les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Is that ECT, BST, GMT or DKT?

We're an hour ahead of our dear ones in the United Kingdom. France operates on what, I believe, is called Europaean Central Time, currently at GMT + 2.

Meanwhile the UK is now on British Summer Time, GMT + 1, which must seem like a bitter irony as the winds lash and the rain cascades.

Incidentally the stress of adapting to this national tidal wave of sleep lost and gained is enough to account for a noticeable rise in heart attacks. So take it slowly. Certainly last week I along with many others was suffering with la crève, an extreme fatigue that comes upon you for no discernable reason, if not the change to Summer Time.

But here in the Davey household we had another problem. Between our living room and our kitchen there was a noticeable time difference of about 6 minutes. We called this Davey Salon Time (DST) and Davey Kitchen Time (DKT). DST was well aligned with all the other clocks we knew, such as the internet, our mobile phones. DKT was six minutes behind.

Our flat is what estate agents would call "deceptively spacious", but it's not that big. Why this time warp?

Well time, as we know, is not really a constant. It is composed of waves of timey-wimey stuff and therefore extremely variable, and the quantum effect of moving between the salon and the kitchen was strangely sufficient to warp time to the ...

Our living room clocks are battery powered. Our kitchen clocks, on the oven and the microwave, are mains-electric. Mains-electric clocks commonly use the 50Hz cycle of the alternating current to measure time. And since January, because of some jiggery-pokery in which I seem to recall the Russians were involved ("Oh no we were not!" "Oh yes you were!"), the alternating current in Western Continental Europe was about 49.9996Hz, enough over a couple months to put our clocks slow by six minutes.

So THAT'S why I missed those buses! And THAT'S why the (mains-powered) clock on Pat's side of the bed was six minutes slow all the time.

It's now been sorted out and by some more jiggery-pokery (they ran the current at 50.00001Hz for a while) the ovens of the continent are showing the correct time once more.


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