Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Cure for Tardiness

The last day of September - now where did that month go?

Yesterday I realised something - I have a big problem with time. It has an infuriating habit of just running through my fingers. For instance yesterday I was supposed to be picking up a friend from her house across the city at quarter to twelve. I knew that, I had it in mind. I remember telling myself it was time to get ready at 11am and made a few attempts to move in that direction...but the next thing I knew it was 11.39, my hair was still dripping wet and I was just surfacing from wondering about the spot on the back of a caterpiller I had found on SNAILS TALES.

The friend and I discussed my problem after I had arrived at her house with my hair still wet and my shoes still undone (I also realised later that I had been in such a frantic rush to get into the car that most of my skirt had been caught in door and had been billowing out in the rain - which may explain the honking of a couple of cars that overtook me). Looking back at my life my sense of time has always been deficient. When I was a teacher I would frequently be startled by the the end-of-lesson bell and we'd have to rush to finish; burning vegetables is something I do so frequently that we have had to disconnect the smoke alarm just outside the kitchen; and I have been so late for talks and aerobics sessions that sometimes it has nt been worth going at all. My friend says she has never any problem with this - in fact she is one of those people who can guess the time even when she wakes in the middle of the night. Hodmandod Senior can do this too. He quite often guesses the time to the nearest minute - which I find amazingly impressive because I usually have no idea whatever.

Now I am just wondering if this innate ability to know the time has ever been investigated by psychologists or biologists. Perhaps it is connected with melatonin levels or whatever it is that controls our circadian rhthym. Whatever it is I would love to know there is something I can do to improve - rather than check the clock more assiduously than I do already.

Another alternative, I guess, would be to buy one of these dogs featured on Newsbiscuit. I have been following this site ever since it started a couple of weeks ago - and generally find something to keep me sniggering until lunch every time I visit.

Other sites I have noticed are Science Book Blog (because the author, Jon Turney, was kind enough to mention one of my books - having reviewed it in the Independent when it came out three years ago). From this I came across ABSW (Association of British Science Writers) which looks like it might be worth a regular visit. The main author, Michael Kenward, used to be editor of the New Scientist for many years.

Moving on from this I see that L Lee Lowe has managed to post the next chapter of her YA novel MORTAL GHOST despite temporarily relocating to Florida (I think this novel is getting more and more involving and intriguing each time I read), Pete Wild has started serialising his novel ESPIONAGE on Dogmatika (it uses the metaphor of a jigsaw to great effect), and Adrian Benson, a member of Chester Writers, has started a blog of his stories on SOMEWHEN ELSE. I have known Adrian's writing for about fifteen years. It is always wonderfully moody, enigmatic and evocative so I am very pleased to see it published here so I can dip in whenever I feel like it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adult attention deficit disorder. It occurs in the most brilliant minds. You're just on another 'plane'.

Sat Sep 30, 07:55:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Ha, AAAD very good - also occurs in the most ordinary minds too, I fear... I think Hodmandods Major and Minor would agree about my being on another plane though.

Sat Sep 30, 08:29:00 pm  
Blogger Lee said...

Thanks for these fiction links, Clare. Wild is already on my watch list,but Benson is new.

Sat Sep 30, 10:19:00 pm  
Blogger Debi said...

I think it's cos we're living at the wrong rhythm and try to do too much. For example, if we do the weekly shop, that should be ALL we do that day. We should dress up, wander, chat with people we meet, take our time ... (think about that last phrase!).

In other cultures that's what happens. Here we call it taking time to smell the roses. We don't do it often enough or for long enough ... And if we do, we usually feel guilty.

Bah! Humbug!

Sun Oct 01, 01:28:00 pm  
Blogger Tammy said...

LOL I'm the opposite but your visual was very funny!

Sun Oct 01, 04:59:00 pm  
Anonymous crimeficreader said...

I sometimes end up at work with wet hair. Now that autumn is upon us in full force, I must manage my time better.

Personally, I hate being late, for me and for those I'm meeting.

I agree with Debi too. But I think that's just one of the ways in which we live here on this island, where things could be improved... I've stopped doing a weekly shop now. Even with a fridge things don't seem to last and fruit and veg lose vits the longer you keep them.

Sun Oct 01, 08:24:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Yes, I agree Debi. If I had just one thing to do, I would be OK, I expect. Some people are no good at multi-tasking and I am one of them.

Thanks tammy - and CFR - Yes, I hate being late too. I feel terrible about it when I keep someone waiting just a few minutes, and I guess I make a lot of effort when it really matters, but most of the time the only one that suffers seems to be me...and then not much when I think about it. So much of what I do doesn't matter very much at all.

Sun Oct 01, 09:22:00 pm  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

One must not resist the snail nature, Clare! And what could be unimportant about leaving a silvery track everywhere you go? I think all you do is highly important...

Mon Oct 02, 06:14:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Marly: Thank you Marly - that is so kind...yes, my silvery trails, I must be careful when I make them. Some things cannot be rushed.

Mon Oct 02, 08:46:00 pm  

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