The Nature of Time OR – "What does a minute really mean nowadays?"

The Beeb does period drama sublimely

Having read “Pride and Prejudice” yet again (awright it is shite – it offends my modernist feminist bones and makes me puke that bold brave women were nothing if they didn’t have the stamp of a man on them), I’ve spent my Saturday night watching Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. Panted a bit over Firth and his wet shirt scene – and felt the exquisite pain of consummation delayed…

Couldn’t be further from the 21st Century. Or even my own earlier 20th Century experience.

What a slow world the P&P world was. Major panics over virtue despoiled were managed by pony – and that wouldn’t be express. Passion and sexual desire were ignited and kept on the slow burner of imagination… Nae smartphone for them. Nae texts and emails and video footage of an intimate nature (wonder what Tulisa would have made of all that? DO NOT – FFS Follow THAT link IF YOU HAVE NO DESIRE TO VIEW PORN).

8 months could pass between hearings and sightings of the loved one. The slow torture of embroidery and church and familial familiarity… the drip drip drip of time. The not-knowing-ness of it all. A person could die (just remember the rudimentary nature of medicine!) and it would be months before you would know.

Poor old Emily Dickinson inhabited just such a world. George Elliot (but there was a goer!) too. The Brontes – most specially in Jane Eyre – lived and breathed the delayed gratification and slow life stuff.

The advent of improved postage and then the phone moved things on a bit. But not so much.

Then came the 90s and universally available computers and the www. and mobile phones.

At 44 I have the privilege of straddling the communication eras.

Born in 1967. Enjoying the wunderkind world of the 1970s – with my flares and Knievel bike stunts (yes, yes, my dear reader I owned that ramp and cruised high over those wee bodies ranged as a dare against the disaster of chopper failure and ramp disintegration)  and trim phones. Knowing that trauma and pain and tears accompanied a  knock on the door from a neighbour with a party line phone anytime after 10pm.

Then mastering a second hand and monstrous type-writer in 1985.

Finally managing academia in the 80s with Amstrad and a word processor and MSDos.

It was the Tiny PC which opened up the world to me in 1995.

Splashing the public sector cash on a mobile in 1997.

But still carefully speaking my dictation into my little machine (what happened to them??) for the typists in 2000.

My impatience has increased. My Blackberry vigilance verges on the neurotic and must constitute mobile phone rage. Reply reply reply I am screaming internally whenever the response takes more than 20 minutes.

Of course – in the private sphere – this equates to nano-speed relationships. I watch my middle son. A glorious beautiful 15 year old. Articulate. Sensitive. Computer savvy. Popular. Physically model-like with his stunning face and slim muscular 6 foot 4″ frame. He posts his status on Facebook – and instantly has 146 likes. Female comments invite him into a virtual world of gratification. He doesn’t need to sweat the am I acceptable/ am I enough shite that accompanied teenage years pre-2010… He knows. And if he wants to chat to the one he winked at this morning then all he needs to do is tap the electronic medium…

Slow burn versus fast and furious flare.

Pigeon post and Pony Express versus BBM.

What have we lost?

What have we gained?

For we have gained some. Surely. 

Answers in your comments – please….


A lot going on – but nothing much to tell.

There is a lot going on…but nothing much that grabs the writer in me and makes me want to spill. Nowt interesting. Nowt that is decipherable or even vaguely hinting at a deeper meaning. It is just life.

Mum had the medics examining her innards today. She and we are none the wiser as to what it all might mean. Mum is either being mysterious and secretive – or she genuinely hasn’t a clue what actually did happen today. The op happened, there was no follow-up doc to speak to her after and the nurse just asked her, mid-recovery and in an exasperated manner “didn’t the doctor speak to you Mrs R”? Ah well. More anon.

I did a quick work meeting this morning before coming home to fret. Truthfully, I am not concentrating on anything much just now. And so much of it seems pointless.

R, the two wee ones and I (after me throwing a stroppy hissy fit at R and his utter f*ing frustrating inability to make any suggestion about what we do, together as a family, at any bloody time – is this a “man thing”? that you men think women are best suited to deciding what to do with”leisure time”?) ended up in Peebles. Where it snowed during a sun-blasted day and my Birkenstocks proved spectacularly inappropriate footwear. To cheer myself I spent more money. 

When we got back I was still in a foul hormonal state – so I went up to my friend Shirley’s… And we put the world to rights. 

Well, we picked over our own respective tiny worlds. Drank wine. Smoked. Roundly and properly put the subject of men and their inadequacies through the mangle. And both laughed and cried.

I admitted to being a crabbit cow. And Shirley said she was too. So, we were crabbit cows who laughed on Saturday night.

I spent yesterday trying out a pastie recipe. Homage to the Coalition (non-Brits should google Pastie-gate to get a flavour of how us Toy-Town countries do our politicians – and how a traditional fast-food snack can level the mighty). I made so bloody many (I blame Jamie – he would encourage me!) that we have more of the minging things to eat for dinner today…

Earlier I pondered whether to walk to the Falls, but my laziness won. It is a bitterly cold day. 

So cold in fact that my would-be boy-child Ana has come in from playing football to look for tracksuit trousers. Here they both are – taken just 20 minutes ago – fresh from fighting over who kicked the ball into the bushes.