Time fascinates me – how we perceive time and the speed at which it moves, how a few years can go in a flash and how a few minutes can seem like an eternity when you are waiting for something. (Can you have ‘an eternity’? There must only be one if it is infinite.) I have alway loved stories about time travel – T. H White’s Merlyn (who lives backwards through time), Dirk Gently, Back to the Future, The Time Traveller’s Wife (not one for the fainthearted, I cried quite a lot) and the idea that maybe you could change things if you knew what would happen and whether you should.
I don’t know where the last three months went. It was nearly the end of term and I was flagging a bit, then both the Smalls got chicken pox which gave me a brief respite from the interminable slogs up and down the hill to school several times a day. I kept telling myself to just keep going to the end of term but then term ended and time kept going, it didn’t stop just because I made it there. Then it was the holidays and we had extra swimming lessons and church holiday club and I can’t remember what else but they were gone in far less time than six weeks, I’m sure. Then we had a couple of weeks of half days with Tiny starting in Reception and then we had a couple of weeks of children throwing up and they still haven’t both been at school for an entire week at the same time. I finished an enormous blanket, crocheted an anaconda, sewed a dress, produced an orange carrot and yellow corn costume, made six pineapples with lids for one of my friends who like to keep me busy with peculiar requests for unusual props, I have made a start on my List-of-things-I-have-been-putting-off-for-months-and-will-do-in-September (like the tax returns, I’ve done them now, may I have a trophy?) and writing a blog post, well, I’ve started that one at least and now it is very nearly October when last time I looked it was June. It is time for the Annual-slightly-obsessively-sorting-all-the-tomatoes-into-colour-and-size-order-ritual again, here is a pretty picture to break up all the waffle.
Another thing about time that intrigues me is how as a very small child I can remember my grandparents saying at Christmas it seemed like we only just had the last one when to me it seemed like forever and now I am the one saying time has gone quickly. Does time get quicker and quicker the further through it we are? So is time faster for everyone now than it was thirty years ago or is it to do with your age? Does a six year old in 1915 experience time at the same rate a six year old in 2015 does and does every sixty year old in whatever year experience it at the same, albeit faster, rate?
I like the idea of time as a dimension, our changing perceptions of it make me think of how length and height and width can look different if you have to foreshorten something in a drawing to give the correct perspective. We were talking about dimensions the other day and how many we live in, three or four or more and somebody said it was three and a half because we can only go one way in time but I think four is good. One of my favourite teachers in sixth form college, Roger, (the other one was Eric and between them they somehow got me some A-levels even though I spent most of the time playing the piano loudly in the room right next to the maths department) liked to mischievously ask small children, ‘What do you get if you take seven away from three?’ expecting the answer, ‘You can’t take seven away from three.’ to which he would answer, ‘No, you can’t take seven away from three!’ I’m pretty sure time is a whole dimension, I just haven’t worked out how to go backwards yet. A pause button would be good too then I could sleep for a week without anybody noticing.