, the rain-slicked city has had a Bladerunner feel to it, more than anything else. But ask me about winter depression again in January.
I have no grounds for complaint, really; I mean, just compare 47° N Seattle with 64° N Rekyavik. The Icelanders seem to use a mix of coping mechanisms: stoicism, genetics, cod-liver oil, bookishness. I'm not sure those first three help me, but I've got the last one covered.