Monday, 3 September 2012

Saving Time

This morning I caught my usual bus at 9.08 am, to St Mary's, a journey which normally takes around 12 minutes.  This normally results in my being about five minutes late for morning prayer.

This morning as I got off the bus I could hear the church clock striking 9.30.  Too late for any of my usual morning mood-setter, not even the pater noster.

The reason the entire grumbling, stressed, disgruntled bus-load was late was that the bus company, in its wisdom, has installed a time-saver machine which will read bus passes at a glance, thus doing away with the need for tickets.  Only those (on my usual bus about two) people who have to pay for their tickets will need a ticket in future.

As is so often the case with the introduction of new time-saving technology, the process took about four times the normal length of time.

Apparently the machine was devised as a national not a local initiative and nationally, bus passes/concessionary cards of any type are not valid until after 9.30 am.  In Buckinghamshire they are valid from 9.00am.  So when offered a card the machine rejected it as invalid.

After the first 10 or so passengers had 'enjoyed' the explanation from the driver and then about 10 minutes late he took to waving passengers on board with resigned expression and a "don't bother with your pass, the machine is not working".

Our payment cards (debit or credit) used in stores and shops are supposed to save time, though often a weary "the computer is slow today" will accompany the process.

Twice a year we indulge in the particularly British folly of 'putting the clocks forward or back' in order to save yet more time.

Recently I tried my first-ever shop on line, a terribly involved process which took around half an hour to complete, even with the help of a neighbour.  Since I pass other grocery stores every day and only have to pop in and buy a couple of items which takes about five minutes, I won't be repeating the on-line experiment.

Even if all the gadgets which are supposed to save us time actually did so, what I wonder, are we supposed to do with all that spare time?

Personally I would prefer fewer hours in the day, then time would not hang so heavy on my hands.

My wristwatch by the way, is never changed for British Summertime, and is therefore right for exactly half a year, after which it leaps forward an hour for some odd reason.
Still, I know it will be right again in 6 month's time.


  1. haven't ridden a bus in so long I have no idea what the local time saving folly is via that mode of transportation...I do know about DST! I don't like it...I don't like the beast itself and I don't like having to change my clocks! I no longer wear a wrist watch (my phone tells me the time ;) and thankfully the phone, the computer, the Kindle all change by themselves, twice a year with no help from me. it took me 3 or 4 months to get the car clock changed, just in time to change it back. I have been blessed during my life time to live (in the past) in a state that does not change it's clocks...ARIZONA! it was delightful until you talked to the easterners on the phone and they'd insist that your time was such and such and would never take the explanation that you didn't do DST!!! so I back you up all the way on daylight savings plan schemes...ban them burn them send them back to the dark ages, enlightened folk don't want them!!! ;)))

  2. Yup! and we is sooo enlightened (even if rather dodgy time-keepers)

  3. I love the fact that you happily have your watch at the wrong time for half the year. That's the right attitude!

  4. It is thought a bit eccentric by some of my associates but I don't much care what the time is anyway, most of the time, so my half right watch suits my half right life-style.

  5. The time for the bus pass is 09.00 in Worcestershire but only for 'locals'. When my Aunt goes to visit my mum they have to catch a later bus as my Aunty being from Devon is not allowed to use her pass until 09.30. These quirks do make me smile.
    I no longer wear a watch either and use my phone. It auto sets itself to save me from that task twice a year - saving me even more time.
    I should have so much extra time with all that I save. If this is the case how come I feel like I am running around chasing my tail lots of the time? Actually, be polite & don't answer that question :-)

  6. If we actually did something with all the time we spend thinking about what we'd do if we had time, the world might not be in such a dire state.......But then again, would we have time to notice its state?
    Sorry, my tongue is stuck so firmly in my cheek it may never work loose again.
    Just a word of warning Shona, don't chase your tail, you might catch it, then where would you be?

  7. Since I retired, I am appalled (except when I'm elated) at how much time I squandor. I seemed to accomplish so much more when I worked against a clock & deadlines & routines. However, I may not be getting as much done, but what I do get done I enjoy immensely. Simple things become far more important.

    Hope your tongue's OK :)

  8. Hmmmm Know what you mean Kathleen, but who's to say what is time "squandered" and what is well spent?
    I think working to a deadline has its uses, but oh the blessed lifting of stress when our time is our own. I agree that as priorities change, simple things assume a new significance.
    Enjoy your holiday by the way.

  9. I'm putting in a word in support of summer-time as I love the long evenings and hate it when the clocks go back in October. If it were up to me they would stay on summer-time all year round and even go to double summertime in March, as they used to in the war. Who needs it to be light at 4 in the morning? :-)

  10. I agree about the light but really can't do with all the hassle of clock and watch changing.
    As a very early riser I deplore the fact that it is already beginning to be street lights still on at 5.50 am time.