The weekend the clocks go forward is my favourite of the year. Not because I celebrate it specifically, but because it’s the bright red ribbon we run through at the end of the long slog of a race that is winter. It’s the certificate that we did it, guys, we bloody did it! We survived another winter, with its long dark nights and bitter cold. Yes, I know we’ve got nothing on the really cold corners of the world, but sometimes when I have to de-ice my car and my fingers go a bit numb, I get really annoyed with the Great British winter.
It sets in around September, that gloom. The knowing that the summer’s dead and all you’ve got to look forward to is central heating, snow, black ice, numb fingers, cold noses and darkness for more hours of the day than light.
Then you’ve got October, November, December to contend with. That’s a lot of months. They throw Christmas at you, pretend it’s about families and celebration and giving when really it’s about breaking up the monotony of coldness that is winter.
Then it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re fooled into thinking everything will be different, a fresh start. But it’s not because the weatherman doesn’t care for the turn of the year. He cares only for the turn of the season.
January is boring. Especially when you give up drinking.
February is quick and you start to notice the sun setting a little later. My, is that you, spring? Are you peeping your yellow little head around the corner? Then you see daffodils and you know what’s coming. You tingle. Your room is filled with sunshine at 7am and then BOOM! You only go and open a bloody window!
Next thing you know, the central heating is turned off for the summer and… drum roll… the clocks go forward.
And even though they’ve been springing forward and falling* back for every one of my 28 years, I still don’t really know when I’ll be getting an extra hour in bed and when I’m going to be jet lagged. Every year, twice a year, I have a little confused conversation with myself. Hmm, spring forward. Does that mean 6 o’clock becomes 7 o’clock, and I’m tired?
I think the fact I couldn’t get out of bed this morning indicates we’re on the one where you lose an hour’s sleep. An investment I’m totally happy to make in order to prolong my evenings.
And with that, hurrah! Summer’s basically arrived. The evenings are long, the basking in the sunshine begins. Bring on the barbies, the flip flops, the ice cream. The clocks have sprung forward, all we’ve got to look forward to now is months and months of summery goodness.
Anyone who says it’s going to rain all summer can take their weather reports away from my parade. I’ve got some Hawaiian Tropic and I’m not afraid to use it.
*I prefer the word ‘autumn’ to the word ‘fall’ but Spring Back, Autumn Forward is never going to educate the kids. What do Americans say when they want to describe something as autumnal? The poor things, it’s a great word.