Sunday Mail South Australia column: Sunday 13th November 2011

The cast of Mad Men. Apparently…

As most of you know, I’m from Brisbane. What does that mean? It means that for pretty much my entire life I’ve spent Christmas Day in somebody’s swimming pool; I have a friend of a friend of a friend who knows the drummer in Powderfinger; and I’ve been obsessed with South-East Queensland introducing daylight saving for as long as I can remember.

For years YEARS I have whined and grumbled and bitched about the fact that Queensland is backwards for not offering it. Why did I want daylight saving so badly? I’m not entirely sure.  But having to wind my watch forward and back every time I visited my parents’ in Northern NSW was a factor. Work wise it was irritating being an hour behind Sydney and Melbourne for six months of every year.  And the idea of having an extra hour of daylight always sounded appealing.

So when Brad and I decided to  (temporarily) move to Adelaide, I was excited. Wine! Haigh’s Chocolates! Wine!  Wine!  Wine! Daylight Saving!  WOOT!  And then I moved here. And I finally got to wind my clocks forwards or was it back. Anyway, not the point. The point is I finally got to experience what I have wanted for so long. And now here’s the bit where things get awkward. I frickin’ hate daylight saving*. HATE. IT. I hate Daylight Saving the way Donald Trump hates a windy day. The way Channel Nine in South Australia hates to air any rugby league games (that’s a whoooole other column).

Hate is a strong word, of course and yet entirely appropriate in this instance.  I mean trying to put a toddler to bed at 7.30pm when it’s still bright enough outside to DRY WASHING is a special kind of hell, in my book.  My toddler Ava and I have this conversation about 34 times every night:

“Mummy is it night-time?”

“Yes darling”.

“Is that the sun?”


“So is it daytime?”

By the fifth time, Mummy can’t answer because Mummy is under the table with a large bottle of scotch. Rocking. Back and forth. In the foetal position.

Of course, pro-daylight saving friends keep saying to me “But there’s so much more you can do with that extra hour of sunlight”.  Like …. What exactly?  A bbq? Tennis?  Swimming?  Um, I’m pretty sure you can do all those things at night just by, you know, turning a light on.

Anyway all this got me thinking about the range of other things I thought I’d love until I actually, well, you know TRIED THEM.  Things like:

  • Mad Men (I watched one episode and found it depressing. I refuse to tune in until Larry Tate** does a cameo)
  • Jazz Ballet for Adults (I did a class about ten years ago and nearly had my eye poked out from so many women doing jazz hands. Don’t judge me.)
  • Lord of the Rings: the books, the movies, the Tupperware (Zzzzzzz)
  • Sea Monkeys as advertised in Archie comics (All I’m going to say is THERE ARE NO CROWNS.)
  • Sweetbreads (What the?   I don’t think PANCREAS should be called “sweetbreads” on a menu … it’s false advertising)
  • Using a fit ball to sit on while at my desk (I liked the idea of this until I actually tried to sit on an ENORMOUS BALL WHILE AT MY DESK. I’m sorry, what?)
  • Skinny jeans. (Enough said).
  • Zumba (Enough said)
  • Los Angeles (Enough said)
  • Cheese in a jar (I never really thought I’d like it but I was prepared to give it a whirl. #fail)
  • Pilates (Nobody actually likes Pilates. Think about it? Do any of those Pilates people look happy? No, no they don’t. They’re all grim faced and angry-sweaty)

As for me I’ll just have to get used to this Daylight Saving caper.  Maybe I’ll use that extra hour of daylight to read Lord of the Rings.  Or not.

** Darrin’s advertising boss in Bewitched. How could you not know that?

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  1. The Seeker on January 8, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Why on earth would you want to put your daughter to bed at 7.30pm? When we lived in Victoria and the kids were young but school age and it was summer, which is somewhat fleeting at the best of times, we would hang out at a lake and waterski till 8.30pm. Then BBQ for dinner and some drinking and socialising with other likie minded lake people.. and the kids went to bed when they were tired and got up when they wanted to. Worked for us and I still miss DS with a passion. Dining out in the evening and watching the sun go down in the cool of the day.. what’s not to like!

    • becsparrow on January 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm

      Um, because she’s two-years-old ….

  2. 270 Words on January 8, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Love this piece. I miss the long, long evenings of England in Summer

  3. Rebecca Mezzino on January 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    One thing I did with my kids is put a clock in their room. They knew that 7:30 (or whatever I decided – at that age it was 7:30 too) was bedtime and the sun didn’t have anything to do with it. When faced with the objections I would just point to the clock and say “Look! It’s bedtime!”.

    Oh, and get serious, heavy-grade block-out curtains. They’re worth it!


  4. Ross on January 27, 2012 at 4:46 am

    Couldn’t agree more Bec. Hate it and have done so ever since i was a kid. Good luck to Ceduna residents in changing to WST. I will move there if they get it through.

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About Bec

Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.

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