Tonight we must put the clocks back an hour. There is some reason for this which escapes me slightly, along the lines that it stays dark in the mornings so, making it darker in the afternoons will make it lighter in the earlier hours. And in the spring, when the days get longer, why, we have the reverse.
Unless you live in Australia.
Seems to me that, all things considered, we should keep with the summer hours.
As a child, I used to enjoy this autumn process – an extra hour in bed! It seems that kids can never get enough bed-time and, while through infantile contrariness we would try and stay up late offering up any kind of protest against being sent away to our rooms so as to give the grown-ups some badly needed ‘quality time’ (I should hardly need to point out here that I don’t come from a Spanish background where of course the reverse is true), we nippers would nevertheless stay in bed the following morning as long as we could.
I used to enjoy the maid coming in and stripping the bed while I was still in it. There is nothing in my opinion quite like a midmorning bout of 'slap and tickle'. These childish moments of joy may return, with a small degree of luck, to enlighten my final years while a resident of the Vera mental home.
I used to enjoy reading in bed from the earliest age and was therefore slightly less averse to being ‘sent off’ than some other kids, though the reading excuse wasn’t particularly available at my various boarding schools. The ‘eight o’clock bell’ - and the absence of maids - rather ate into my morning dozing as well.
Nowadays, an hour added to my nigh-nigh is not quite as welcome. I usually wake up between four and six in the morning anyway. If it’s four and my bladder is in agreement then I try and sleep again – if it’s six, I give up and get up.
But tomorrow, what will I do if it’s five?
The whole reason for interrupting our sleep patterns, changing the clocks and fiddling with the dashboard on the SEAT, isn’t to save money in public lighting as the government is obliged to claim every time they do this (the broken meetings and lost appointments between them lose anything gained). The reason is far simpler. It’s about power. Look, our elected officials say, we can do something that even your God can not do. We can put back time itself. Worship us!