Friday, October 31, 2014

"Falling Back" in Russia: A Government Decision I Heartily Endorse

Thank you, dear Russia for joining most of Europe last weekend and falling back an hour. We're now on standard time permanently, never again to change our clocks. At least for now.

Then again, in 2011 when Russia went onto summer time, as daylight savings time is called here, lawmakers announced it was the last time we would be changing clocks. That decision has been reversed, obviously, and I'm thrilled. This early morning sunlight suits me just Fine.

Freida Sergeyovna, Nina Vladimirovna and I meet weekly to pray. Our Saturday meeting was extra relaxed, knowing it was a 25-hour day.

That notion of staying on daylight savings time through the long, Russian winter was hardly enchanting, the sunrise as late as 9:00 here in southern Russia, as late as 11:00 in St Petersburg, in the far north. Personally, I'd had quite enough of that year-round so-called summer time.

And so, over the #clocksgoback weekend, as dubbed by Twitter, with the luxury of an extra hour, Saturday evening was the perfect time to get zucchini-pineapple muffins in the oven for Sunday tea-drinking after worship. Later, as I was working through that pile of dishes, I asked myself, Are you sure this is how you wanted to use this extra hour? The answer would come Sunday.

Time change weekend has special significance for the clock-tending team who cares for Big Ben in London, three time zones west. Known as the Palace of Westminster Clockmakers, twice a year when they change between British Summer Time and Greenwich Mean Time, the group's routine starts at 9:05 p.m. and continues through 2:00 a.m.. Besides changing the hour, the clockmakers also perform scheduled maintenance on what those Britishers consider the world's most famous clock.

Of course the most famous clock across Russia is the Kremlin Clock which overlooks Moscow's Red Square. We can imagine a Kremlin clock team was quite pleased to change the clock after a three year break. Here's hoping they get lots of experience in the years ahead.

Sunday morning when folks were enjoying these muffins with tea, my Saturday evening efforts were amply rewarded. The gift of time is truly a gift. Muffin-making gobbles up considerably more than an hour's effort, but I figure that's a good use of time, say, once a month for our Sunday tea-drinking. And just FYI, in case there's a turn-clocks-forward weekend in the Russian spring, chances are slim any muffins will be produced in my kitchen.

Zucchini-pineapple muffins are always a hit. On the rare occasion when I spot zucchini here in Russia, I snatch it up immediately for this wonderful recipe.

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