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About A Week: Time

Peter Hinchliffe thinks it is now time to consider time.

There goes Lepton Church clock, striking five - and I’m late for tea. Time to hurry home, kick off my hiking boots, sit down to a hot meal.

Time then to re-fill the teapot and blissfully sip the brew while reading page by page through the latest edition of The Examiner.

Time for a good book, a couple of TV programmes (documentaries please), a pint of mild in Rowley Club.

Time then for bed.

In next to no time the alarm beeps. Time to get up and enjoy another day of retirement.

Time, time, time… The relentless tick and tock of life.

What they don’t tell you as you start out along your own time path is that the older you get the quicker comes the tick, followed by an ever more hurried tock.

Time limps in lead-lined boots during your schooldays. “Oh no! All this blah blah about some ancient geek called Pythagoras. I think that’s what the teacher said, geek. Somebody should have jabbed old Pytho with the sharpest point of one of his triangles. Boring, boring… Will the bell never ring.’’

Time drags its feet through all the days when you’re a wage slave. “Monday morning again. I’ve been at work just 20 minutes and it feels like a week. Roll on Friday. Roll on retirement!’’

Before you have time to notice what’s happening your twenties and your thirties, your forties and your fifties have gone tick-tock, tick-tock…

And you are retired.

Then for its own perverse reasons time chucks its weighted boots in the waste skip and dons a pair of trainers. You begin to hobble. Time starts to sprint.

Ancient history begins to seem like the recent past. Queen Victoria? Good grief, can this be right? She died only 34 years before I was born. The First World War? Armistice Day a mere 17 years before yours truly arrived in the world.

Now another year is ending. Nobody warned me way back then that a year could shrink to the size of a month. Seems like only yester-eve that I was helping to ring the midnight bell at Lepton church to welcome in a new millennium, but more than 60 months have gone slip-sliding away since that time of fireworks and fun.

Who cares about years, months, days… The secret of life is to relish the hour and minute. Let the days, months and years to take care of themselves.

Mind you I’m not so far advanced along my own time line as to be disinterested in the passage of the hours. I’ve just bought myself a new wristwatch. A diver’s watch which allows me to go down to a depth of 200 metres without fear of water leaking into the works. Come to think of it, when is the last time I dived that deep? Or even had a swim?

This watch is powered by a battery which will last 10 years. Good feature that. The only problem is I’ve reached a stage in life when 10 years lasts just six months.


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