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‘What time is it really?’ The dog and I stalk around the house trying to work it out, the shifting of the clocks having discombobulated us both. With our precise internal clocks, we are tipped off-kilter for the whole of November, trying to perform mental acrobatics to work out what we should be doing.

Being mostly housebound, clocks and time no longer have the pull they once had. With no kids at home, our days are no longer punctuated by the ringing of bells. We are footloose and fancy-free or at least you’d think so, but actually, in order to endure the timeless expanse of the day spreading before us, we have created our own little routine that is actually fairly predictable. Set times for set things makes us both feel productive. Our days following a familiar routine.

Writing until 10:30.

A carrot for the dog around then.

11:00 volunteering – calling older people isolated in the community

12:30 walking the dog.

3:00 A wee disco nap.

It’s not like we die if we do things at different times, or at least I don’t. The dog paces, barking irritably by 10:38 if no carrot is forthcoming. But we have a nice schedule, our lives trundling along in unison.

Except now everything is wrong. I don’t sleep well, a long-term existence but now instead of waking at 5am to write, I wake at 4, groggily checking the time knowing I will no longer sleep. The dog has breakfast at 7am, but now politely reminds us, barking at  6:15 like we have forgotten her. It’s a good job I didn’t sleep in.

She sleeps while I write, accustomed to the laptop meaning she will be ignored.  Only now she’s barking, and I can’t work out if she’s just being an arse or if it’s carrot o’clock. It’s 10am what time is that in old money?

I have wondered at simply not changing the clocks. Of continuing with my own perpetual summertime but the thought of constant mental arithmetic, of trying to work out if we leapt forward or stepped backwards? Does it matter that it’s Monday? The stress, of never knowing what time it was/is, is really too much.

So, we will slowly adjust, secretly hoping hubby won’t notice the clock on the cooker – his superpower the ability to change the time – but no. I walk into the kitchen and with a second glance, I start all over again.

‘What time is it really?’

 Can I phone a friend?

Maybe the clock in the car will know. I will take a carrot just in case.

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