. . . why daylight saving starts so soon?
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.
Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
When told the reason for daylight saving time the old Indian said, “Only the government would believe that you could cut a good off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom and have a longer blanket.
“The current political environment is extremely volatile and unpredictable. However, I have concluded, based on recent polling, and other soundings I have been taking over the last few weeks, that, the volatility and uncertainty notwithstanding, there is now a mood amongst Ōhāriu voters for a change of MP, which is unlikely to alter. This shift in voter sentiment is quite at variance with polling and other data I have seen throughout the year, upon which I had based my earlier decision to seek re-election for a 12th term as MP for Ōhāriu. While I am naturally extremely disappointed after 33 years of service at this apparent change of feeling, I recognise and understand it, and respect absolutely the electorate’s prerogative to feel that way.
“I have therefore decided that it is time for me to stand aside, so the people of Ōhāriu can elect a new electorate MP. Consequently, after much consideration and discussion with those closest to me, I am announcing today that I will not be putting forward my nomination for election to the next Parliament. I do so with considerable reluctance, but I have always understood that holding public office is a temporary privilege granted by the people, and can never be taken for granted. . .
Dunne was a good electorate MP who got support in spite of his party rather than because of it.
A good proportion of that was from National supporters who understood that under MMP, Dunne’s support could make the difference between being in government or opposition.
It would have been galling for them that their votes enabled him to be a minister in three successive Labour-led governments.
It would also have been galling that while he gave National confidence and supply, he often voted against the party on other issues.
One of his initiatives was to extend the length of daylight saving, moving the start to the end of September and the end to the start of April.
That makes early mornings darker for southerners for several weeks than is optimal.
In making the change he appeared not to understand that in autumn and spring we don’t get enough daylight hours to gain any benefit from having the clocks forward an hour.
It is unfortunate that his resignation comes after parliament has risen. A politician with his length of service would have had an interesting valedictory statement.
This will be the end of United Future which is barely registering in any poll.
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.”
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.
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.
For the last few weeks we’ve been waking up in the dark and it hasn’t been warm enough to want to linger outside at dusk.
Thankfully this morning the clocks went back an hour giving us an extra hour of sleep and more light in the mornings – bliss.
Apropos of time and light, the Daily Mail asks are you living out of sync with the sun?
Each morning residents of the east India state of Assam watch the sun rise more than 90 minutes earlier than the west of the country.
This is because time on the clocks across India are set to be exactly the same in each of its states and provinces, regardless of location.
The result is a huge discrepancy between the time shown on the clock and where the sun is in the sky – a problem that this map reveals is widespread throughout the world . .
Lucia Maria shares my view that daylight savings lasts too long.
Some is good but more isn’t better because of the shorter time betweens sunrise and sunset in autumn and spring.
Last summer was one of the ones I remember from childhood – day after day of blue skies and sunshine.
That wasn’t good news for those for whom it mean drought, but it was great for the rest of us.
This year some areas are facing drought again even though most of the country hasn’t really had good summer weather.
In North Otago we’ve had the odd day or two of temperatures in the mid 20s but we’ve also had far too many when they barely reach the late teens.
And now it’s autumn and feeling like it – we woke to fresh snow on the Kakanui Range yesterday morning.
It’s not just autumnal temperatures, it’s also dark in the mornings as dawn creeps later.
It’s going to keep getting worse for the next month because we have to wait until the first weekend in April for the clocks to go back.
Yet another reminder that daylight savings starts too soon, finishes too late and lasts too long.
Remind me again why daylight saving starts at the end of September?
The Met Service warned of a wintry blast and they were right:
Cantabrians are enduring a spring cold snap with snow blanketing parts of the South Island.
Heavy rain pelted much of the region yesterday with higher areas hit by flurries of snow that settled in some places. . .
And Met Service:
It’s not unusual to get this worth of wild weather in October.
If winter’s here it’s too soon to put the clocks forward.
Wanted – alive and well – an extra hour of light in the morning.
Just for another three or four weeks, then there will be enough to share between both ends of the day.
This time last year we were in Argentina to watch the All Blacks vs Los Pumas.
When we got home the confusion between body and clock was due to jet lag so an hour here and there made little difference to how we felt.
But we still noticed the clocks had been put forward.
Before we’d left just over a week earlier we’d been waking up to daylight around 6am, on our return it was dark until around 7.
That’s how it is this morning and will be for another three or four weeks.
The spring equinox was only a week ago so we’re getting only a few minutes more than 12 hours of day light.
The extra hour before sunrise this evening comes at the cost of an hour more of dark this morning.
If daylight saving was delayed until the end of October, which is when the clocks went forward when it was first introduced, we’d have 14 hours between sunrise and sunset and it would be light for longer at both ends of the day.
I was listening to talk back while driving home on Thursday evening when Kerre McIvor voiced my thoughts – it’s too soon and too cold for daylight saving.
If we’ve got to put up with the effect of jet lag in the morning without having had the fun of a holiday, then it should be when it’s warm, and light, enough to get the benefit in the evening.
We had a weekend in Wanaka and waking yesterday to a light frost feeling like it was 7ish when it was only 6ish was blissful.
That feeling of being ahead of myself persisted all day. If the past is any guide the feeling and the extra productivity that comes with it will continue for the rest of the week until my body adjusts to the clock again.
I wont’ go as far as to say I like daylight saving, and I definitely am unmoved in my view that it starts too early and finishes too late.
But the feeling for the few days which follow putting the clocks back to standard time is some compensation.
The introduction of daylight saving when clocks go forward an hour makes me feel jet lagged without having had a holiday.
The week after the clocks go back, I feel as if I’d had a holiday without having jet lag.
Spring and early summer rain combined with irrigation has allowed us to enjoy the long, sunny summer without the worries of drought afflicting other areas.
But we’ve had a sudden end to the golden weather.
The 8mls of welcome rain on Wednesday night brought a sprinkling of snow to the Kakanui Range and today’s forecast high is only 12 degrees.
Remind me again why daylight saving extends this far into autumn?
There’s only four days left before the clocks go back an hour and it can’t come soon enough for me.
For the last month or so we’ve been waking up in darkness.
When the decision was made to move clocks forward an hour for summer in 1974 it started at Labour weekend and finished in early March.
Then some bright sparks got the idea that if some daylight saving is good more would be better without taking into account that the amount of daylight we get isn’t constant.
The result is clocks go forward on the last Sunday in September and don’t go back again until the first Sunday in April when we’ve got no more than 12 hours between sunrise and sunset.
Delaying the start by a couple of weeks and bringing the end back a fortnight or so would allow us to have an extra hour of light in the evening without having to wake up in darkness in the morning.
I’m not alone in wanting an abbreviated version of daylight saving. Lucia Maria says daylight saving is lasting too long and has started a Facebook page seeking to put the clocks back on the third weekend in March.
. . . where has spring gone?
We spent the weekend in Wanaka.
It rained most of Saturday. The cloud lifted during the afternoon to give us a view of the fresh snow about half way down the mountains which frame the lake.
The drive home through the Lindis always provides glorious views, but there’s not usually this much snow in October:
Permission to ask yet again why the clocks go forward for daylight saving in late September?
Given we left Buenos Aires at 5pm Sunday their time (9am Monday here) and had very little sleep it doesn’t make any difference to our body clocks that daylight saving started on Sunday.
But it was only 6 degrees when we got home at 5am, there’s fresh snow on the Kakanui Range and a chill breeze blowing which indicates again that it is till too early to put the clocks forward.
The timing this year did coincide with the start of school holidays which will give teachers and pupils a couple of weeks to adjust before having to face the classroom.
But that’s the only positive I can see in losing an hour in the morning this close to the spring solstice.
But if I’m finding adjusting to travelling a long distance and being short of sleep, it’s nothing to how the All Blacks must be feeling.
. . . to know that this is the latest start we’ll get to daylight saving?
If you think, as I do, September is too early to shift the clocks forward, this is as good – or as least bad – as it gets.
Daylight saving will start a day earlier next year, and the year after . . . until the 24th of September falls on a Sunday.
If it’s too early now, it will be a whole week more too early then.
P.S. Karyn O’Keeffe explains the science behind my dislike of the change to daylight saving in there’s no spring in my step.
It’s that time of year when I have to steel myself for the loss of an hour’s sleep.
It doesn’t help that the loss of the hour comes several weeks too early meaning less light in the morning when I prefer it while it’s still neither light nor warm enough for late enough on the evening to compensate.
I was preparing to mutter,mumble grump and grumble about it when I cam across some tips and thoughts on daylight saving which made me smile instead:
1. get some sleep – we lose an hour and it is a jolly long time until we get that hour back!
2. make the most of early morning walks – for a time you lose the early light – it just disappears overnight!
3. forget the idea that you are really saving daylight – it is a myth. I have been researching this and it is a fact that there is not an extra hour of daylight at all – they just adjust the clocks to make it seem as if you have extra daylight! Honest! Well, I think I am being honest… maybe I am wrong…
4. for if you were saving it, where would you store it? . . .
You’ll find the other six tips here.
At last, daylight saving has ended.
That makes this my favourite morning of the year when I get to enjoy an extra hour’s sleep without losing time from the day.
I’d have been even happier had it happened two or three weeks earlier.