Wednesday, 2 April 2014


It's most unfortunate, but I find it very difficult to change the habit of a lifetime.  Time.  I wouldn't go so far as to say that I'm obsessed with it, but time is important to me.  Not time in the sense that I want time for myself or time to do this or time to do that but time in the sense that things should happen on time and I want to know the time, both the time now and the time when things are supposed to happen.  I don't know why I should have this, not exactly obsession, but perhaps this quirk of nature.  I think it has always been there in that I have always, always hated to be late for anything.  So much so that I have maintained for many years that if I am not five minutes early for a meeting, I am late.  And I do so hate being late.

The Old Bat's friend Sue was one of those people who are the diametric opposite to me.  She was never on time.  It used to irritate me no end, despite my knowing full well that there was nothing I could do to change her - until we came up with the solution.  We started telling Sue that the meeting or whatever started 15 or 20 minutes earlier then it really did.  That way she had a sporting chance of getting somewhere on time.  How she ever managed to catch a train or plane is quite beyond me.  And even after her death, nothing changed.  She turned up late for her own funeral!

It is not really surprising that the Old Bat is not time-conscious to the extent that I am.  This means that she might have the evening meal ready at any time within a spread of about 45 minutes - although, to give her her due, that is usually a shorter span of nearer 30 minutes.  But either way, I never know just when the meal is to be served, which means that I frequently stop doing something before I have finished what I wanted to achieve, only to find that I could have carried on for another 10, 15 or even 20 minutes.

My obsession (if that is what it is) also means that clocks and watches have to show the correct time.  Two or three minutes out might not result in the world coming to an end, but it might just as well mean that event is imminent as I am so obsessed with the kitchen clock showing to correct time.

There was a time . . .  That word again - but this time I really mean there was an occasion when I saw an advertisement for a wrist watch that maintained the correct time by checking in with the atomic clock.  Wow, just the ticket for a time-obsessive like me.  It would also mean that when I visit France, the watch would automatically adjust to continental European time when I landed in Calais, and switch back to Greenwich Mean Time on arrival in Dover.  What a marvellous toy! 

But naturally, I was doomed to disappointment.  When the watch arrived, I discovered that it checked in with the atomic clock only twice a day, 3.00am and 3.00pm or something similar.  So it would not automatically adjust to a different time zone as I crossed to line.  I might find myself wandering around with a watch showing the wrong time for as much as twelve hours!  And there was another snag.  The watch was set to check with the atomic clock in Rugby.  That would not be a great help if I was in France or Belgium, where the rime is an hour ahead of the time in Rugby.

And just to add to the difficulties, although I could manually make a connection between watch and atomic clock, there was no signal between the watch and Rugby anywhere in our house or garden - or even our road.  I had to walk nearly a quarter of a mile away before I could even make the connection.

But I did at least get my money back.  And now I have two watches - one set to English time and one to French.


joeh said...

I always hated watches, now the cell phone gives me the time and adjusts automatically.

#1Nana said...

One of my greatest pleasures in retirement is that I don't have to pay attention to time. Since I still free lance a little, it's always stressful for me when I have to trend a meeting. I've lot the ability to judge how long it will take, to getredy and drive to a meeting. Last week I was a half an hour early. Fortunately I had my book with me and sat in the car and read.