Blog Archives

Hello GMT: Clocks Go Back Tonight – 27 October 2012

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Clocks go back one hour ‘tonight’.

The Andrew Burdett Blog wishes to remind readers to put their clocks and watches back by one hour tonight.

Good news! Tomorrow (Sunday) is the annual Extra-Hour-in-Bed Day as British Summer Time (BST) comes to an end, and we welcome back Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). But what a summer it’s been: think of the Jubilee, and the Olympics and Paralympics, and my horrible knee – all that’s happened since we last fiddled with that twiddly thing (known as the ‘stem’) on the side of our timepieces.

We end up with the strange paradox whereby the minute following the first 1:59am tomorrow (Sunday, 28 October 2012) morning is 1:00am again.

CHANGING TIMES: Don't forget to put your clock watch BACK tonight. (img_5468)

Why do the clocks change?

The excellent website of Woodlands Junior School in Kent explains:

We’ve been changing our clocks forwards and backwards in the UK since 1916. It’s all to do with saving the hours of daylight, and was started by a man called William Willett, a London builder, who lived in Petts Wood in Kent (near our school).

William Willett first proposed the idea of British Summer Time in 1907 in a pamphlet entitled ‘The Waste of Daylight’. Willett had noticed that the summer mornings’ light was wasted while people slept, and that the time would be better utilised in the afternoon by putting the clocks forward. After campaigning for years the British Government finally adopted the system a year after Willett’s death.


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London 2012: We’ve Crossed The Finishing Line – 9 September 2012

EYES OF THE WORLD: Matthew, my brother, looks down at the track of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium. (IMG_2596)

SHUTTING UP SHOP: The Olympic Stadium will be closed indefinitely after the Paralympic Closing Ceremony. (IMG_2687)We’ve won the fight, scored the goal, and hit our target. And other such clichéd phrases under the strained semantic field of success in sport, to show our satisfaction at being able to claim we staged this “greatest of games”. No one can honestly say that they ‘knew it would be alright all along’… but it turned out to be. The long-prophesied ‘London traffic meltdown’ never really materialised. Most of the empty seats in the venues eventually found warm bottoms to comfort. The hugely controversial surface-to-air missiles on that block of flats thankfully never needed to be deployed. But, on the subject of hitting a target, our Great British teams thrashed the ones they’d been set: TeamGB finished with 65 medals (25 of them Gold) compared to their target of 48, while ParalympicsGB (who beat their target of 103 medals on Thursday) leave the Athletes’ Village in third place on the table, with 120 medals in their bags (actually eighteen more than second-place Russia), including 34 Golds.

Now, as the circus packs up and heads for Rio, and the world’s athletes and journalists head back to their own respective countries, I’m sad that the thing we’ve all been following for weeks, months, and years – with both excitement and anticipation, and yet (until it actually began) a strange, irrepressible sense of doubt – is now over.

OLYMPIC RINGS: The Olympic rings stand atop a hill at the park. (IMG_9976-edited)

PARALYMPIC AGITOS: The Olympic rings by the Velodrome were replaced with the three agitos. (IMG_2748)

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Off to Explorer Camp, Devon – 4 August 2012

I have, at last, finished packing my bags for my Explorer Scout Unit’s (ESU) week-long camp to Barnstaple, departing Maidenhead this (Saturday) morning. Though not a million miles from home, it is a long drive – I know from the much greater distance to deep Cornwall, a favourite Burdett family holiday destination – and, due to the minibus’s capped speed limit, it’ll feel like even further.

LEAVING WITH A HEAVY HEART (AND BACKPACK): This photo was taken just before I set off this morning. (IMG_0228)

Packing for today has been more difficult than normal, due to my need to in fact pack for two camps: today’s Unit trip, and next Sunday’s biennial County trip (this year to Aragon). I’m actually leaving the Devon camp a day early and coming home on the train, in order to get all my clothes washed and my bag repacked, meeting Saturday lunchtime’s kit-drop-off deadline.

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