Sunday, 30 September 2012

Daylight Savings

I freaking love daylight savings.

It’s a complicated love because every time it rolls around I manage to spend a week or two after the change reeling with daylight savings jetlag*, but it’s a true love nonetheless.

The sudden extra hour of sunlight is wonderful and despite knowing that it’s due to the already lengthening days and a flick of the clock settings, it feels almost magical.

And it makes a HUGE difference!

I don’t know about you but when I get home after work in winter and it’s already dark, a part of my brain goes ‘oh well, it’ll be bedtime soon, no use getting stuck into anything much’ and I have to fight an uphill battle to achieve anything substantial.

During the lighter months I will keep powering along until I run out of sunlight and then have to usher myself along to bed.

Sunlight in the afternoon and evening just makes everything better.

If you’re already a bit whimsical it can have you frolicking through the garden at 8pm, grinning stupidly at sunbeams and scrubbing strange almost inaccessible parts of your house for no particular reason.

The dark months are for snuggling up on the couch under a warm blanket and a pile of cats and reading a book.

The light months are for frenetic activity and feeling productive.

A friend has nursed a long misguided grudge against farmers because she thought that daylight savings was somehow their fault**.
A little cursory research suggests that it was brought in to give us more time to support productivity during World War I and some of the posters I found are frankly adorable.

Here’s one from 1918…

… and another from 2001…


Propaganda posters have often been used to encourage unfortunate attitudes or the dehumanisation of other cultures but sometimes they’re just overly dramatic or a chance for graphic artists to get really excited.

And I always hear them in the President Truman voice from the ‘Roswell That Ends Well’ episode of Futurama, which doesn’t hurt the entertainment value.

We’re so used to daylight savings being on the schedule that it’s kind of hard to imagine life without it.

I mean obviously it would just mean an hour more or less of sunlight here or there but if we’ve instituted it because it makes what you’d assume is a tangible difference, what was life like before daylight savings?

Would it be easier to just have summer and winter trading/business/schooling hours?

Such a little difference that it’s hard to believe it could have that much of an effect but it’s hard to believe we’d do it if it didn’t.

What I do know is that it means it is BBQ weather which means sundresses, sunscreen and cool drinks in good company and we can never have too much of that.

*An affliction that strikes either those who are resentful of losing an hour of sleep and refuse to face reality every year or those who have trouble putting down their books/laptops/TV remote controls at a reasonable hour and find themselves short a very needed hour of sleep.

**What do farmers care about what the clock says? Daylight savings often annoys them as it changes when deliveries have to be made without taking into account the fact that cows aren't going to get with the program and produce their milk an hour earlier etc.

No comments: