I am sure you won't need me to tell you that time has changed last night. But why didn't you give me a little nudge to remind me. Of course, in the past two weeks or so, more than once I had heard it on the news and read it in the papers: Change from summer to winter time during the night of October 26th to October 27th. Yesterday, I even talked about it with a friend, saying how much I hated the idea of having my days shortened with the dark setting in an hour earlier.
And then? Well, night and sweet dreams swept the slate clean overnight, and when I woke up this morning my bedroom was all bright with sunshine. I felt rested and relaxed and in a very good mood because it was all so beautiful. Out of the corner of my eye I glanced at my alarm clock half thinking I had lost half of my morning by sleeping so long. It said 9 a.m. My first thought was it had run out of batteries and showed the wrong time, until it all came back to me. The time had changed – and with it my (radio-controlled) clock. In actual fact, it was 10 a.m. (Yesterday it would have been, that is.) And all of a sudden I loved it. Winter time! Good morning sunshine …
How to Remember Which Way to Go #
If you are a bit like me and can never remember which way to go when re-setting your clocks and watches, this piece of mnemonics might come in handy:
- In WINTER, it's time to move your outdoor chairs BACK into the house (i.e. you wind the hands of your clock back by one hour) or another way of thinking about it is we "Fall Back."
- In SUMMER, you can move them OUT again (i.e. you wind them forward by one hour) or we "Spring Forward."
EU Plans to Abolish Time Change #
We might not need these brain acrobatics much longer as after a survey by the European Union it was decided to abolish the twice-yearly time change altogether. On March 26, 2019, the EU voted 410 to 192 in favour with the date set for the new legislation to be put in place being Spring 2021. However, all 28 member states have to agree to it first, and although each individual country will be allowed to decide whether they want to permanently keep summer or winter time, as we all know it has never been an easy procedure to get everybody into the same boat.
“This seasonal time change that was invented because of a wish to save energy does not work; it does not give the desired result,” said Marita Ulvskog, a member of the European Parliament from Sweden who wrote the transport and tourism committee’s draft resolution on discontinuing seasonal time changes. “So why keep that system? We are deciding to give up on the experiment.” Lawmakers amended the proposal in order to avoid disruptions including in transport and communications.
Why did they do this?
More than four million people responded to a public poll from the commission last summer and 84% were in favour of scrapping seasonal time changes. Respondents expressed concerns about the impact on their health, increased traffic accidents and a lack of proven energy savings.
What about the U.K.?
The United Kingdom is a wildcard. As in all matters involving the relationship between the U.K. and the E.U., just another item on the list that the U.K. needs to decide. Since they can't even fix a date to leave and no one knows about transit issue and passport controls, just another reason to make a different transit route to Mallorca.
Set Your Clocks Forward #
So, let's all remember to check our clocks in house (and car) today and set them back one hour. They might not all be radio-controlled like the one on my bedside table. After all, nobody wants to risk what happened to a good friend of mine last year. He had met a wonderful woman at the Nit de l'Art in Palma. They had had dinner a few times and it all looked promising until the fatal Sunday morning after last year's time change. They had arranged to take the train to Sóller for a day out together, but when he arrived at the station she wasn't there. He waited for three quarters of an hour, then left. When she arrived fifteen minutes later, he was gone.
I don't want to go into all the details of what followed. To make a long story short: that was that. Fortunately, for my friend, it turned out not to be too bad a turn of fate after all. Only two months later, at a New Year's party in S'Arracó, he met the love of his life. She is truly lovely, and they are due to marry next year. Did I see your hands hovering hesitatingly over the little wheel on the back of your alarm clock?? Well, it's all up to you …
By Ulla Rahn-Huber
28 October, 2019