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April 15th 2009

     

   My first 'summer' in England was spent at boarding school.  It was cold windy and very green, much as it is here in Kentucky on this day in April.  At school, the young ones were sent to bed at six thirty and the lights were out by seven PM.  The older ones, the twelve year olds, were in bed by seven thirty and their lights were out by eight PM.   Made some sense in wintertime when it was dark and usually raining by four PM, but in June, when ten PM was still dusk, it made no sense whatsoever.

    I would lie there in broad daylight, listening to bird song, wondering why we weren't at least allowed to read.  The others  appeared to be able to sleep when told to.  But I was an outsider, and generally better for outsiders to assimilate, otherwise no-one is happy. 

    

    I recall the History teacher hinting at something called "double daylight saving time," institutionalized during the Second World War.  This effectively meant that for wartime children it would have still been dusk at midnight. 

    With respect to daylight savings time, I was assured that it had to do with wellbeing and to save on electric bills, rather then a form of ritualistic sadism.  As well the old saw, "early to bed, early to rise," with its dubious rewards, was sadly introduced into my consciousness.

   School masters in the 'summer' used to tell me to cheer-up.  The reality of course, I was just exhausted and always cold in the 'summer' uniform, and this, even when the sun was actually shining.

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