Do you think Old Father Time would approve?

Posted by Amanda Furness

Perhaps it was because the wind was howling outside, the rain was battering against the windows and I had no plans to go out that I found this autumn’s clock change something of a luxury. Several times during the day, I’d look at a clock and think “Is that all, I thought it was at least an hour later”!

I’m not usually a fan of the biannual time shift we go in for. I loathe suddenly going home in the dark and resent losing that precious hour when I wake up on a Sunday in March knowing I’ll be chasing my tail all day. It always seems far more difficult to give it back than when you were gifted it back in October.

It’s a topic which has caused yearly debate for as long as I can remember. Would you believe that when daylight saving was first drafted into a bill to the House of Commons in 1909, the suggestion was that we would have “short” forty minute hours between 2 and 3am for the first four Sunday’s in April and then have “long” 80 minute hours at the same time in September with the actual clock change happening on the 3rd Sunday of both months (by my maths that would have meant gaining and losing 80 minutes in both Spring and Autumn rather than an hour?). Can you imagine the chaos that would have caused every year? The chances of anyone arriving at the right time for anything for two months of the year would have been negligible!

If we’re going to manipulate old Father Time, I’ve got a far better idea. It’ll be frowned upon by all the usual debaters but might be more welcome to us mere mortals. Why don’t we turn the clocks back an hour at 2am on Christmas morning and wind them forward at 2am on New Year’s Day? That would give us all a 25 hour day on one of the few days of the year families get to spend some quality time together. It could also be a reward for us having got, hopefully, halfway through winter. Then a week later it could be taken away on a morning when many might not notice anyway on what tends to be the day of the year when people are more receptive to change, if the number of New Year resolutions made each year is anything to go by! I don’t know about you, but I always find January a miserable month anyway so missing an hour of it isn’t something I’d get upset about.

We’re soon to be celebrating the centenary of daylight saving as it was first adopted by Britain in 1916. Since the two sides still can’t agree and the debate has now been going on for longer than its almost hundred years existence, why don’t they do something different to celebrate its centenary … I know where my vote would go!