Sundials and Welcome to British Summer Time

Once upon a time (a precarious and shifting place, but it was definitely Saturday) there was a little girl called Goldilocks.  Goldilocks was bored, mostly because her mum and dad were too busy swearing and cursing over the construction of a raised bed to notice her.  Instead of visiting the house of the three bears and wrecking the place, she decided to help herself to the tools her neglectful parents had left lying around and started to make a sundial.


Shortly after one o’clock the sun disappeared, the sky turned black and we were given rain.  The sort of rain with really large, cold drops that make your jeans stick to the backs of your legs, so that when you eventually peel them off, the skin underneath is red and raw. 

Sadly, Goldilocks had to abandon her sundial and seek shelter in the house, although she did re-emerge with a jug announcing she was going to measure rainfall instead.  A more reliable pursuit at least.  Mum and Dad who were already grumpy continued to swear and curse even louder as they laboured over their construction efforts in the rain.

We were all glad to get back indoors and be dry and cosy.  A good night’s sleep was had by all.  We woke up to discover we had travelled forward in time by one hour and as if on cue, the sun shone from corner to corner to welcome British Summer Time.  Suddenly everything seemed so much easier, the raised bed was finished in no time, the bees buzzed about in the boughs of pussy willow above our heads and Goldilocks could complete her sundial.  Or she would have done if her 1 o’clock mark wasn’t now a 2 o’clock mark, whoops! 

We’ve since learned a bit more about sundials and will start our efforts anew.  You have to make sure your noon mark points directly north and instead of a post sticking directly up you need to make a gnomon. (I’ve no idea how you say this but it looks like a shark’s fin.)  Hopefully we will be showing off our efforts at sustainable timekeeping in the not too distant future.

British Summer Time means we can all start relaxing our grip on the world’s finite resources.  Lighter evenings means more time outdoors, less time with TV, computers and lights.  Our clothes will hopefully be fluttering in the wind instead of slumping over radiators and tumbling in dryers.  There will be a few more (homegrown!) salads on the menu and no more slow and long cooking casseroles.  Just the sort of conditions that inspire people to think  it would be a good idea to live off-grid and off-road in the middle of nowhere!  

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