There I was, happily drifting through the month, vaguely remembering the poem "Oh, to be in England now that April's there", when all of a sudden I was no longer in April but May had sneaked in on me. Now, I have nothing against May; it's a great month as months go. Both my brother and I were born in May so it must be a pretty good month. But I would have liked just a little more warning. After all, it's quite unfair of those months to sneak up on a chap while a chap is happily musing about another month. Anyway, we're here now, and there's no way back. Well, not until somebody invents a real time machine.
I don't think I would very much want to go back in time. I suppose it could be interesting to pay a visit to, say, the 16th century just to see what life really was like, but I wouldn't want to stay too long. A couple of hours would be about enough time, I would think, to get a flavour of life. Certainly no longer than half a day. Just imagine it: no tea or coffee to drink, just small beer. No car to get around in, just a horse to ride or use Shanks's pony. No flicking a switch to get instant light.
Even if it was merely a matter of winding the clock back a bit, say 20 or 30 years or so, I don't think I would want to go through all that again. But would I? Go through all that again, I mean. Perhaps it would be rather like those computer versions of solitaire and we could undo something and try a different way. I suppose that could have its advantages in that if a decision I made turned out to be wrong, I could simply change my mind. But just imagine what chaos could ensue if everybody had the same opportunities - and perhaps different people could wind the clock back differently. I might wind the clock back 10 years, but a friend, colleague of family member might want to wind the clock back 20. We'd none of us know what was happening or where we were!
Looking the other way, I wouldn't want to know what lies ahead. I've never believed in fortune telling or horoscopes and I am really very pleased that they are just a load of flannel.
It all puts carpe diem into a different perspective.