Sunday, November 7, 2010

British Summer Time

I firmly believe in Greenwich Mean Time. That we tinker on with "our" time every Spring and Autumn is, I feel, abominable. I hold dear to my heart the idea that the day should be divided by noon and there should be as much daylight before noon as after. That we have the situation that, in "Summer Time" days, the afternoon/evening is much longer than the dawn/morning is, I believe, spiritually wrong.
A colleague was rejoicing in the extra hour in bed that we "gained" by putting our clocks back to GMT last weekend. I have spent hours this week finding and putting back clocks. There are clocks, it seems, in everything we have. Not just the fake carriage clock on the bookcase but computers, microwave, video, TV, DVD, oven, toaster, kettle...... Everything has clocks.
I have gained nothing. Clock-changing takes time. Lots of time. I remember that I wasted the same length of time around the Vernal Equinox putting my clocks forward (and thereby losing an hour into the bargain). This horological time-wasting must be costing the country millions of pounds.
The Anglo-Saxons (as per usual) had it right. The Sun rose at 6, crossed the southern meridian at noon, set at 6 and was as far "set" as it was going to be at midnight. In summer the daylight "hours" were longer than the night-time hours. In winter the positions were reversed. Only at the equinoxes (equi=equal nox=night) were day and night the same. Good old Anglo-Saxons.
How I wish it was still the Dark Ages.

No comments: