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Should we turn the clocks back?


Photo: Swing seat in winter

Photo: Swing seat in winter

My ex husband B used to start fretting in August about the shorter days in Winter. The grizzling drove me nuts and spoilt the summer for us both.
“I can’t bear the thought of tramping round a muddy field with Fly under a cold grey sky.”
“But what about the good things about winter? Roaring fires, Christmas, crumpets and snow.”
“It’s January and February that are the worst.” He’d gloom.
After we split up I heard that he’d invested in a SAD Lightbox. 18 years ago they cost a few hundred pounds – luckily they have dropped in price since then.

I must admit that I’ve been feeling a bit like B for the last couple of weeks. Tending to garden in the afternoon, dusk gently stops play just as seem to be making some progress. ATM I’m still digging rubble out of the new long border the runs from the gate to the cottage in the front garden. I’m longing to play in the solar tunnel but creating this border has made such a mess of the front that finishing it and clearing the piles of rubble and roots is a priority.

And on Sunday the clocks will go back and it will soon be dark by 4 pm. Arrgh. In yesterday’s Costing The Earth I was delighted to hear that a private bill is going to be debated in Parliament in December that requests that the clocks are not turned back. This will save on fuel, our carbon footprint and lives amongst other benefits. Not turning the clocks back was tried in the late sixties for three years and was voted out without the results of the research being known. More children died in accidents in the morning but far fewer actually died overall. Cutting our carbon footprint wasn’t a concern in those days. You can listen to this programme again on the BBC iplayer here.

I, along with the children interviewed, would prefer darker mornings and lighter evenings. Have you any thoughts on this?

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  1. Maggie L.

    That should be shortest DAYS and darkest mornings!!

  2. Maggie L.

    Living at the top of the UK in Shetland we have the shortest darkest mornings – even after turning the clocks back! It can be darkly grim with little light at all on overcast days – but boy do we make up for it in Summer, with practically no dark at all! I expect a majority interest will win the clock-turning argument eventually – usually works that way – but Nature is Nature, we just have to live with it.

  3. I prefer the system we have at the moment ie. lighter mornings and darker evenings. As someone who gets up at 6am and leaves for work at 7.30 the thought of the darkness lasting even longer in the mornings is awful. And for people like me, travelling to work early, when we have slippery roads, that extra hour before sunrise makes it even more difficult.
    There are only so many hours of daylight, so this argument about accidents and energy saving seems silly to me. If children come home in the light, it means that they are going to school in the dark.

  4. Elizabeth

    Darker mornings and lighter evenings definitely for me. I too have to resort to a light box during the winter and I too, like your ex-husband, start fretting about the nights drawing in during August.

    There is a ‘Lighter Later’ campaign by 10:10 on this subject, with the idea of saving our carbon footprint by having BST during the winter and Double Summer Time in the summer. The link is: for anyone who is interested.

  5. I hate the clocks changing, it always seems to mark the point where I have to give in on summer, and some times I’m just not ready. Some years I’ve stretched the summer on to the last week of November here on the south coast where we live.

  6. Scotland will lose out if they do stop the clocks changing… We have lovely long summer days, but boy do we pay for it in the winter!! If the clocks didn’t fall back then we would have even more accidents involving sleepy drivers and sleepy pedestrians (particularly the kids on the way to school)in the mornings.. At least going home in the dark means that you might be a little more awake… Boy did the clocks going back make a difference to me this morning, getting up at 6am was much easier when you could actually see that the sun was getting up too! Bring on the Hot chocolate and long movie nights of winter 🙂


  7. My vote is for lighter evenings.

  8. There is a festival celebration Heather, it’s called “look who forgot to change their clocks in Sunday morning services”. Always good for a laugh when those who normally turn up late end up really early for once in Spring and those who almost miss the service entirely because they turn up late in Autumn.

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