Saturday, October 8, 2011

Seasonal jet-lag

Once again I have been afflicted with seasonal jet-lag courtesy of daylight savings; an initially frustrating annual event for those of us that don’t like our routines altered. Daylight Savings, people either love it or hate it ….or if you are similar to me, you hate it then you love it then you hate it again.
I have reached the conclusion that the people most affected by the commencement of daylight savings are “morning people”, of which I am one. Morning people like getting up early and we look forward to the lengthening days of summer when the sun gets up earlier. Daylight savings (to put it bluntly), stuffs this natural cycle. When we put our clocks forward by sixty minutes on the first Sunday in October, we are effectively putting our morning light back to the beginning of August.
Luckily for me, I am also a “night person” and can happily stay up to all hours of the night, so I am quite partial to the extra daylight hours at the end of the day ….especially if I want to head out for an evening kayak after dinner or kick back on the riverbank with friends after work. Sadly I am not a “middle of the day” person and would really rather be having a nap like all those enlightened Spaniards; the siesta is a concept of pure genius.
Australia first observed daylight savings in 1917, during the First World War as an energy saving initiative. During World War II, once again all Australian states and territories observed daylight savings. Then in 1968 the Tasmanians decided it would be a great idea to have daylight savings every summer and after a couple of years the rest of the country thought so too …..except Queenslanders and now West Australians (who are a law unto themselves).
Coming from a strong rural background I am almost genetically programmed to oppose the commencement of daylight savings. Fortunately for me I seem to be becoming more adaptable with each passing year and with less than a week of summer time under my belt, much to my surprise I already love it. I shall raise a glass to George Vernon Hudson, the shift working, bug collecting, postal employee from New Zealand who first proposed the idea of daylight savings in 1895 (summer evenings are an excellent time to collect bugs if you are an entomologist).
I would write more but now I have to take advantage of the extended daylight hours and go barbie boating down the Murray River on this glorious spring evening.

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