Sunday, October 28, 2007


Okay, this is bordering on the absurd. Since last Thursday - 31 degrees Centigrade maximum, bright sun, cook in the car on the way home - we have been lashed by gales, battered by hail, drenched with rain (given the drought, I'm not complaining about that) and, even with our winter woollies hauled out of the cupboard and layered on, so cold that this morning I had to put the heater on while I sat huddled in a blanket to read the paper. This is the end of October in Perth, Western Australia. We do not have overnight lows of 4 degrees Centigrade at this time of the year. Usually we only get a handful of them in mid-winter. And there was snow on Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges in the south of the state. It's all gone now, of course, but it was snow none the less. This only happens about once in fifteen years - in winter.

As of yesterday we have daylight saving which doesn't, of course, save daylight at all since the amount of daylight remains the same no matter how you fiddle with the clock. This means that one of the great pleasures in my life - that hour just after dawn before the sleepyheads get up and the noise of the day begins denied me through winter - is now denied me all summer as well.

Another illogicality seems to have escaped our leaders too. We are being offered subsidies to save energy, told to turn off stand by on our household gadgets, replace our light bulbs with energy efficient replacements and to turn off lights when we leave the room. All very sensible - except with daylight saving, it's dark when we get up so in a house of say four people at any one time there are at least four lights on and since it's not energy efficient to keep turning fluorescent lights on and off there may well be five or six. To get these people to their educational or work places the trains, buses etc. all have to run longer hours in the dark too with the workers involved starting earlier and having to turn on lights. In theory the lights then go on an hour later at night but in my house at least, because the day stays lighter longer, we eat later which means we stay up later so the lights are then on for the same period as they were before at night. This in turn makes for sleep deprived cranky folk who are now getting, as a result of being unable change their Nature ordained wake up clocks, an hour less sleep. And yes, I do know I could go to bed earlier. Unfortunately, my body doesn't feel the same. If I go to bed earlier, I don't go to sleep until the time I usually would. You know, the one prescribed by Nature. I must say that I now have a much greater appreciation of the stresses endured by shift workers though why that has to be inflicted on everyone I fail to see. So enlighten me, we are "saving" what exactly?

I will try not to rant again on this subject but I promise nothing.

1 comment:

Carol Ryles said...

When i lived over east, I used to hate daylight saving from a nurses pov. When the clocks were put forward, I'd usually end up on a late shift (till 10.15) the night before and an early shift (beg. 7am) the following morning. Which meant by the time you drove home, showered, settled etc, you'd end up with 5 hours sleep before having to get up and start again. Then when the clocks went back, I'd find myself on night shift. You'd work an extra hour (yes 2am would happen twice so you'd work a total of 10 hours when you really wanted to be in bed asleep) and you'd not get paid a cent extra!!!!