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The thief of time, or: Where the hell did those two years go?

It’s a truism that time appears to pass faster as we get older. Just how true this is was brought home to me anew when it crossed my mind that I had, a while ago, been thinking about writing a piece with a similar title to the above.

Then I realised that I had been thinking about it around last New Year. Yet it felt to me like it had been no more than a few weeks before.

Then on Radio 4′s Today program, before I left for work this morning, they were doing a piece on time-saving devices, and how some people think that they don’t save us time, but merely free us to waste it in new ways. And how we’ve lost the sense of process.

To paraphrase:

We travel only to be at our destination, not to experience the journey; we treat food as something to eat, not something to cook; we wash merely to have clean clothes or dishes, not to get them clean.

Which is all very well, but what exactly is the problem with that? Especially in the case of the last point: I’d say, “Damn right” to that one The single best household good we ever bought was the dishwasher.

As for travelling, well of course we do it to be at the other place. For example, I went to ‘s with Frances and the kids for New Year, and the purpose of the travelling was only so that we could be with our friends. If I could have stepped onto a transporter platform and beamed there in an instant I’d certainly have done so in preference to experiencing the dubious pleasures of the rain-drenched M11.

On the other hand, I do enjoy cooking, but what with work and kids and band there’s little enough time for home life. And at the same time, it’s slightly ironic that they should run that piece just a week after many if not most people in the country have spent a day cooking (or helping to cook) the biggest meal of the year.

Here’s a thought: if, on Christmas Day, you could press a button and instantly have a classic Christmas dinner ready, with no preparations and no cooking, would you? I think I probably wouldn’t. Because part of the whole Christmas experience is the preparation and cooking.

Though I would certainly use such a magic button at other times…

With the year-change bringing thoughts of time, the other time-related quote I was thinking of using as a title was, “Time takes a cigarette”, from Bowie’s
‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’. Then what do they go and use as part of the backing for the Radio 4 piece? Plagiarists!

It was an interesting piece, though, and I would have liked to listen to all of it; but I was already late leaving, and so (of course) I didn’t have time.

And last year’s piece? Inevitably I never found the time to write it.

In a nice touch of real-world LiveJournal linking, just after the year turned at Si’s, we got a phone call from . Which was nice.

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