Friday, October 26, 2007


Spring forward, fall back. That's a good way to remember what to do with the clocks each Spring and Autumn. I mentioned this to my sister-in-law last week and we wondered why the third season of the year is never described as Autumn in the United States of America. I say we. I was doing the wondering. No conclusion was come to, although I was told that the word Autumn is not unknown to Americans.

And so, dear reader, the clocks will fall back in the early hours of Sunday morning. The sun will rise at 07:10 and set at 16:42 here in Edinburgh, affording most people only nine and a half hours of daylight. For me, that number will be much less as I hardly ever rise before 09:00. Worse still, we have 22nd December to look forward to with only six hours and fifty eight minutes of daylight. I'll end up with about three or four, I think. A far cry from the seventeen hours and thirty seven minutes we were blessed with on 22nd June.

The point to all this? That there's nothing much to look forward to at this time of year. It's all downhill from here on. And if one more person tells me that Autumn is their favourite season because of all the lovely colours, I'll abuse them. Physically, of course. I'm too old for sexual shenanigans and emotional torture is not something I'm terribly good at.

I'm just marching time.

But isn't that what we do throughout our lives? From the quickening inside the womb, we're just waiting to draw our final breath.

And Mum always told me to never put off until tomorrow that which I could do today. I'm just a useless man.


Moncrief Speaks said...

It is true that autumn is not unknown in the English spoken in the United States of America. It's nice to have two words for the season, in fact: the casual fall and the more formal and poetic autumn. The adjectival form of fall as a season is still autumnal, or, I guess, some people would say fall-like.

I believe, though I could be wrong about this, that fall for "autumn" is an antiquated form of British English-- a word commonly used for the season in, say, 17th century Britain. Though I may be wrong in this case, as it seems odd that a word that more easily rolls of the tongue (one syllable) would fall out of use in favor of a longer word.

Your clock-moving happens a week before ours.

What would it be like to live near the equator, where you always have roughly the same amount of daylight year-round? Would you prefer that, I wonder?

matty said...


"Autumn" is a season?!?!?

No way!

That is a hair color which comes in a box! I've seen it at the store!

I never use that word. I have heard it, tho. In song and poem. I think the great Ms. Joan Crawford did a movie with it in the title.

I like falling back better than springing forward. slow it down a bit I say!

The Brian said...

Yeah, they're used pretty interchangeably, fall and autumn. Fall is a bit obvious isn't it?