Living Clock Controversy

by Penny M

clock smiling face animated clipart

So what time is bedtime?

I love my sleep, especially when it sinks into that deep rest where dreams happen and active participation requires no effort.

I’ve found in my travels that my system has its own clock which ticks at mealtimes, ablution times etcetera.  That’s why there is more to switching time zones than a bit of jet lag.

I’m having supper when my family in Australia is having breakfast, so lunch for me there is a skippable meal until mid-afternoon and supper is an uncomfortably early breakfast.

Some people stay on their work clock even when they’ve retired.  That would be perfect if I was a morning person.  Days are so much longer when you are up before the sun; I would get up if I had to and make use of those extra hours, but I don’t.

Actually, when it comes to somebody else’s time values, life can be tricky.  I pretty much push the boundaries on this one.  You can go to bed at the same time, but do you have to go to sleep?  If you don’t shut those lids until two hours later because, let’s face it, there are distractions, rising with a foreigner’s alarm pushes the old ticker into overdrive.  Lids defy eyeballs, especially if wine was the drink of choice with dinner the previous evening.

Did I miss out on my beauty sleep?  Well, if the standard requirement is eight hours*, the answer to that is no (by the time I have got my eyes in focus).  However, retinal streaming is interrupted prematurely leaving me with stories chasing endings and issues without solutions.  Breakfast could wait for a couple of hour glasses if we had them.

I know what you’re thinking – if I went to bed earlier more often, my system might adapt to birdsong and a morning cuppa. girl stretching in bed wakeup in the morningBut hey, who can retire this early for so long?  I may as well enjoy it until the rat race shakes me into the real world.

 

A Mother Time

by Penny Mleaf2

While contemplating my next blog, I realised that I turned my new leaves over months before New Year’s Day 2014 had a chance to survive the fireworks and reverie. Resolutions were therefore not required. Now that we are in March, after a phenomenal couple of months, I feel I should mark the occasion.

For me, there are few places better than the UK for Christmas. I guess that’s because I was born there and have memories of my father sneaking up the stairs with the stockings at midnight, frosted glass and grass, baubles, tinsel, mince pies, brandy butter, gammon, cranberry jelly and roast parsnips. No matter how hard I tried to recreate the traditional lunch, it was never the same in the humidity of a Durban summer.Frosty Somerset morning

I began this year with my parents in their Somerset home, following a sumptuous meal with their friends at a farm in the English countryside. Above is a view of their back garden, my mother’s wonderland.

After several years of matchsticks until sultry midnights climaxed with self-imposed, lonely views of crackling gunpowder showers over the ocean, local sound effects and calls to children wherever they were, it was pleasant to spend New Year’s Eve with parents and people.

Until my son and then my daughter and her family emigrated to Australia, apart from each New Year’s Eve, and a few years (a couple of decades ago) when I was supposed to watch the share markets as a part of my job, I never seriously considered that anybody else, besides God, was awake when I went to bed.

 “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.”
― Ray Cummings, The Girl in the Golden Atom
www.goodreads.com

Communications became complicated. Melbourne, where my son stays, is eight or nine hours ahead of Durban and one or two hours ahead of Brisbane where my daughter lives, depending upon daylight saving. The UK is one or two hours behind Durban. My brother lives in California which makes it even more complex. To clarify then, as I write this in Brisbane at midday on Monday 17 March, it is one o’ clock in the afternoon in Melbourne, four o’clock in the morning in Durban, two o’clock in the morning in the UK, and seven on Sunday evening in California. I am literally way ahead of my brother.

For the first time since I returned to employment, a quarter of a century ago (eish!), I didn’t have to rush back from the UK for work, school or anybody else. It was like falling into a liquid-centred chocolate pudding. When I eventually emerged four weeks later and tripped back to South Africa, it was to organise my life prior to my trip to Australia. Five and a half weeks squashed into a couple of days of reality in between puddings. I have arrived in Brisbane for two months of mother and granny blessings, interspersed with tapping keys and swiping screens.

 Oh the bliss of being a writer no matter what the time and where. There is always somebody awake to ponder my musings.

 A belated Happy New Year to our precious readers
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Tailor Time

By Penny M

‘Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.’ Faith Baldwin

The seamstress has been nipping and tucking at the contents of my skin for decades. A trillion seconds clothe me with wisdom and wrinkles; from undercover grey to heels, my story has stretched to tiptoe away with my life.

Disrobing is unwise whilst grandchildren peek from the womb and know no shame. A web of instant intelligence holds youth in the pockets of dreams where human threads of silver are seldom found.

Plastic endures in the fabrics of a multitude of makeovers.

I-pods and pads, blue teeth (?), shades that render speechless eyes, rings and ink work in every region, accessorise where feathers and brooches once held fashion together.

Whilst the dress may change, the dummy is constant but the real truth is that nothing is.

And if the Emperor really is naked what are you wearing today?