Deep and Dark December

This morning I woke up to the dark, left home in the dark and came back in the dark. Due to the overcast it was dark all day.

December in Scotland. I might as well be in the Arctic circle.

But it would be worse if the clocks were not turned back for the winter.

At least from today on the nights will brighten earlier (clouds permitting.)

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  1. Martin McCallion

    How, exactly, would it be worse? The hour that we now call 4 pm, we would call 5 pm. The hour that we now call 8 am, we’d call 9; and so on. I don’t see why it’s a problem

  2. jackdeighton

    At 8 am GMT in late December in Kirkcaldy dawn is only just about to break.
    Transpose that to make it 9 am BST and it means that I would be getting up and travelling to work in the middle of the night.
    (It’s worse the further north you go. In Shetland it would mean it would be dark till 10 am.)
    Those dark mornings would last for nearly three months instead of just being at the turn of the year.
    I remember the 3 year experiment when the clocks weren’t put back in winter. It was awful. For weeks on end I didn’t experience daylight except at weekends. The “extra” hour in the evening didn’t cheer me up any back then. It’s dark by 4 pm at the moment. I doubt it would make much practical difference if it were called 5 pm.

  3. Paul Fraser

    According to the Times, it has been getting lighter in the evenings since the 12th; sunrise continues to get later till the 30th or some such. Axial tilt and elliptical orbit IIRC.
    Would prefer BST for lighter evenings personally; believe road accidents might be reduced, kids would have more chance to play in the evenings for part of the winter. The Shelties are stuffed whatever way you look at it, they only have about five hours daylight in the middle of the winter. Ask me how I know…

  4. jackdeighton

    Yes, dusk does start to get later from around the 12th/13th Dec but it’s only about 3 minutes difference by the 24th and accelerates from then. Sunrise, however, keeps getting later till the 31st.

  5. Martin McCallion

    I remember, in what must have been that experimental time (was it really three years? I didn’t know that), that we started school at 9:30 during the winter. This connects to what I have always thought: the numbers we assign are just the names we give to physical parts of the Earth’s daily rotation. If starting work at the hour we name “9am” is unsatisfactory for part of the year, then why not require our employers to let us start at the hour we call “10am”?

  6. jackdeighton

    My school day didn’t shift. It was 9 o’clock all year round. My wife remembers 10.30 am playtimes out in the playground and it was still dark!
    The trouble is we have assigned numbers to all this. 12 noon is 12 noon because the sun is at its highest point then – and the working day usually starts at 9 am. Due to the coming of the railways (and their timetables) the whole UK had to adopt GMT as a standard. Then (in World War 1 I think) came BST for the summer (and double BST, believe it or not, during World War 2.)
    As to requiring our employers, don’t they require us to start when they want us to?
    They’d probably say they have to keep to a similar time frame to Europe or some such or it will “cost jobs.” (But by that logic we should start work at 2 or so pm due to the five+ hour difference to the US!)

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