This week I have been suffering from an unusual phenomenon. I’m calling it “Elevens-itis”. Normally I can manage to last from breakfast until 12:30 before my stomach starts to do the Hokey-Cokey but not this week, from 11:15 the gurgling begins. The clocks have moved back, alas it seems that my stomach has not moved with them!
In theory the mornings are lighter and the evenings darker – which is great if you are trying to get small people to bed. Yet there is a certain ritual which needs to be observed in my household at least.
Prior to the big day:
1. My mother appoints herself as National Timekeeper and phones me up at least every weekday evening leading up to the grand event, twice on the day before the grand clock change – just in case I have forgotten about her previous telephone calls.
2. A social media debate begins about the phrase “Fall back / Spring forward” to remind us which way to turn the clocks. The Brits suddenly turn the clocks back to the Victorian Era and complain that we don’t have “Fall” here and don’t know what it is, yet curiously still manage to work out that it is what we call “Autumn”.
3. The news reports on Saturday evening contain images of the hands of Big Ben being turned back manually, with other trivial facts such as the Queen’s Royal Collection has over 1,000 clocks in it which also need to be wound back manually.
4. Coldplay’s singles “Clocks” and “Daylight” seem to be on repeat as all the DJs remember that it was lead singer Chris Martin’s great-great-great grandfather that was responsible for the clocks moving in the first place!
On the big day:
5. The promised extra hour in bed sadly passes me by as nobody has explained to my dog that it has to cross its back legs for an extra hour, or my youngest, aged 7, who, now having spotted me up and awake, is bouncing around!
6. Open the door to my teenager’s bedroom and feel instantly jealous. His solid shutters are firmly closed and will stay so until about noon. Maybe I should send the bouncing 7 year old in…
7. Someone on the radio will tell you how good this clock changing is for farmers and postmen. My postman never turns up until about lunchtime anyway and as for farmers; don’t animals just work on a natural daylight system?
8. You spend about 4 hours of your “extra free hour” working out which clocks have automatically changed themselves and which you need to do manually. Only to discover that you have to do this all over again as your thoughtful other half has already done half of them but can’t remember which!
9. Hunt for the timer instructions to the boiler, google various websites to find the instruction to the boiler so you can change the clock. The teenager emerges takes one look at the boiler timer and changes it for you and lifts his eyes to the heavens.
10. Receive the third phone call of the day from my Mother. She has found a compact SAD light for sale and wonders if I’d like it as the nights are drawing in and it could help relieve the symptons of SAD – http://www.sad.org.uk/
11. End up sitting on the sofa an hour earlier than usual, waiting for your favourite TV programme to come on and proceed to sleep through it (ah ha – that is where the extra hours sleep is!).
The Day After
12. Have an office sweep stake to see who will have “forgotten” to change their alarm clock! Yes, you know who it is!
13. Find yourself feeling utterly starving by 11am so nip out to pinch some of the office biscuits from under the nose of the PA when she’s not looking.
14. Look out of the window at 4pm and begin to sulk – its dark out there and it feels like home-time but you have another hour to go at least.
15. Someone tells you that now the clocks have moved it means it will soon be Christmas.
16. Phone mum and ask her to make the SAD purchase – it’s going to be a long winter!
If this has piqued an interest and you’d like to find out more about the history of why the clocks change follow this link – https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/British-summer-time-and-daylight-saving.