It’s been a while since we’ve seen Paddy and Plunkett, hasn’t it? But that doesn’t mean they haven’t been out and about… In fact, an email from them landed in just recently! Let’s find out what they’ve been up to, shall we?
Aha! There’s Paddy now… With a sundial. What time is it showing, Paddy?
Fair enough. A sundial in Ireland has a pretty limited operating window, even in summer! I wonder where Plunkett has got to?
Oh, there he is. With… Another sundial!
“Look at this, Paddy! This multi-dial sundial can be used at any time of the year, with one dial for British Summer Time and a second to use in the winter. I think summer time is on the side where you’re standing – what time is it?”
“Ummmm… Still cloudy!”
Oh well, at least they can appreciate the different designs and shapes. And it turns out that this place is full of ever more intricate sundials… We’re in The Time Garden at Carnfunnock Country Park, right here:
This next sundial is more like a sculpture!
“The Cut Cube Dial has angles cut into its sides, and the shadows cast by these allow you to read the time on a series of diagonal markings on the cube’s faces.”
“Plunkett, this is all getting very complicated!”
But it doesn’t stop there. Look at this one!
Neither of the Beasties is sure where to even begin telling the time on this one, the Armillary Sphere. Plunkett goes to have another look at the information board.
“Okay! To read the time, we look at the shadow on the numbered ring created by the gnomon…”
“The metal bar across the middle.”
“Right. I’ll go up and see if that helps.”
“Make sure you’re reading the gnomon’s shadow, Paddy, not the shadow of one of the rings! Then we can find today’s date on the outer zodiac ring, add or subtract the number of minutes it says there, and then…”
“Plunkett, I think I finally know what time it is!”
“Yep! It’s LUNCHTIME!”
Well, at least Paddy’s stomach can be relied upon to keep time, even on the cloudiest of days. Bon appetit, Beasties, and we’ll see you again soon!