While North played South in international rugby at Murrayfield stadium, Edinburgh—where Scotland met and won against Argentina on Saturday—we were only a drop-kick’s distance away proudly installing a new south-facing Solar Time sundial in a Murrayfield private garden. This was a special installation for a special person—a 50th birthday present from wife to husband—so there was great excitement about setting up the dial to be completely accurate.
“The secret is finding the true south direction of the sun,” Alastair explained, “and this means lining up the sundial at exactly the right time,” which leads on to knowledge of solar time, sundials and clock time. This family were becoming very much involved with study of their new garden timepiece, joking they would soon be needing a sundials advanced course!
At such a northern latitude as Edinburgh the sun sinks very low in winter. It is fascinating to watch its position on the dial right through the months up to Christmas day, and then on into Spring as the days lengthen again. Measuring day length is one of the beauties of this sundial’s design, and the south-facing garden is perfect for seeing the whole unfolding year just by looking at the dial out of the kitchen window.
There’s a difference between North and South, especially in international rugby with Scotland’s next match at Murrayfield coming up against the New Zealand All Blacks , but north and south are key to measuring time against the sun. Just now there is one private garden in Murrayfield where sundial time is a main attraction.