26 October 2009

Turn back the clock

British Summer Time ended yesterday, which means we have turned back the clock by an hour and goes back to GMT time.

I am now used to the concept of daylight saving time (DST), popularly known in the UK as British Summer Time (BST). I now consciously turn back or move forward (in March when BST starts) all our clocks (including watches and computers) at home a few hours before it effects.

It was not always the case in the past. As a result, we have had embarrassing moments because of BST. Thankfully, as it happens on a Sunday there were only two that I can think of.

One that is still fresh in my mind happened a few years ago when our eldest son was still a baby. As it was a Sunday, we went to church. As usual, we have to rush as we are getting late. But to our amazement, we arrived at a church that was still almost empty save for some elderly parishioners. I thought to myself, this is good at least we have enough time to find a good seat.

As we are about to enter, we were greeted by the elderly parishioners. They were closing the church, they told us. Sensing our confusion, they explained that the Mass was finished a few minutes ago. And in a nice way reminded us that we should have moved our clocks forward by an hour. It was the start of BST!

How my wife and I laughed at our embarrassment as we headed to our local supermarket to buy food instead.

The other experience involved my wife. As a staff nurse, she normally works long shifts on weekends. Once, having forgotten about the time change, she went to work an hour early! As a result, it is now a joke in her ward to remind her of BST as it nears.

My first experience with DST was in 1991 in the Philippines. It was the height of a national power crisis and DST was implemented to save on power. That year, I took summer classes in UP Diliman. It was a very hot summer in Metro Manila (it usually is) and power cuts are regular. Once, I was having a shower and was about to rinse the shampoo off my hair when the scheduled power outage happened! Grrrrrrrr!

On a positive note, Philippine time is now back to 8 hours ahead of UK time. At least, I do not have to stay quite late in the night if I want to call my parents in Bohol first thing in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. Good old brownouts! As an American recently moved to the Philippines with my beautiful Filipina wife, the power outages are one of the most difficult things for me to adjust to here. I can relate to your story. Nice personal touch to your blog. Enjoyed reading the posts. Salamat!