I wrote this piece on the 25th of October last year. My mind has not changed one bit, but we have now 'changed' the clocks yet again. It's stupid. It puts me and many others out of kilter. I promise to help to change it.
Last night, we put the clocks back and we were told that we would have 'an extra hour' in bed this morning. In the Spring, when we put the clocks forward for 'British Summer Time,' we were told that we would have 'an extra hour' of daylight. This is complete and utter nonsense for there are no extra hours of anything to be had in either the Spring or the Autumn. There are twenty-four hours in every day and there are more daylight hours in the Summer and less in the Winter. This was so before anyone proposed such idiocies as 'British Summer Time' or 'Daylight Saving.'
(Incidentally, I read in yesterday's Times that one of my historical heroes, Benjamin Franklin, thought up the whole idea of changing the clocks in 1784: I have read on Wikipedia today, with great relief, that Mr Franklin was not 'guilty' and was only responsible for the advice that I have tried to follow throughout my life, "Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise").
What I find personally is that the effect on sleep patterns and on one's general feeling of well-being or otherwise is that 'changing the clocks,' either back or forward, is much akin to jet lag: it takes me several days to adjust and I just wish that neither I nor others had thus to suffer.
I do not care if we have 'European' time, or continuous 'British Summer Time' or 'English Time' or 'Scottish Time' or, indeed, the old royal 'Sandringham Time' (the clocks were set at Sandringham House a half hour ahead of everywhere else because, it is said, King Edward VII and King George V hated to be late).
All I want is continuous and unchanged time throughout the year. So I shall try to alter the present rule.
Sunday, 25 October, 2009."