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Steve Savage Publishers Ltd
CoverThe First Wash of Spring

George Mackay Brown
sample extract...

Listening idly to the radio yesterday afternoon, I heard that there is demand for British summer time to continue all through the year. Also -- if I heard right -- that there might be 'Double summer time' in the light months, as happened during the Second World War.

I suppose an argument could have been advanced for it then -- though what exactly it was, I'm not sure -- but why the clocks should stand an hour ahead of Greenwich mean time, I don't understand at all... When summer time was introduced, I can imagine the farmers all over Orkney shaking their heads gravely at this interference with 'God's time'... To the natural rhythm their farm work was attuned, and the cows and horses and sheep knew nothing of this artificial time. It was introduced, I think, for the convenience of munition workers during the First World War, so that they could see to make shells and warships for an hour longer each day. There was maybe a smitchkin of sense in that, but to prolong it into peacetime, even up to the present (the clocks go forward this weekend as I write) seems meaningless.

It shows maybe how the convenience of city dwellers must always override the values and rhythms of the comparative few who work on the land and the sea.

However, we must face it -- nobody in Orkney seems to mind any longer. Just as, last Saturday, the marvellous equinox-time passed without one murmur of wonderment or thankfulness.