Who the hell came up with Daylight Saving Time or Summer Time and Winter Time as we say in Denmark, Sweden and Norway?
Some people say that Benjamin Franklin had the idea in 1784 on a journey to Paris. He is credited with the idea of springing forward and falling back to allow people to save money on candles, but it now appears he suggested Parisians get up an hour earlier in order to save candles, as a joke.
The UK started using Daylight Saving Time in 1916, seven years after it was implemented in Port Arthur, Canada. Since then it has spread like so much Bubonic plague to 70 countries, three of which are, inevitably, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
But how much candle wax do we really need to save nowadays, I wonder? Even if candles were expensive, I think people can now largely decide for themselves when and where to use them. The rest of the time they would just - turn on the light!
The whole idea of Summer Time seems to be that it should stay light longer in the evening, in summer. So why even have it in Scandinavia when it’s light in summer almost 24 hours a day anyway? Is it so horrible that it gets a little darker at, say, 21:30 instead of 22:30? Is it, in fact, too much to ask that it is darker at night than in the daytime?
Me, I want light in the morning. For 30 years living in Hong Kong, I could follow my circadian rhythms to the letter. I got up when it was light and started feeling sleepy when it was dark. Moving to Spain, I was horrified in March when, just as it was starting to get light around 6:30 in the morning, I was suddenly catapulted forward to the dawn starting at 7:30.
That is virtually mid-day!
The whole day was ruined. Would I have to start using – splutter, gag – an alarm clock?
Now it seems that we'll finally get rid of this nuisance, but guess what, it's the stay light longer in the evening, i.e. daylight at 9 pm, that people want. Noooooooo! It's in the morning it must be light. THE MORNING!
You shouldn’t mess with Mother Nature. Death and destruction inevitably follow. But me, I’m fought back. One of my watches and my kitchen and living room clocks were set on Winter Time the whole summer.