Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

Altering time

Julie was away last night, visiting her grandson. After a quiet evening watching some Nordic-noir drama on TV, and some blogging duties, I went to bed before midnight. I slept very well with no disturbances, rousing this morning before 9 am, not bad for me on a weekend.

But I soon realised that it wasn’t 9 am at all, it was 8 am. How did this happen? You might wonder. Had I slipped through some time anomaly as I slumbered? Was I living in a Twilight Zone episode, where time made its own decisions? The explanation is far from exciting, I am sorry to tell you.

The clocks had gone back. As with most years, I had forgotten, and became confused by the clocks on the cooker and microwave saying one time, but the (self-adjusting) clock on the central-heating timer telling me something else. As it was still quite gloomy outside, that should have told me that it was not yet sunrise. But the Beetley skies are often gloomy, so that’s of little use as an indicator.

Later on, I will have to reset those clocks that still tell yesterday’s time, and wind my watch back an hour. Many devices do reset themselves on these occasions. The clock on the PC is telling the ‘right’ time, as is my phone, and the TV too. If the DAB radio signal works well enough in my car, that will sort itself out as well. So, we had that much-lauded extra hour in bed, as the TV presenters always like to refer to it. When this happens the other way round, in the Spring, we supposedly lose one hour of sleep. If you are a shift-worker, as I was for most of my life, you might have worked an extra hour for nothing last night. Not much fun, I assure you. They say that you make it up by gaining that hour in the Spring, but what if you are not on duty that night?

Anyway, enough waffling, what am I thinking aloud about?

Well I am thinking that time is something of a nonsense, to be honest. If I fly across the world to another country, the time there will be different, as it will be in another time zone. Anyone visiting Europe from today will find themselves two hours ‘behind’, but only for the next six months. Time as we know it is something of a meaningless construction, something that can be altered by turning the hands on a watch, or by the edicts of a government. In fact, time as we all generally accept it doesn’t actually exist. It was invented, then played around with, to give structure to the working day, or for the benefit of the hordes of agricultural workers who once farmed the land. Later on, it was retained so that school children could walk to school in daylight, and everyone knew what time a train departed from a station.

I would like to see so-called ‘daylight saving time’ scrapped. No more BST/GMT please. It has no place in a modern world. We have enough time issues to deal with, without having to mess around with clocks twice a year, then end up believing it is getting dark ‘too early’, when in fact it was the same time it got dark yesterday.

For those of you reading this in the UK, enjoy that ‘extra hour’.

67 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud on a Sunday

  1. There is talk, Pete, that our part of the US (Massachusetts) may take a different zone – not sure which one. I have enough trouble in the spring when we spring ahead one hour. I like getting one hour of extra sleep this coming weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Over here, they steal that back next Spring, when we lose an hour again. I have just grown weary of this farce in old age, and tired of the dark afternoons, with lights on just after 4 pm.
      Best wishes as always, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I spotted this in the New York Times today.

    Clocks fall back an hour in the U.S. and Canada on Sunday β€” after having done so last week in Europe β€” with the end of daylight saving time. Clocks in parts of Australia have moved, too, in the opposite direction.
    The reason for the shift is contentious and confusing. (It isn’t for farmers, as you may have learned in school.)
    Historians have traced the notion for daylight saving time to Benjamin Franklin, who realized he was sleeping through some daylight hours while visiting Paris in the 18th century.
    But the first idea to actually move the clock hands came from William Willett, who unsuccessfully proposed daylight saving time to the British Parliament in 1908. Germany, seeking cost savings during World War I, heard the idea and enacted it in 1915. Three weeks later, the British followed, and other world powers were close behind, including the U.S. in 1918.
    Despite the common belief that U.S. farmers supported the change, they were actually the strongest lobby against it because it disrupted their schedules, said David Prerau, the author of β€œSeize the Daylight.”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I did not grow up in a country with daylight savings so I find the whole concept really weird. It is also no fun if you have small children as resetting their little internal body clocks is a lot more complicated than resetting the microwave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have similar issues with our Dog, Abbi. It takes Ollie a while to work out that he isn’t going out until what is now 13:30, which as far as he is concerned, is really 14:30. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  4. I’m always confused by it, Pete. In Spain, it changes too, but not on the same week as here (I think it does in Spring but not in autumn, or perhaps the other way around, so there are a couple of weeks where I don’t know where I am). I think I read that California was thinking of not changing and then that would reduce the number of time zones and create much confusion (at least for some). Well, perhaps if Catalonia goes ahead they’ll decide to do something else… Take care! (I did remember to change the clocks that needed changing though). By the way, were you talking about Beck? I discovered it a couple of weeks ago, although it’s supposed to be a rerun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Olga. I was actually talking about ‘Black Lake’, a Swedish/Danish drama that was on BBC4 a while back, and I taped the eight episodes to watch later. I have seen ‘Beck’ before though, and quite liked it. ‘Black Lake’ is very good, and is a psychological murder story, not a detective series. Here’s a link.
      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5603186/
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  5. We had the same here in Poland as well, so at least the gap to the UK remains the same, although it ust means I’m awake an hour earlier, or more to the point I have had two cups of tea before venturing out with the dogs πŸ™‚
    I’m with you though, get rid of this crazy DST, it fools no one.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I completely agree, Pete. It is confusing and unnecessary. I’d love to hear the opinions of farmers, as they were the focus daylight savings time. I have to prepare children at school that because it is dark at 5:00, their moms and dads are not late picking them up. That is scary for young children.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We used to set our clocks ‘back’ in the fall at the end of October too. Then they changed it to November, so to keep daylight savings time in effect even longer! I too think it’s time to give up this maneuvering. It’s hard on everybody, especially children who don’t really care what time the clock says. Every year we talk about whether we should give it up here in Washington. I would vote for that!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My good gym workout friend just left for India. She will lose a whole day and probably stay confused for a while. Then when she returns in a month she will have to go through the same day twice, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Foreign travel compounds the confusion indeed, Elizabeth. I once got up very early to fly to Africa. After a stop in Rome on the way, followed by some time differences, We went straight to bed on arrival! And that was only with a three hour difference…
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pete, here is the US at least one state, Arizona, refused to adhere to the DST, so it can be very confusing here as well…we are about to “set the clocks back” here, so the farmers can have more early morning light, although there are very few farmers left here – all run by big corporations with three shifts a day!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally agree. There is no need to change our clocks forward in Spring.

    It’s much worse in Spain, though. They are in the wrong time zone altogether. They should be in the same zone as the UK, but are an hour ahead, all because Franco wanted to be in the same time zone as Hitler, and they haven’t got round to changing it back. As a result, they are in the same time zone as Serbia which is over 1,500 miles to the east, and the sun doesn’t set in Cadiz until nearly 10 pm in the summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. As Susan (“islandeditions”) pointed out, we don’t change time until next weekend (November 5). Interestingly, Las Vegas is a hop and a skip from the Arizona border, which slices right through the middle of Hoover Dam. Arizona, which is on Mountain Standard Time (MST)* does not observe Daylight Saving Time, but Nevada, which is on Pacific Standard Time (PST), does. Right now, Arizona and Nevada have the same time: 8:25 am, as I write this. After the time change, it will be an hour earlier in Nevada. There are two large clocks on Hoover Dam. It’s interesting that six months out of the year, one can walk back and forth between time zones without the clocks changing, and that the other six months, you can go back an hour in time or jump ahead an hour in time, depending on which direction you’re traveling. All of this makes me think of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and “The Time Machine.”

    *Except the Navajo Nation in Navajo County, Arizona!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Even more confusing reasons why we don’t need this nonsense, David. Mind you, I would like to cross the Hoover Dam and see the different clocks. Do the staff working at one end finish work an hour earlier, I wonder? πŸ™‚ (I know, they probably had to start an hour earlier…)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Good Morning Pete:

    As I recall accurate time keeping was invented for navigational purposes. The Admiralty put up a rather nice prize for an accurate clock. If you knew what time it was in England, and you knew what time it was where you were at sea, you cold accurately determine longitude and would be less likely run into known land masses in the dark. That was your country. In our country time zones and accurate clocks were put into practice to make railroad schedules useful. Our railroad barons never properly compensated your Admiralty for its role in creating the first accurate time piece. That is why they were called barons. It turns out that navigation and transportation remain, outside of sporting events and β€œnanophysics,” the paramount users of accurate time. Only now, we base our navigation on clocks set to run at different rates at varying altitudes to determine where we are on earth. So, if we do away with accurate time we will all be lost within a very short span of time. Now on reflection, that might not be a bad thing. So, start with time zones and gradually eat away at accurate time so we will get lost slowly, never noticing.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Theo. I have read the book ‘Longitude’ (and seen the film too) about just the invention you refer to. At one time here, we had varying time zones all across the UK, to allow for railway time tables, apparently.

      I would still like to do away with DST though, especially as ships at sea now tend to know where they are going. (Most of the time…)

      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I don’t care for it either, our recent interstate trip meant we too lost and gained an hour over three days. My state of Queensland does not have daylight savings but we probably will again. We had it when I was a kid and then got rid of it for the farmers up north but for all the city folk doing business with people down south will drive the conversation towards getting it back.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. To be honest, I’ve never seen the point of ‘daylight saving’. What you gain at one end, you lose on the other, so what’s the difference? It totally depends on your job if it helps you, So some gain, and some lose. Stupid idea…

    Liked by 1 person

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