Friday, 17 October 2014

Playing with time...

As we approach the time when the clocks are turned back, the weather is still sort of okay. We've had a bit of rain during the week – always a tad depressing – but otherwise it's been alright and pretty warm too. However, it's dark out there at 0642hrs as I sit in the conservatory and while I've already detected one of those wonderful morning skies of streaked grey cloud and, as yet, no sign of rain, I'm still debating whether to simply miss the ride today or go out somewhere. The fact that I'm debating it at all is due to both Phil and Andy aborting, leaving me with the awful task of self-motivation, although it often means that I ride to mum's for an early morning breakfast and a chat with Jon, if he's there. That's fine, but I always rather despise the ride home when things are busier on the roads and that early morning feeling has been replaced by a mildly fretful journey through the suburban landscape of Wallington and Croydon.

I'm always caught unawares by the clocks going back (or forward for that matter) and I often find myself leaving in the future (or the past) for a few days until I finally get round to altering all the clocks and existing in the present day. It's a shame that when they put the clocks back or forward it's only by one hour; it would be much more dramatic if they moved, say five or six hours, creating a form of jet lag for everybody. A silly idea, I know, and it wouldn't achieve anything other than complete chaos. Imagine, for instance, if one minute it's seven o'clock in the morning and the next it's midnight? It might work when the clocks go back, but probably not when they go forward when 7am has suddenly become twelve noon and you wake up not to breakfast, but lunch, having slept through the entire morning.

October is a funny month. Not only do the clocks go back, bringing winter into sharp focus, but I always find myself debating whether to take a coat or an umbrella when I venture out and usually end up either carrying too much to work or simply getting a little too hot having donned cardigan and raincoat, bobble hat and umbrella and then clunking and clattering along the road with an awkward gait, dropping something like my plastic sandwich box on the hard pavement and constantly swapping umbrella and bag from one hand to the other – nothing streamlined about it, just a chaotic amble rather than a purposeful walk.

Umbrellas are horrible things. When you buy them new (as I did this week) they look nice and neat, all folded up and as streamlined as a walking stick; but once opened they never ever go back to that state and if you've bought one of those small black umbrellas that can fit in your bag or case, they soon look as if you're carrying a dead crow around with you rather than an essential piece of equipment designed to keep you dry in a rain storm. I prefer a hat, but they too make me look stupid. I have one that makes me look like a High Court judge and another, purchased in Milan, with the words New York on the front. As a colleague at work asked, why doesn't it read 'Milan'? Good point.

When the clocks first go back there are lighter starts, but soon the darkness returns and the misery of winter is then here to stay until March when the clocks, joyfully, go forward and I find myself wandering around the house changing all the clocks again and possibly living in the past for a day or two, although it's better to live in the future as that way I won't be late for work.

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