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J’adore / J’abhor – Daylight Saving Hours

The clocks went back this week and the nights truly are closing in. Two Muddy staffers battle out the pros and the cons.

J’adore – Hero Brown, Ed-in-Chief

I’m sorry, what’s not to love? Let’s look at the facts: you get an extra hour in bed – and that’s on a Sunday, so it’s technically a statutory lie-in with a bonus hour. You’re in lie-in territory and then suddenly, you get to annex another region. It’s a bit like a sleep version of Russia and Eastern Ukraine except that your behaviour harms no one and, as far as I know, it’s sanctioned by the UN.

You wake up bright-eyed (for once) and well-rested (for once) and in a better mood than you’ve been in all October. Suddenly, the falling leaves look beautiful – yesterday, raking them up was just another chore. The puddles in the car park are no longer little gits that seep into your shoes when you’re squeezing the weekly shop into the car boot, but a chance to notice, in reflection, the clouds scudding across the sky, to consider the changing of the seasons and the rhythms of life. Erm… or something like that. 

But most of all, I’m big on the dark nights. Because they give a green light to all sorts of permissive behaviours. We are now officially on the rundown to midwinter, where opening up a box of Celebrations mid-afternoon and slowly demolishing the contents over the next eight hours carries no shame. Where turning the thermostat up to 20 degrees is really very acceptable because while it’s only 3pm, it feels like the evening and, by then, it genuinely might be freezing outside. Where cuddling up with the family on the sofa watching Agatha Christie re-runs on ITV3 is considered cultural entertainment.

And the exercise regime needs to ease off too, because, I’m sorry, who in their right mind is going to trot out for a run when it’s pitch black and freezing? I don’t want to wear a bobble hat to run in. I don’t want to have to purchase base layers or whatever is needed to not die of hypothermia. I’ll take a raincheck on the outdoors until March if you don’t mind. Couch-to-5k? For winter 2020 I think it’s going to be more Kitchen-to-Couch.

J’abhor – Lucy Foster, Muddy Contributor

I think it was around 4.27am on Sunday 25 October, while having my eyelids prised open by a four-year-old child so that I could look at the moon that my disapproval for daylight saving hours finally crystallised into full-blown loathing. “Why?” I whimpered internally (for I’ve learnt from bitter experience that no one really wants to hear women moan about the trials of motherhood – “You chose to produce the next generation of taxpayers therefore you should submit to domestic servitude and exhaustion without complaint”) and steeled myself for the 18-hour day that lay ahead.

But, genuinely, WHY? Is it for the farmers? Or the Scottish schoolchildren? Or was it some sort of measure brought in for the Second World War? I honestly don’t know but I can tell you from my point of view, that it serves absolutely no purpose apart from ballsing up my children’s already sketchy sleeping patterns. We’re four days in from the “extra hour in bed” (ahem) and I’m still reeling from the knock-on effects, which include continually dropping off while perched on a tiny stool to read my daughter’s bedtime stories (causing me to wake up with my face embedded in the carpet) and then once I’m asleep in an actual bed (and it tends to be a different one each night: sometimes, when I’m super lucky, I’ll manage a turn in every bed in the house) I’ll wake up at 3am, horribly aware I need to sleep more but knowing the dreaded “MUUUUUMMM!” is inching ever closer.

And quite frankly, the sudden dark nights can do one too. It gets to half four and that run you were promising to do before dinner goes out the window. I spent most of Monday all togged up ready to dash out for a 30-minute jog (once I got the opportunity) only to have to disappointedly de-lycra myself come evening. “Oh, but you can get buy reflective gear and a head torch,” I hear you say. And yes, you’re right, I can but firstly, I don’t need to bring any more attention than necessary to my extraordinarily dysfunctional gait and secondly, I’m 100% the sort of amateur runner that will get attacked by a rabid badger while negotiating an unlit thicket. So no thanks. And no to daylight saving. As far as I can see, it saves no one.

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