Oh God, it's a hobby horse news day! Not content with creating a brouhaha over Susanna Reid's cleavage there are two other news stories at the moment which are guaranteed to wind up the clockwork in my hobby-horse.
First of all there's the report that Daylight Saving Time (aka. Summer Time) may well be bad for you.
Apparently putting the clocks forward an hour plays havoc with our body clocks and circadian cycles.
Well yes, of course it does. Haven't you ever noticed?
Apparently this may be a contributing factor to an increase in heart attacks following the Spring clock change.
I wonder why I keep saying that we should abandon Summer Time and keep GMT the year round.
The majority of the global population doesn't keep Summer Time (see the map here), so why do we need to? People increasingly work flexibly these days, so it shouldn't matter that, within broad zones, we all have a clock which says noon when the sun is directly overhead (as GMT defines for the UK).
Secondly, we're told that SE England is running out of water and that the water companies are about to impose hosepipe bans.
I don't see why this should come as a surprise. Yes, we've had a couple of dry winters. But we also use excessive amounts of water.
Many years ago we were advised by our masters that we should shower rather than bath because it uses less water. This, however, created two problems which clearly weren't foreseen. (A) that people would have more powerful showers, and spend more time in the shower, so they often use just as much water per shower as they for a bath. And (B) that people will shower every day; some even several times a day.
Neither is necessary, unless one is doing a really dirty job. And frankly most of us aren't.
Back in the good old days we used to bath once or twice a week, or if we fell in the duck pond. Which was fine as long as we had a decent wash every day. The majority of jobs, and our environment, are now a lot less dirty than they were. So why do we need to shower every day?
Answer: We don't. A good daily wash with a shower a couple of times a week is fine. This is what I do and I don't think all my friends are too polite to tell me I smell.
That though is only part of the water problem. We flush too much water down our toilets unnecessarily. Loos do not need flushing after every pee. Or if they do, a quick 1-2 litres is enough, not the 4 litres even most modern dual flush cisterns provide. I also get incensed when I see people hosing down their houses or washing the car and leaving the hose running water away down the gutter while they polish and buff.
But the water companies are not blameless. We know many water companies are struggling with old Victorian water mains and sewers. But they really do need to do more to stem burst mains as soon as they appear and not leave them running water to waste for days, weeks or even months. Not only would this save loads of water but it must also save money in the long run.
Meanwhile, yes, let's have a hosepipe ban and let's have it properly enforced. Then let's install water meters on every property. It seems the only thing that Joe Public understands is being hurt in the pocket.
Now remind me why most of us live in the driest quarter of the country? Oh, maybe it's something to do with sun and warmth? But then again, maybe not; after all this is England!