Friday, 1 January 2010

Diaries & Calendars - Happy 2010

And here we are at the start of another “new year” or just a new month, week or day depending on how we look at it. After all we are told by many exceptional scientists that time is only relevant to a particular space or situation and possibly or even probably is not linear at all.
So why does my mind always think of January at the left hand side with the year working it’s way across to December at the right hand side? Is it because most diaries start at January at the beginning of the book and work through to December at the end? Or is it more to do with my limited ingrained knowledge of Pope Gregory’s calendar – though I believe that’s more to do with the calculation of dates of festivals like Easter than the actual lay out of the months.

Some calendars are quite straight forward in their lay out of how the year runs. Those spiral bound ones with a page for each month with an appropriate picture on it and the dates of the days in a box underneath. They are usually ok for me – until you come to when you need to work out how many weeks from the second of one month to the second of the next. Now this would be easy if all months started on the same day – it wouldn’t matter which day, just the same one – but they don’t. The 1st January 2010 (today) is a Friday and the 1st of July is a Thursday. So if I book my holiday for the 1st July, I have to count all those numbered days in between then divide it by seven to see how many weeks till I go away. Well, my maths was always poor and this is not a fail safe method for me.

Of course I can hear you saying, “You count the weeks themselves, numbskull” (you might not call me numbskull but some such thing) But there’s another problem for me – the days of the week don’t begin on the same date either. How they came up with this idea beats me. I don’t know why we don’t now go decimal and just have ten months in a year, ten weeks in a month, ten hours in a day (maybe that could run to twenty for those busy people)

Then there’s some calendars that try to confuse you completely by having all the months on one page only they go around the picture, usually clockwise – why clockwise ? If time is not linear they could go anywhere on the page, but maybe that would be even more confusing. I once asked an Arabic friend if she thought of the year as going left to right as she reads from right to left - back of the book to the front in my terms. However, our discussion never came to a real conclusion due to neither of us quite understanding what the other was on about.

Anyway, my new 2010 diary which I must begin to write in today starts with January 1st on the first page and ends with December 31st on the last page so I reckon I’ll stick with the linear thing. If it turns out that we should be working some other way around, then I am sure we will be able to cope with the changes – they managed it in 1582 and we are supposed to be a lot more advanced since then.

Happy 2010 (and you may say those numbers any way you wish ! )

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