Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Postcard from GMT

Synchronise your watches. Greenwich Mean Time rules again and I for one am relieved. I understand the arguments about children crossing roads and farmers milking cows and how both activities would be best carried out in daylight hours, however; at my office all systems and data remain referenced to GMT year round. British Summer Time does nothing but confuse me.

This clock, at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, is where all time is controlled. It is Greenwich Mean Time. How powerful is that? The big orange ball sitting on the building behind rises to the top of its post just before one o'clock every day, and drops on the dot of one. That's one o'clock local time, not GMT - see how easy it is to get muddled?

What I was sure of was that it was the perfect time to be in Greenwich Park. The trees are dressed in a palette from sunshine yellow to peachy pink. Squirrels are sneaking around to set up their winter food stash. And my watch is definitely reading the correct time.


Lexi said...

I'm intrigued by the orange ball rising and falling. Nice, but why?

That's a lovely description of the park. I'd use it in your novel, if I were you - make two characters meet there below the falling leaves.

Timberati said...

To quote Chicago (the band not the city), "Does anyone really know what time it is?"

By the way, why is the time mean? Couldn't it be Greenwich Nice Time or Greenwich Civil Time instead? Much friendlier that way, I'd say.


postcardsfromk said...

I would vote for the time to be called tea time! It would make life more pleasant.

The big ball is so that boats on the Thames can see it, Lexi. I doubt many seafaring boats sail past Greenwich to set their clocks these days, but it's a nice tradition don't you think?