Events in Norfolk and Suffolk / stories / Then & Now / valley lad memories / Waveney Valley March 2, 2017
When asked to do something, how often do we exclaim ‘I haven’t got time’! More important, how often is it true? What we really mean is there are other things we would rather do instead or consider more important.
There are many definitions of the word time but the one that most affects our lives is; — ‘A quantity measured by angle through which the earth turns on its axis’. At the same time it circles the sun to give us our seasons as well as the days and consequently Greenwich Mean Time by which our clocks and watches are set. No matter what our station in life, we are all obliged to fit our lifestyle into the perpetual progression of time.
Did You Know?
Even before the days of clocks and watches people’s activities were still controlled by time that was determined by the sun as it created night and day and the seasons. It all became much more precise when the calendar was introduced to break the seasons into months, weeks and days. This enabled certain periods to be earmarked for special events and celebrations.
As the years passed, communities found they had more and more occasions to plan and look forward to but they didn’t have time broken down into hours and minutes as precisely as we do today. Nothing could have been as punctual as that for them. Some depended on sun dials which had become popular among those with large gardens.
Right up to the First World War it was only the well off that were able to afford clocks and pocket watches but people found their own ways of knowing what time it was. Those working outside and in the fields knew when the trains going by were due and even when they couldn’t see them they could hear them. Generally trains ran to schedule in those days.
For many of those who worked in factories there was a siren or hooter that was sounded at a set time before they were due to start. Others, like the Railways and Mines, employed someone to go to their homes and ‘call on’ key staff like the drivers and firemen to ensure they arrived in good time for their shift.
Many Schools had a large bell in a purpose built tower above the building that was rung before lessons began to hurry the children on their way. In almost every town and village people were aware of the time on Sunday mornings when the Church bells were peeled for half an hour before the Morning Service was due to start. Some also had Church clocks that chimed every quarter of an hour. Unfortunately if the wind was blowing strongly from the wrong direction they couldn’t be heard.
It was not until after the Second World War that many ordinary folk were able to afford to buy a timepiece but not many years passed before Quartz watches appeared. These were cheap enough to be available to everyone. Since then, time has become even more manifest in the planning and scheduling of our day to day lives. Even though life becomes less hectic as we get older, with time seeming to pass much quicker, it appears to be far more valuable and everything becomes more urgent.
To us human beings time is relative to our three score years and ten, whereas to some creatures, like butterflies, it’s only a matter of hours. When we are told to take time out to concentrate on or do something in particular, it really has no influence at all on time and actually means we are just re-adjusting our routine. No matter how long it takes us to do so, time continues to pass without our having any affect on its progression and it can never be saved or retrieved. It’s gone forever!
The speed at which time passes versus what we set ourselves to do must be responsible for much of the pressure put on people living in today’s Society. Our successes and failures in life depend to a large extent on how we plan and allocate the time available and necessary for each and every one of our objectives.
Is there any way to escape this pressure that is put on us by passing time?
Perhaps we could start by learning to compromise and put more value on the time we have both daily and long term. Then find a way to leave some space, at least a short while, when we can relax and plan carefully a programme that ensures we give priority to the things that matter to us the most.
As we do this we must bear in mind the regular need we all have for a complete break from day to day chores. Here of course we get the added problem of financing it. Whatever we decide to do it has to be during the right Season, which is dependant on the location and the cost as well as having to fit into the routine of all those concerned.
Many of us spend time on our mobile phones, and pay for a data allowance each month but never use it all, so you could spend some idle time having a bit of fun and Play Online Casino Games, most games you can try for free, but then if you sign up you could become a real winner, having fun and making money at the same time!
There are of course simple, cheap and relaxing holidays if they happen to be things you enjoy doing. Boating on the rivers and canals or camping and caravanning are very popular but not to everyone’s liking. Those of us that can afford it are more likely to prefer a break where we are waited on and pampered with little or nothing that we are obliged to do.
Whatever our choice it should be remembered that the time we spend resting, planning and analysing is not wasted. Unless we set aside certain regular periods for this we have no way of knowing if the objectives we are aiming for are the ones that will ultimately give us the best chance of getting the most out of life.
valley lad – [SIXTYEIGHT]