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No Time Machine Required 2 August 2015

Posted by Dr Moose in Life, Ponderings, Time.
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To visit the past you do not need a time machine, only a willingness to travel. Leave behind the cities of the south-east and head away. Best, head north. Head into the shires, midland rural or northern hills. Into countryside both conservative and Conservative.
On a personal level, head for the in-laws’. Nestling in piles, on shelves, find relics of, and signposts to, years past. Maps, their cover prices stated in shillings and pence, inches to the mile, blue feltpen appended motorways. Books, helpful gazetteer echoing the long departed past of years “EC”, Early Closing, that distant mark etched in childhood memory along with deposits on glass lemonade bottles, free (not-quite-warm) school milk, Keeping Britain in Europe, and Cod Wars. Delve deeper, to yet more cramped colour plates of undated volume, bearing witness to Manchuria, modern (biplane) fighter aircraft, Jugoslavia and Jonny Weismuller (swimmer, not man among apes).
A world of coal fires, oil-fired central heating and the wireless (even alongside the new wireless, network, never turned on unless needed).
Time travels slow here, distant chuff of preserved steam, nostalgia and the slightest whiff of not-quite rascist paranoia claw at the second hand, reliving a history secondhand.
Yet, buried within, seed-pearls of wisdom and caution whispering beside the siren call of nostalgia. Days of doctors’ bills, finite resource, conflict and evacuation. Before the National Health, Clean Air. No time machine required for past to become present.

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