Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Putting the clocks forward..

As if to make up for our lousy summer - or maybe to taunt us - now the weather has turned cooler and more autumnal, we're having lots of sunshine. I suppose I shouldn't moan - I could do with some nice sunny days to brighten up the approach of winter.

As ever, I'm dreading the change back to GMT. I'm firmly one of those who would rather stick with Summer Time all year round, and have double summer time in the summer. Not only would we then be in the same time zone as our European cousins, but we'd also get the extra light in the evening: I thinks this makes a real difference in the winter evenings, and there's plenty of evidence that it would reduce road traffic accidents, as it is the evening when people are tired that the darker evenings take their toll.

I can recall when I was a child there was much discussion about the undesirability of children going to school in the dark, but this seems to disregard the fact that they have to come home at dusk under the present arrangements. And apparently, the longer summer evenings should help the economy by extending the length of time people can undertake outdoor activities (there's not much value in having sunshine at 4am in the morning for most people).

Of course there are always complaints by the Scots and farmers. I can understand the Scots' point to some extent, but now they have their own Parliament, surely they can weight up the pros and cons of holding on to the same time zone as the rest of the UK? (Plenty of other countries work perfectly fine with different time zones). And the Norwegians and other Scandinavians manage with even shorter hours of winter daylight.

The farming question I have never understood: surely they can simply order their day around when there is daylight, regardless of what the clock says? After all, that is exactly how the livestock will behave.

Anyway, don't forget that the clocks go back this Sunday. At least we'll get that extra hour in bed...

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