American rock band Styx had a song called Too Much Time On My Hands with lyrics like a soundtrack to our daily locked-down lives.
Most of New Zealand has had the same time on their hands for 153 years. In 1868, all the clocks that were connected by telegraph to Wellington - or regulated by a clock that was - struck 12 at the same historic moment.
New Zealand's north/south orientation made a standard time practicable – the time difference between East Cape and West Cape is about 48 minutes, so it was decided no one would be too greatly inconvenienced.
But - as anyone in the southern regions knows, the sun takes longer to ease over the horizon there. Sunset will be at 7.51pm tonight in Te Anau - 30 minutes after Auckland.
So, when New Zealand "springs forward" into daylight saving at 3 o'clock this morning, Te Anau has decided it will never go back. The scenic Fiordland lakeside town - population 2760 – is shifting to "Te Anau Time".
One anticipated spin-off is giving visitors - many from tourist magnet Queenstown, 170km up the road – an extra hour to enjoy the glow-worm caves, for which the town is named, and the majestic Milford and Doubtful sounds.
New Zealand first dabbled with daylight saving in 1927 but the modern era began in 1974/75 when a trial shunted time forward an hour and made it a permanent feature of our summers.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Not everyone's been enamoured with the move to give New Zealanders more evening time. In 1984, the small Northland town of Ararua refused to adopt daylight saving. It hardly proved a boon, with the local school closing down in 1996 and it has long since abandoned the measure.
For his part, Nathan Benfell of the Fiordland Business Association isn't sure how much impact holding the town clock hands will have, saying only "time will tell".
As we continue to live in Covid alert levels - 3 in Auckland and 2 everywhere else -northerners could be forgiven for believing time has stood still for the past six weeks.
Wherever you are today, remember to check your older clocks, particularly, to ensure they have the right time on their hands.