I’m sure that I’m not the only one who wants to know, but why are we still putting our clocks backwards and forwards twice a year? The end of March saw us once again changing the time on our clocks as part of the twice-yearly daylight saving ritual that we’ve been told, on numerous occasions, is on its last legs.

In 2019, the European Union left the decision to permanently set clocks to summer or winter time in the hands of each member state. I assume this was an exercise in passing the buck, as the EU is not normally so reticent when laying down the law to its members.

While the initial deadline to introduce the measure was 2021, the whole debate is still up in the air three years later. Since then, the Spanish government has announced that no change will be introduced until “at least” 2026.

This procrastination is despite experts from all sorts of fields assuring us that abandoning the biannual time change will improve our economy, our health and our energy consumption. I would like to add another potential benefit to ’locking the clock’, which is that it would reduce the stress levels of people who don’t know how to change the clocks of their vehicles.

I don’t have a physical users manual for my motorbike and so I have to find one online whenever I need information about how to, for example, adjust the bike’s clock. I never remember which buttons to press and I’m reluctant to just push buttons at random in case the wheels fall off or something.

However, before I get to that point I have to remember that the clock needs changing in the first place, and that only happens when I turn on the engine to go somewhere, usually in a rush. Naturally, in that situation, I don’t really have the time to turn off the engine, take off my helmet, fish out my house key, go upstairs and turn on the computer, open the browser to search for the online manual (which I keep forgetting to save in my favourites folder), only to realise I don’t know the exact model and so I have to go back downstairs and get the bike’s papers, go back upstairs, do a Google search to find the right manual, find the page that tells you how to change the clock, make a note of the procedure, go back downstairs and adjust the clock before finally beginning my journey. When that happens, which is every time I get on the bike to go somewhere, I shrug it off and promise I’ll make the change when I get home, which I don’t, of course.

The last time I forgot to change the bike clock was in October and by the time it got to January I had accepted defeat and decided to wait it out until the end of March when the clocks would go forward and the time would be right again. In fact, I got so used to the time on my bike being an hour ahead that my mind automatically subtracted the extra hour, further removing any motivation to adjust the clock. Come the end of March, I assured myself, the issue would be solved, at least for another six months.

Then last month, the subject of the motorbike clock was overshadowed by engine trouble and it became clear that it would have to go to the mechanic. Easter was fast approaching but I managed to get an appointment a couple of days before the holiday weekend, when I needed the bike because I was going on a trip with my friends. I picked up the bike on the Thursday evening before Good Friday, happy that I would have it over Easter. Until I turned the ignition and looked at the digital screen: a few days before the clocks were due to go forward and the time on my incorrect bike clock would once again be right, the mechanic had done me the “favour” of adjusting the time. Now, a few days into April my bike clock is once again wrong, this time an hour behind, and I am back to square one.

Please, powers-that-be, get rid of this ridiculous ritual as soon as possible!


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