Start of British Summer Time

alarm clock
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The clocks have gone forward today at the start of BST.

Spring  forward

Fall back!

British Summer Time was first established by the Summer Time Act 1916, after a campaign by builder William Willett.

Willett’s original proposal was to move the clocks forward by 80 minutes, in 20-minute weekly steps on Sundays in April and by the reverse procedure in September.

In 1916, BST began on 21 May and ended on 1 October. Willett never got to see his idea implemented as he died in early 1915.

According to The Independent, Willett was the great, great grandfather of Coldplay singer Chris Martin.

It might be the start of British Summer Time but it will be a few months before the temperature feels anything like Summer!

But no bad thing according to John (Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men) Steinbeck:

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.

The quote is from Travels with Charley which I haven’t read but it seems like a fascinating book.

From Wikipedia: Travels with Charley: In Search of America is a travelogue written by American author John Steinbeck. It depicts a 1960 road trip around the United States made by Steinbeck, in the company of his standard poodle, Charley. Steinbeck wrote that he was moved by a desire to see his country on a personal level, since he made his living writing about it. He wrote of having many questions going into his journey, the main one being, “What are Americans like today?” However, he found that he had concerns about much of the “new America” he witnessed.

Steinbeck tells of traveling throughout the United States in a specially made camper he named Rocinante, after Don Quixote’s horse. His travels start in Long Island, New York, and roughly follow the outer border of the United States, from Maine to the Pacific Northwest, down into his native Salinas Valley in California, across to Texas, up through the Deep South, and then back to New York. Such a trip encompasses nearly 10,000 miles.

According to Thom Steinbeck, the author’s oldest son, the real reason for the trip was that Steinbeck knew he was dying and wanted to see his country one last time. The younger Steinbeck has said he was surprised that his stepmother allowed his father to make the trip; his heart condition meant he could have died at any time. A new introduction to the 50th anniversary edition of the book cautioned readers that “it would be a mistake to take this travelogue too literally, as Steinbeck was at heart a novelist.”

John Steinbeck
image credit: Carol M. Highsmith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
There are several versions of the classic George Gershwin “Summertime” on Youtube. But this is extraordinary!

Janis Joplin sings “Summertime” in 1969.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Hope you remembered to put your clocks forward.


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