Next weekend the clocks will be put back one hour and we shall return to the long dark winter evenings with their accompanying epidemic of Seasonal Affective Disorder and upsurge of traffic accidents. As usual, we benighted islanders will be out of step with our European neighbours. Grudgingly, we shall go through the twice-yearly tedious performance of adjusting umpteen clocks, watches, and household devices.
Before the proliferation of technology, the time change used to involve maybe a couple of household clocks and a few personal watches. Not any more! At the last count, over two dozen gadgets had to be adjusted in the Burrow – an irritating and unnecessary procedure. Multiply this by the millions of items needing attention in homes and businesses throughout the land, and the wasteful economic impact of this unnecessary biannual rigmarole becomes obvious. Yet, surprisingly, there seems to be no strong demand to scrap it.
During World War Two, summer time was retained throughout the winter and the clocks were moved forward another hour, to “double summer time”, in the summer. If this was in the national interest then, it should be the practice now if it is deemed necessary to change the clocks at all, or else we should stick to summer time throughout the year.
When Anticant was growing up during the War, his family lived next door to an elderly lady who refused to conform to the clock-changing routine because, she said, it upset the birds, who didn’t perform their dawn chorus at what she considered to be the appropriate hour. So she kept her clocks an hour behind everyone else’s. A friend of ours said she lived by ‘Cuckoo Time’.
Here at the Burrow, Cuckoo Time seems a jolly good idea – except that we would prefer to keep our clocks one hour ahead of everyone else.
Joking apart, what do others think of this clock-changing business?