Milne muses


Milne muses


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If you think daylight saving should last all year . . .


If you think daylight saving time should last all year with clocks staying forward permanently, check the times and temperature for sunrise and sunset this week.

Yesterday was the shortest day. I took this photo at 7:30am.

The sun didn’t rise until after 8am. It would have been later still further west and south.

If the clocks stayed forward all year it would be dark until nearly 9am.

Anyone working outside would have visibility and safety issues and children would be walking to school in the dark.

Yesterday it was reasonably mild during the day – about 12 degrees at lunchtime.

It had dropped to about 3 degrees by the time the sun was setting at about 5pm so neither the light nor the temperature would be conducive to outdoor activity if the clocks stayed forwards and it was light until 6pm.

I have a lot of sympathy for people whose body clocks are discombobulated by losing an hour in spring and regaining it in autumn.

But the solution isn’t to keep the clocks forward and plunge us into darker dawns all year, it’s to keep them back permanently.

Permanent DST would leave us in dark


Oh bliss!

Daylight Saving Time ended yesterday and how lovely it was to have daylight just after 6:30.

Not everyone is happy with the change and someone has started a petition to make DST permanent.

If people petitioning against changing clocks were doing so to stop them going forward in spring I’d sign.

If someone petitioned to start daylight saving later and finish it earlier I’d support them.

But keep DST all year? Absolutely not.

Proponents of permanent DST appear not to understand how little daylight there is in the middle of winter and the impact the sun rising would have.

Weather watch explains what happens at the winter solstice:

In the Deep South (Southland) the total amount of available sunlight at the moment (that means, if it’s not a cloudy day and you have a clear sunrise and sunset) is around 8 and a half hours each day. While in northern New Zealand it’s slightly longer at 9 and three quarter hours. Around 9 hours in the middle etc.

In practice that means sunrise and sunset times in the middle of winter are 7:33am and 5:11pm in Auckland; 7:47am and 4:58pm in Wellington; 8:03am and 4:59 in Christchurch and 8:20am and 4:59pm in Dunedin.

If clocks stayed forward the sun wouldn’t rise until 8:33 in Auckland, 8:47 in Wellington, 9:03 in Christchurch and 9:20 in Dunedin. Further north the sun would rise a little earlier and set a little later, further south and it would rise even later and set earlier.

Children would be going to school in the dark. Farmers, tradies and all other outside workers wouldn’t have enough light to work until an hour later than now; and roads would be icier later in the day.

For what gain?

What use would people in Auckland make of daylight to 6:11 instead of an hour earlier when it’s cold and, often wet?  What would people in Dunedin do if the sun was up until 5:59?

Some proponents of permanent DST suggest adopting different time zones. Large countries do that with times changing as you move from east to west.

But how practical would it be to have different time zones from north to south?

It would complicate life for anyone operating nationwide and for people with family and friends in different areas.

It simply wouldn’t be worth the bother for a little more light for a little longer on cold evenings.

One argument for permanent DST is the disruption to body clocks when the time changes. It is said to negatively affect circadian alignment, sleep health, viral immunity, and longevity

It always feels a bit like jet lag without having had a holiday.

If that is a strong enough argument for not altering clocks, keep them where they are in spring. Don’t inflict on us the many problems of darker mornings for so little gain of light on cold winter evenings.

Don’t doom us to darker days


 Take Back The Clocks wants daylight saving to be abolished:

. . .Louis Houlbrooke, chief executive and founder of Take Back The Clocks, said the twice yearly changes disrupted people’s sleep, were unnatural, and made international business much more complicated.

“They cause disruption and inconvenience to people’s lives in a trivial sense but also in more serious ways with tired drivers and the impact on dairy cows.” . . 

Most people who favour shifting clocks forward want more light for recreation in the evening. They don’t take into account that that means less light in the morning for people who work, making it harder to do early morning tasks like milking and mustering.

He suggested moving New Zealand to permanent “summer hours” – the change in late September that leads to sunnier evenings and darker mornings.

If there is any change to daylight saving it should be shorter not longer.

When it started clocks went forward in late October and back in early March. Someone decided if some daylight saving was good, more would be better without taking into account we don’t get the same amount of daylight all year.

We were waking up to light at 6am last week, this week it’s nearly 7am and before the clocks go back in autumn the sun doesn’t rise here until about 7:50. It’s even worse further south.

Waiting a few weeks in spring before clocks went forward and putting them back in early to mid March would make a big difference to the amount of light in the morning.

If daylight saving was permanent, mid-winter sunrise wouldn’t be until 9:30am in Invercargill.

Children would be walking and biking to school in the dark, roads would be icier until later and there would be no benefit from a bit more light in the evening when it’s so cold.

Daylight saving is too long now, please don’t doom us to year-long darker dawns.

Another week of dark mornings


The sun was just starting to rise at 6:50ish a couple of weeks ago.

Last week it was only just getting light at 7:15ish.

We’ve got another week until the clocks go back.

Sigh mutter, mumble.

Daylight saving starts to early and finishes too late.

Mutter mumble #%$**&^%$!


It’s that time of year again.

It was getting light around 6am until this morning. Now we’ve lost an hour ant it’s dark until nearly 7am.

It wouldn’t be so bad if there was both sufficient light and warmth in the evening. But we’ve only just passed the spring equinox, there was fresh snow on the Kakanuis a few days ago and it’s still too cool and dark too early at the end of the day.

In another few weeks when the sun has moved further south it will be lighter, and hopefully warmer, at both ends of the day.

Until then I will resent the lost hour in the morning – and those getting up earlier to milk, shear, muster, nurse or any of the other worst hat requires early starts will lament the cold, dark, later dawn even more.

365 days of gratitude


In Hawes Bay yesterday spring had sprung.

Daffodils were in full bloom and rhododendrons were in flower.

Back home spring is a bit later but the grass has started growing again and the first of the daffodils are blooming.

Today I’m grateful for signs of spring.


Clocks forward permanently


The scheduled return to standard New Zealand time tomorrow morning has been cancelled and clocks will stay one-hour ahead permanently.

A spokesman for the Department of Infernal Affairs, Ms Sunny Disposition said that putting clocks back signalled the start of winter to many people and since summer weather had been so disappointing, few if any were ready for it.

“Most people agree daylight saving is good and if some is good then ipso facto more must be better,” she said.

“We can’t change the weather, but we can keep the clocks forward and allow people more daylight. The sun comes out in the day and after the sorry excuse for summer over much of the country that’s what we need to cheer us all up – more day and less night.

“We’ll all get more vitamin D and save power with less need for electric lights.”

A reporter who pointed out that whether or not clocks stayed forward an hour, there would be less daylight as the sun moved north, was told that wasn’t in the Department’s brief.

“Clocks and time are our preserve, if you have a question about the sun you’d be better talking to Met Service or NIWA,” Miss Disposition said.

“I understand someone from one or other of them will be available to talk around mid day.”



366 days of gratitude


The trees are still bare but daffodil leaves are poking through the ground, snow drops are flowering and the daphne is in bloom.

Daphne’s scent always evokes memories of my mother’s garden.

Would it smell as sweet if it wasn’t for those memories and the knowledge that the flowers are fleeting?

Possibly not, but I’m enjoying it while it’s here and am grateful for it.

366 days of gratitude


We’ve had an unusually warm winter but the last few days have reminded us which season it is.

Sunday was showery, yesterday was one of those cloudy days with a southerly straight from Antarctica and we woke to a heavy frost this morning.

But the sky was cloudless, the sun shone all day and at last we’re getting more daylight hours for which I’m very grateful.

366 days of gratitude


Today is the winter solstice when the sun reaches it’s northern most point.

We often get the coldest and stormiest weather after the solstice, but today is the day with the shortest time between sunrise and sunset.

Now each day we can look forward to more light, if only by minutes, as the sun makes its way south again and I’m very grateful for that.

366 days of gratitude


Autumn has only just started to make itself felt with a nip in the morning and cooler evenings.

We’re not getting the mists that Keats celebrated but we are getting the mellow fruitfulness and I’m grateful for that.

366 days of gratitude


More than not a day too soon, at least a couple of weeks too late, the clocks went backwards early this morning.

Yesterday the sun didn’t rise until around 7:30, this morning it was an hour earlier and oh how I’m grateful for that.

366 days of gratitude


Yesterday was summer, today it’s autumnal to wintry.

The rain is welcome, the cold not so much.

Thankfully the cold is outside not inside and I’m very grateful for that.

366 days of gratitude


The seasons don’t follow the calendar but it’s nearly 7am before the sun rises and there’s definitely an autumnal feeling to morning temperatures.

I’m not yet ready to farewell summer but one of the benefits of living where we do is that we do get different seasons.

While I don’t enjoy that we sometimes get all four in a single day, I do like the changes seasons bring to the colour and produce from the garden and I’m grateful for that.

Yawn, sigh, mutter mumble.


Daylight Saving commences on the last Sunday in September, when 2.00am becomes 3.00am.

It ends on the first Sunday in April, when 3.00am becomes 2.00am.

Yawn, sigh, mutter, mumble – it’s that time of year again for my annual declaration that daylight saving stats too soon and ends too late.

Sunrise is too late in the morning and it’s too cold at both ends of the day to enjoy a later dawn as the price for more light in the evening.

Changing clocks just two or three weeks later, when we’re well past the equinox, at the start and sooner at the end would let us have lighter mornings for longer and be more likely to be warm enough to want more light before dusk.

Should never have called it ‘global warming’


Yesterday was supposed to be the first day of summer but the weather wasn’t co-operating with the calendar.

It got down to 9 degrees in the middle of the afternoon with a wind chill that left it feeling even colder.

We woke to a light frost this morning but now the sun is shining and the forecast promises us a balmy 14 degrees.

Whoever first came up with the name ‘global warming’ made a big mistake.

What we’re experiencing is weather and a few unseasonal days isn’t enough on which to base climate science but the name ‘warming’ sticks and makes it much harder for those with genuine concerns about climate change to get their message across.

Too soon, too dark, too cold


Just five days until the clocks go forward but it’s still winter.

Fresh snow fell on the Kakanui Range on Sunday night and yesterday temperatures barely got to double figures.

It’s warm in North Otago today but that is not likely to last.

Further north it’s worse:

Daylight saving works in the middle of summer but the end of September is too soon to start when it’s too dark in the mornings and too cold to enjoy longer evenings.

Delaying the start by two or three weeks until the sun is closer to the south would give more daylight at both ends of the day and allow temperatures to get a little more spring-like, if not yet summery.

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