Thursday, November 8, 2007
British Summer Time
On Sunday, all the clocks in the UK were put back an hour. This change to the time here happens twice a year.
We all change our clocks and watches by one hour. In the spring, we add an hour, and go onto what is called British Summer Time.
Then at 1 a.m. on the last Sunday in October, we do the reverse, and move on to Greenwich Mean Time.
It’s all to do with saving the hours of daylight, and was started by a London builder called William Willett.
He believed that you could improve the population’s health and happiness by putting forward the clocks by twenty minutes every Sunday in April and do the opposite in September.
Mr. Willett’s idea, however, was not adopted, but two years after the outbreak of the First World War, it was considered sensible to economise and promote greater efficiency in using daylight hours, and in the use of artificial lighting. And that was when, in 1916, ‘Daylight Saving Time’ was introduced.
The majority of the countries who had used this measure abandoned it after the end of hostilities.
However, some eventually decided that it was a good idea, and most of these nations began to keep it throughout the year.
Since 1972, Britain has stuck with Greenwich Mean Time in winter, and British Summer Time in summer.
By putting the clocks forward an hour in summer it means farmers can work longer outdoors, while putting them back in winter means that it is not too dark for children heading for school on cold mornings.
It does not seem so long ago that we were enjoying warm summer weather here in Scotland, but now, with the changing of the clocks, we are into the darker and colder part of the year.
Somehow it always seems harder to get out of bed for work on the winter mornings when it is cold and dark outside.
Summer, now that’s a different proposition because, as John Wayne famously once said, you don’t want to be “burnin’ daylight!”
However, autumn in Scotland is a beautiful season, with the wonderful reds, golds and browns of the leaves - what you guys call the fall.
But thanks to this year’s weird weather - possibly due to global warming - our garden has roses and other flowers still blooming.
On Sunday we picked the last of our apples from our three small apple trees and now have cardboard boxes everywhere full of nice green and red fruit.
So, for anyone wanting to put a bit of cheer into a cold, dark autumn night, here is a good old-fashioned Scottish recipe for apple crumble. The preparation time is less than 30 minutes, with the cooking time taking from 30 minites to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Place the flour and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Taking a few cubes of butter at a time, rub into the flour mixture. Keep rubbing until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Place the fruit in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Stir well being careful not to break up the fruit.
Butter a 24cm/9-inch ovenproof dish. Spoon the fruit mixture into the bottom, then sprinkle the crumble mixture on top. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the crumble is browned and the fruit mixture bubbling.
Serve with thick cream or custard.
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