mean time, in greenwich

Since time began some of us have had trouble with it.

As a kid I really struggled to learn how to tell the time on analogue clocks and didn’t relish the gift of my first wristwatch – a rite of passage for kids in the pre-digital age.

Just recently I read that problems with spatial awareness can be a sign of a neuro-developmental delay ((NDD) , but I prefer to think of it as my own special chronology trying to manifest itself.

My husband will tell you I still have a problem with Australian Eastern Standard Time or, as he calls it, Eastern Sarah Time.

Small wonder, given that I’m the subject of a secret time experiment.

I discovered this week that every single clock in the house including the one in the microwave is between 13 and 34 minutes faster than it should be. Even my Google calendar is an hour out of sync.

I have been suspicious about this for some, well, … time: wondering why I frequently arrive at places where the resident clock tells me it’s before I actually left home.

Confronting Father Time about this, he shrugged and handed me an article from the Atlantic Monthly.

It was about how the times displayed on departure boards in New York’s Grand Central Railway Terminal are always, albeit ever-so-slightly wrong; deliberately so in order to prevent passengers rushing.

Apparently Grand Central boasts the fewest concourse accidents of any train station in the country even though most of its floors are marble.

We don’t have marble floors, cries I.

True’, says Lord Chronos smugly, “but have you ever once missed a train?”


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