Thursday, 31 March 2022

Time Zones … Europe – Russia … but now 'manyana' has appeared in the mix …


This could almost be an April Fool's joke … except it's true … I wrote about Russia's eleven time zones – but then I came across Spain's Mañana effect … 'tomorrow'


Russia - Nato borders in red

This took me by surprise as I knew the clocks changed appropriately for each country and would just accept and alter my watch to the time of the European country I'd travelled to – be it Poland in the east to Spain in the west …



European Union countries

I also realised that Spain kept 'funny hours' enjoying their siesta in the afternoon … never realising that this habit was a quirk of political fate … or wondering how, etc …




hence the Spanish way of life … a job in the morning, then a rest or siesta, with another job in the evening ...



Family meal in the Madrid area

a long lunch perhaps commencing at 3.00pm or a little later … then work until 8.00 pm … home at the end of the working day, before going off to wine and dine in the late evening … taking disgruntled half-awake children with them …



But the Spanish still work to Franco time … when General Franco, about to meet Hitler in March 1940, acquiesced to Hitler's request to align Spain's clocks with Germany's time – however after three years of Spanish War (1936 - 1939), Franco did not want his shattered nation caught up in another war …


Main Spanish railway lines -
the reason time zones were needed in all 
countries around the world


This means that for over 80 years … western Europe's time zones are out of kilter with Spain's.




As the economy struggled in the post-war era, the Spaniards adapted to longer days and more sunlight, which were the result of being an hour ahead of London time.


Alhambra Palace, Granada
(tourism, Spain)

It seems unlikely that Spain will amend 'Franco's time' … because if the country did change, it would mean Spain having fewer hours of sunlight – most Spaniards have lived like this all their lives, and it'd be very hard to make that change.



Red Squirrel in
Warsaw park, Poland

The Spanish have got used to the unusual schedule of late meals and sleep times … and we concur and enjoy when we visit …





Russia / Norway border ... and I hope you can 
read the sign
But each to his own … how long Franco's time will survive remains to be seen – but eighty years already is setting a standard that will be hard to break.




So April's Fool tomorrow …


Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

48 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

My partner and I live in different time zones. In the same house.
Thank you (as always) for continuing my education. I had no idea why Spain's time was 'out of step' but agree, given how hard it is to adapt to a one hour shift, a shift of the size required to bring it back to the European 'normal' would be hard to take.

Liz A. said...

It just goes to show that time is a human construct. We can adapt our days any way we wish, so long as everyone agrees to it.

John Holton said...

Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Time zones confuse me, that said an interesing post

Janie Junebug said...

How interesting. We lived in Indiana for a few years long ago. Part of the state had daylight saving time and part of it did not. I never knew why. April Fool's Day is Sweet Cheeks' birthday.

Love,
Janie

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
It's such a waste of time, all this zoning... ;*P YAM xx

Shannon Lawrence said...

Interestingly, one of the things that draws me to Spain or Italy is the lateness of their schedules. While Italy doesn't do the siesta (as far as I know), they seem very evening friendly, with later dinners. It syncs with my natural rhythms and schedule, which are NOT acceptable in the U.S. Everything here is early, early, early, and it's an issue if you don't match up with those expectations. Americans go so far as to call people who get the same amount of work, but do it on later hours, lazy. It's not a mentality I understand, and I'm from here!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

So that's the reason for the Manana effect. Now I shall have to work on an excuse for my lack of urgency!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC - how fun to live in two time zones ... I guess you could use the excuse in everyday conversation ...
I just was bemused at how Spain was in a different time zone to the rest of us here in western Europe - and thought I'd note it, while I was on the Russian time zone aspect.

@ Liz - yes time is a human construct - we need to regulate our lives somehow as technical aspects of living in this modern world developed ... starting with the railways.

@ John - I'm not sure, but doubt it ... time just regulates us to fit in with others in our sphere of life. Whether we care where 'time' came from - I doubt many do ... people, like me, I guess are just 'interested' in a quizzy way ...

@ Jo-Anne - yes, they can be muddling

@ Janie - how interesting to see that Indiana still has different time zones. April Fool's Day - so far all is well and birthdays still occur - happy one to Sweet Cheeks' ...

@ Yam - I rather like it ... but I'm happy with change - and am fascinated by oddities of life ...

@ Shannon - you're right Italy is on normal time zones - just it's warm and they stay up late relaxing. Strange how different norms apply - perhaps those early days were from the settlers needing to be out at dawn tending their land and animals ... As you mention some of us are early birds, some late nighters - I was always an early bird ... not so much now - must be retirement!

@ John - yes I was surprised to learn about the Manyana effect and the reason it's there ... strange but true ... when you've found that excuse - please let me/us know!

Cheers everyone - and so far April Fool's Day is normal ... but I'm chugging along ... take care and enjoy theA-Z all those doing it - Hilary

Friko said...

Eh? Madrid is the same as Paris and Berlin timezonewise.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Hello Hilary: Time (in human terms) is how we choose to define it, I suppose. It seems to me that there has been a debate about whether to abandon the spring and fall changes to the clock, for as long as I can remember. I have to confess that it has never seemed a big deal to me, but if we move to either permanent standard time or permanent daylight savings time, either one would be fine too. I always wonder how politicians deal with the constant changes on their international travels. They always seem to be alert - well, at least as alert as politicians can be! Hugs, David

Deniz Bevan said...

I had no idea! I'll have to remember this if we take our planned trip to Barcelona!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We're about to stay ahead one hour here, so I can see it working well for Spain.
Like the sign about not peeing toward Russia!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Friko - I rather hoped I'd get away without this question being put forward ... as I couldn't quite work it out - and must assume it meant that the day to day life in Spain works on Franco time, whereas the time zones slot in with 'our' time frame ... I hope that's what it is! Anyway - they have their workday in a different set up to ours ... as I noted.

@ David - I know 'time' as such is something the human invented, once the industrial revolution and its inventions came along, we needed 'to control' them for human life ... eg it's good to know when the train is arriving or departing.

I think our hour of daylight saving was brought about in WW1 - and essentially has remained ever since - at the end of March and October to reverse. You're right about politicians - they don't seem to be half asleep ... I guess they're the human wakeful ones, who don't need much sleep. I'm not sure what you mean by alert ... bearing in mind many politicians' lack of common sense ... but I'll leave it there ...

@ Deniz - as I mentioned above in my reply to Friko - it's the way their working day functions, rather than now-a-days the time per se ... so I guess it's a cultural aspect, rather than a time of day thing. Yes - please remember though the grumpy kids' tiredness late in the evening!!

This is where I found the information about Franco-time:https://inews.co.uk/culture/clamour-growing-spain-to-reverse-franco-appease-hitler-time-zone-1539682

Thanks to you all - I hope this reply and the above article clarifies any muddles you may have?! Cheers Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - you popped in as I posted my reply comment ... yes I noticed your DST was about to happen.

I think it must have remained after WW2 as a cultural way of life, which companies and government haven't felt able to change - as I wrote in my previous comment ...

Cheers and good luck with the book next week on the 6th ... Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

Funny hours apart, I have to say I envy the laid back ways of Spain. I feel a siesta coming on!

Jacqui Murray said...

With a whole lot of luck, we in the US will get rid of daylight savings time. Wouldn't that be wonderful.

Nick Wilford said...

Wow, I had always assumed the tradition of the siesta to be hundreds of years old, not 80. Fascinating.

Inger said...

Here in the US, our congress quickly decided by vote that we should now be on daylight savings time year round. Once this was announced there was much worry about getting up and to school in the dark and the effect this would have on kids. When I was a kid, and I suppose it still does, sunrise in Stockholm was around 9 am in December and it set around 3 pm. And nobody was any worse for it. My preference would be settle on standard timehere in the US. But anything is better than this back and forth. Try to explain to your dog that she now won't get her food for another hour...

retirementreflections said...

I continue to learn a great deal from your posts. Time zones and changes continue to confuse me!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith - I know it seems laid back doesn't it ... except this article implied the Spanish had over 53 minutes less sleep, work longer hours, but with less productivity. I can't have a siesta - means I don't sleep at night ...

@ Jacqui - I gather DST is controversial in the States, as too here at times ... but the decision to keep or otherwise still hangs in the balance ...

@ Nick - I know ... I was interested to find out this quirk of Spanish life ... so am glad you did too ...

@ Inger - I gather that the States have been having 'discussions about DST' - originally ours in 1916 was about workmen being able to work in WW1 with daylight ... which made sense then ... also the school kids walking in the dark is another aspect.

Interesting to read about your experience growing up in Stockholm ... I don't mind the time change - but quite understand Faith's need to have her feed on time and not an hour later, or hour earlier.

@ Donna - yes I get muddled ... but DST has always been part of our life here - and when in another country I just accept the time they tell me!

Thanks everyone ... hopefully we're all settled into our time zone for six months or so ... take care and happy weekend - cheers Hilary

J Lenni Dorner said...

Interesting history and time lesson.
What... can't pee toward Russia... pffft...

I'm doing the #AtoZChallenge - writing a speculative fiction short story.
On the main A to Z site today for B I shared a list of books. Check it out!
At Operation Awesome we're doing the A to Z Challenge and running a survey to pick the next Pass or Pages query contest genre.

Pradeep Nair said...

This time zone thing can be so confusing, especially when a country has so many of them. Here in India, we have just one, though there have been demands for two time zones since the nation is very vast, the mainland lying between latitudes 8°4'N and 37°6'N and longitudes 68°7'E and 97°25'E.

Joanne said...

time zones and time changes are always confusing. This post is interesting since I had no idea about Spain. I wouldn't do well with eating so late at night. I will say when traveling, it always feels like an accomplishment to cross a time zone and deliberately set a watch forward or back. It's the little things in life...

Deborah Weber said...

How fascinating - I had absolutely no idea about this. I find time zones confusing, and am so glad for the apps that make it simplier to just check and see what time it is anywhere. Without them, I can't tell you how many times I've made mistakes. One thing I know for sure though is: time keeps on ticking into the future. :-)

Haddock said...

I like that Spanish way of life .... two jobs in a day. Breaks the monotony.

diedre Knight said...

Hi Hilary!

Wow! Eleven time zones certainly drive home the sheer size of the country. Pity that doesn't seem enough for one ruler. But how does everyone keep track?Do you leave after dinner to have lunch with someone tomorrow? I live in the only (contiguous) state (with the exception of the Navajo Nation) in America that doesn't observe Daylight Savings or time changes, so I can understand why Spain might not be agreeable to change. I couldn't make out the writing on all of the signs, but I think I see the funniest ;-)

Dan said...

Interesting reading as we grapple with going to one time standard all year but it agreeing on which one.

Botanist said...

What I think this amounts to is that Spaniards basically ignore the hour on the clock - which defines when we "ought" to do things - and live their lives by the sun regardless of what the clock says.

Sandra Cox said...

I find time zones so confusing.
Love the red squirrel.
Cheers,

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ JL - thank you ... yes you're recorded if you do pee towards Russia and then fined! ... strange but true ...

@ Pradeep - I know the time zone thing is muddling ... I guess it 'settles' the country 'time-wise' for business, schools, railways etc ..

@ Joanne - it's something we've all grown up with and is part of life - and as you mention if we travel to different countries, or in your case a different State (where the time does changed) we get on with it ...

@ Deborah - the States must be muddling if one is in business - but at least we're informed of the time ... I don't know what happens when you drive between States and the time changes. Yes - you're right about 'time ticking along' regardless ...

@ Haddock - I suppose one adapts ... over the years, at times, I've had two jobs ... one is busy: that's for sure ...

@ Diedre - yes it certainly does sound the siren re the size of the country. I know you think one country would be enough for one person to control. How interesting about New Mexico ... and yes, you did see the 'funniest' time ...

@ Dan - I gather you're going into a time change ... it happens - ours was last weekend ...

@ Ian - you're probably right - if the politicians rule, then the country sets the time frames. Franco time is definitely a Spanish time ...

@ Sandra - thank you ... re the little red squirrel ...

Cheers to you all - we've got some sun ... but the wind is chilly, so perhaps not quite right for a sunny siesta ... Hilary

Sue Bursztynski said...

Goodness, that IS a fascinating story! I never knew. The closest I got to siesta time was when I was in Israel, where lunchtime was siesta time. It was actually quite useful, because in those days shops here in Australia closed at five, promptly, and banks at 3.00 pm. But the siesta meant evening hours to shop and go to the bank. That was a very long time ago and, of course, with the Internet, cards and ATMs wven8ng hours are less necessary.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Sue - great to see you ... yes - one of those strange but true facts of life ... Franco time: who'd have thought!

Your Israel experience must have been very interesting ... time frames in different countries throw up necessary changes to our 'normal way of life back home' ... I had similar in South Africa - but from the other perspective ... more restrictive.

Thanks for commenting - all the best - Hilary

moondustwriter said...

Hilary - I saw you commenting on another blog and had to rush over to say hello.
I love the "No peeing towards Russia". Cant stop laughing.
Hope all is well in your world.

Cheers - Mooney

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Mooney - great to see you here again ... and thanks for the comment and noting the sign - made me laugh too ...

I've tried to find your blog to get across to comment - but on trying to tie in - I kept getting a blank. I hope you can enlighten me ... cheers for now - Hilary

DMS said...

I have never been to Spain and I had no idea about their hours. I did know about the siesta. This very much sounds like a schedule I might enjoy. How interesting to learn more about it here today! Time- it is so interesting all the different interpretations of it that are out there. :)
~Jess

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jess - it was the 'Franco time' that 'bemused' me - but it was interesting to find out about ... I'm not sure about the siesta aspect - if I have a zizz in the pm that's it for the day, can't seem to wake up again ...but I do understand the feeling.

Time is a fascinating subject - a totally human invention ... we couldn't cope without it as industrialisation became more important. Thanks for the visit - cheers Hilary

Susan Scott said...

Hi Hilary, I'm a bit late to the Manyana party but bltn ... I know I read it a day or so ago but clearly didn't comment. Manyana in my understanding of the word, always means tomorrow. Interesting post about Franco's time ... I didn't know that it's out of kilter with Western Europe. If I understood this correctly - is it an April Fools story? :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Susan - I battled to completely get to grips with it ... and from some commenters have had to take notice ... so no not an April Fool's joke!

I think the fact that Franco had sided with Hitler re tying their time zones together, but didn't side with Hitler in the War, or join him in it - Spain remained neutral (mostly).

Therefore the working arrangements of the day tied into the 'new' German work-day time frame and carried on like that ... and that aspect still occurs today ...

So it's the workday arrangements that keep Franco's time, but the time is still European as we know it ... just they have this 'funny' working day arrangement. Odd ... but true!

Thanks for commenting, I hope this clarifies it?! ... but no not an April Fool joke ... cheers Hilary

H.R. Sinclair said...

Interesting. Timing post too, teehee, with the time change here and all the talk about getting rid of it.

Denise Covey said...

Hilary, that is hilarious that Spain is still on Franco time. I've never noticed anything particularly funny about Spanish time when I traveled there.

C. Lee McKenzie said...

I have the hardest time when I'm in Spain. I'm starving at the wrong time, sleepy when everyone else is ready to promenade and start looking at dinner menus, and I'm positively wide awake when everyone else is siesta+ing.

Still, I love the country, and since I have relatives there, I'll return.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly - well I'd never realised so I'm glad 'everyone' else seems to find it interesting ... but also the fact you change your daylight saving time this weekend - we've had ours ...

@ Denise - yes ... one of those strange but true facts. I think it depends on how we cope with meal time adjustments ... I'd be ok too - but Lee in the next comment obviously struggles ...

@ Lee - oh dear I feel for you ... some people do struggle to adjust their circadian rhythm - the body clock - if their pattern of life changes. Delighted to read you enjoy the country and your time there - despite Franco's time ..

Thanks to you three ... Franco time doesn't seem to deter us from spending time in Spain and enjoying their life and the people today ... cheers to you - Hilary

Nilanjana Bose said...

Time zone management is a major challenge for me! Thanks for educating me on Spanish time differences...never quite realised that though I have travelled to Spain.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hilary, Very interesting about Franco's Time. I also got a kick out of the Russia/Norway border sign. Just wanted to pop in and say "hi" on a rare day when Blogger is accepting my comments! Take care, my friend!

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nila - with all your travelling ... that I can understand. I just was surprised to find out why 'siestas' happen ... fun to know - except of course we just get on with things ...

@ Julie - how lovely to see you ... I'll be over shortly. Yes - that border sign is very funny - at least I thought so, and I know it'd appeal to your sense of humour. I appreciate you being here as you've been having problems with commenting ...

Cheers to you both ... lovely having you here - thank you ... Hilary

D.G. Kaye said...

Loved this tidbit on time and history Hilary. Manana time I'm very used to after spending two months in Mexico, who incidentally, turned their clocks back two weeks after us in Toronto. Very confusing for flyers, lol. :) <3

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Debby - sorry didn't spot this til now ...

Yes - time differences can be so muddling at times ... but this snippet really informed me ... strange, but true - thanks so much for commenting - cheers Hilary