Perhaps I’m thick, but I have never been able to fully grasp the advantages gained from putting all our clocks forward an hour in spring and then putting them back an hour again in the autumn. It’s such a hassle isn’t it, every six months, having to disrupt every clock and watch I own in the home, the office and the car, several of which I adjust very accurately, just in case I might need that degree of perfect timing (you never know, do you), which means getting onto Google or some other search engine that works off atomic clocks to provide completely accurate time!
But why do we do it? What magic comes into our lives just because we muck about with our clocks? Why is it that in Australia, Queenslanders — who sensibly don’t put their time pieces forward and backward every few months — don’t find they can no longer run their businesses, get their kids off to school, get the cat in when it gets dark and get the cows milked? What is so different about them (or should it be, what is so different about us, living down south in Victoria)? Have I hit on something here? Is the air different, or are the cows more intelligent in Queensland? Every thought passing through my head at the moment is a question — is this because I am so confused about just what time of day it is, especially as we arrived at the autumn ‘clock-back moment’ on April 7?
Some ‘experts’ say it’s better for the farmers with their milking times, but surely a farmer milks his cows when their udders are full, not when the clock says it is time to milk them. It’s pretty certain the cows don’t have wrist watches on, to tell them when they should go into the parlour. I’m pretty certain that they are aware of the sun coming up in the morning and going down at night, plus their swelling udders, all good timing indicators.
I’ve even heard some people say, quite seriously, that it is done to give us more hours of sunshine, having the clocks forward an hour in the summer, though I don’t see how altering my watch by an hour is going to do that. In fact, if that was a legitimate reason, surely it would make a lot more sense to put everything forward an hour in the winter rather than the summer, the very time when we really could do with a bit more sun!
Just look at the way all this time changing disrupts our lives! Come the end of March we put our clock forward an hour, which instantly means we lose one hour of valuable sleep, a loss that can take weeks to correct, and totally mucks up the ABC radio programs around the 2am slot, with an hour of favourite listening lost to we old timers who don’t sleep too well. It’s a time when many of the announcers become like close friends, so frequently do we listen to them. Yet, no sooner have we become accustomed to this timing, then it is the beginning of April and all the clocks go back an hour, again at 2am on a Sunday, but with the result that we get a lot of useless rubbish and repeats, put on by the ABC to fill the sudden gap.
It doesn’t do a lot of good for our sleep patterns I can tell you, especially as we usually manage to finally get off to sleep at around 5am, before waking up, bright and perky at about 6am. The trouble is the time we have come to know as 6am for the past six months, is now 5am by the bedside clock and we have to lie there waiting for the extra hour to pass before we can reasonably get up and get on with life.
It really is too much to ask? I’m seriously thinking of moving to Queensland, where they don’t mess about with their time pieces. The one trouble with that idea, they do get some rather peculiar weather up there sometimes don’t they … something called ‘cyclones’ I believe!