Time – that strange truth of the physical universe. It is absolute – a second is a second, a year is a year. Unless you are flying close to the speed of sound out and back to the edge of the Universe, time has the same value wherever you are in the world. Except it doesn’t. Time is relative, and not in any Einsteinian way. It’s relative to the task being accomplished at any given moment. You know I’m right, but think about it for a moment:

You are having a leisurely evening with friends, doing your bit for the viticulture industry. In this situation, hours will fly by until it is suddenly 2am, there are a dozen empty bottles and you know there will be woodpeckers in the morning. In this scenario, the wings of time fly swiftly and the hours flit away like the seeds of a dandelion clock on a summer breeze.

Or alternatively, you are chained to your desk racing a deadline to complete a report / homework assignment / press release (insert your own nemesis here). The evil Gods of Time choose this moment to fast-forward the clock. When you started, you had 2 hours to complete what would normally be a 20 minute task. Now, just minutes later, you’re down to 20 minutes to complete what would normally be a three hour task.

Anyone who has woken in the wee small hours knows how minutes can drag into hours. You’re lying there, in the dark. The green digits show 03:48. You don’t want to get up, it’s cold out there, and you will disturb the dog and you will have to let him out to pee, and then he will think it’s morning and time to eat,then go for a walk, then …. You get the picture. And you can’t turn a light to read, because you will wake your significant other, and you do not want to wake your significant other. Oh No. So you lie there, staring at the ceiling. You lie there for what seems like an hour. You turn your head to check, and the clock flashes back at you: 03:57. And so it goes on. You toss and turn, you get too hot so you throw back the covers, then you are too cold. You go pee. You lie there some more, then glance again: 04:26. Finally, finally around 05:12 you fall asleep, only to be woken milliseconds later by the alarm blaring out at 06:00

And another – if you are waiting for someone and you are in a warm car, or indoors, time drags, sure, but nowhere near as slowly as if you are on a windy corner, maybe in the snow. Take off your gloves – the time will move even slower. But if you are the one they are waiting for, your time speed changes exponentially based on the situation in which your waitee is waiting.

Mrs Drew often ‘pops in for a few things’ when we are out in the car. “I’m just getting bread and milk – 5 minutes,” she says. And I am sure to her, she does go round the store quickly. And it takes her thirty minutes and four shopping bags to get bread and milk. My thirty minutes, without my glasses to allow me to browse inappropriate websites on my phone to while away the time, takes 2 hours. Hers, fighting the crowds, spotting exceptional offers, takes 10 minutes.

And so, all you Physics types with your laws of relativity and planet sized brains, figure that one. If time is absolute, why is it so elastic?


And with that, I conclude my T posting. And I am almost back on track for the Challenge. I O U a U.

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