Daily Archives: April 4, 2011

Daylight saving time and all that jazz

Clock

“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear;
too long for those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice;
but for those who love, time is eternity.”
Henry Van Dyke,  American short-story Writer,
Poet and Essayist, 1852-1933)

On Sunday 3 April at 3am the clocks went back an hour and Daylight Saving ended.  So we now know we are on the way to winter and all that brings here in New Zealand.

We don’t have the long cold winters that some of my friends endure in various parts of the United States, Canada and Scotland.  We have a more temperate climate but we do endure dreary, long, miserable wet days,  But hey as Percy Byshe Shelley (1792-1822) asks

“If winter comes can spring be far behind?” (From Ode to the West Wind.  Written in 1819 in Florence, Italy.

Growing up in London and using the tube (the underground) on a daily basis this was a constant reminder on a huge poster affixed to the station tunnel wall. During the often bitterly cold months of November, December and January it did show that there was a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and it wasn’t a train.  Now I can console myself with the thought that the winter here will not be ‘bitterly cold’ as in the Northern hemisphere.

Over the years here in New Zealand, there has been much discussion as to the pros and cons of Daylight Saving.  For many of us, it gets a big tick I am sure.

I love the long leisurely summer evenings in the garden with friends, sharing their thoughts and opinions and perhaps the odd glass of wine.  In winter we have to move these gatherings indoors and they lose some (but certainly not all) of their gaiety and spontaneity.

But there are those who do not support Daylight Saving time and object loudly about it every year.

The most vociferous objectors are the farmers and rural residents.   Farmers have to rise an hour earlier and they maintain there is no way to tell a cow that she must wait an hour before she can be milked and fed. When the sun goes down, the animals want to eat. So the farmers maintain that their long day is lengthened by this extra hour.

I still remember when living in Scotland as a young mother trying to get children to bed when it was still light.  It certainly had its challenges.  ChildrenAnd in Scotland during the summer time, it is still light at 10pm.  Additional trouble.

They couldn’t understand why they were being put to bed when the sun had not yet set.  But they need to sleep and the clocks told me, if not them, that it was bedtime.

All the timing for little ones was put out.  According to the clock, they woke an hour later and went to bed in daylight.  No wonder we had cranky children and mothers, for a few days until we all settled into the new time.

So now we look forward to the pleasures of winter here in New Zealand.

  • Some of my friends ski and we have great skiing in both the North and South islands.
  • Lazy evenings reading in front of the fire with favourite music playing.
  • Time to catch up on favourite TV shows.
  • Hearty casseroles and soups that are too heavy for summer dining.
  • Gardens in hibernation so not much to do there.
  • Warm sweaters, winter coats and boots.
  • Walks with Lotte (my Tibetan spaniel) in the brisk early mornings watching the sun clear the mist.
  • And so many other things that I shall remember once this post is published.

“Take time to learn something new every day.
Take time to meet someone new every day.
Take time to try something new every day and then
make time to choose how you will spend the rest of your life”
Judith Baxter, Blogger 1938 –

 

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