Tag Archives: imagination

You Never Know When You Might Come Across a Time Travel Portal

View of historic buildings through a window

I had a class last night. We were in a room at the uni that I hadn’t been in before. The picture above is the view from where I sat. I was struck by the contrast of old and new; the modern(ish) classroom, with the glimpse of history just outside. I imagined that the window was a portal to the past; I could simply step through and would find myself in some oldy worldy historical times of yore (I’m not very good with history, so don’t push me on dates). Some might say I should have been concentrating on class rather than imagining the window as a time travel portal, but I say – where’s their spirit of adventure?

Maybe I would come across Shakespeare suffering from writer’s block, I could tell him about the future and his block would be instantly unblocked. I’ve always thought he missed a trick by not writing about time travel. Who doesn’t love time travel stories right? I’ve seen Back to The Future, so I know you’re not supposed to change anything if you go back to the past, but surely the addition of one little time travel play amongst all of Shakespeare’s works isn’t going to upset the space-time continuum too much is it? I’m pretty sure generations of school children would thank me.

Or if not Shakespeare, maybe I could help some peasants with their revolting. If I brought some IT equipment through with me, I could produce some posters which I think would help them get their message across much more effectively. (What do you mean the building on the left doesn’t quite fit with revolting peasant times? Stop trying to ruin my adventure!). Or maybe there will be a princess that needs rescuing, I can totally help with that, I’ve seen Disney films, I know what to do. And then if the princess wanted to let me try on some of her dresses afterwards to express her gratitude, well, it would be rude to refuse.

I asked my classmate sitting next to me what she could see out of that window, I asked if she could see the time travel portal too, or whether I was the only special privileged one. I wondered if she would tell me that all she could see was a modern office block and some cars. She didn’t answer though, she just gathered up her books and moved to another desk. Some people are so strange.

Given a choice though, I’d probably rather have a portal to the future. We already know  a lot about the past, but we don’t have a clue about the future. I’d like to see what we’ve made of ourselves and the world around us in the near future: 25, 50, 100 years from now. I daren’t go too far into the future because there might be nothing left to go to, and then I might not be able to get back, I don’t really know how it all works, but I’d better play it safe. Maybe next week’s classroom window will have a portal to the future, and then I’ll be able to find out, in my imagination at least…

If you came across a time travel portal, would you choose to go forwards or backwards? What would you like to see? Do you wish Shakespeare had written about time travel? And do you think a princess would consider a pair of jeans to be a fair swap for one of her dresses?

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Things I Would Like to do in Real Life That I’ve Only Seen On Screen

THE SPECTACULAR DANCE
I’m at some function, everyone’s dancing, but as soon as my partner and I start dancing, the crowd parts to watch and cheer us because we are choreographed to perfection and are SPECTACULAR!

Grease dance

I don’t think my one will be in a school gymnasium, but other than that, very similar

THE POOL CHALLENGE
I walk into a dive bar, I’m a stranger. Some jerk is playing pool with his jerky buddies. They make disparaging remarks about me, so I challenge the jerk to a game of pool. Him and his jerky buddies laugh, but he takes the challenge anyway. I totally thrash him while remaining super-cool at all times. At first he looks like he’s going to get angry, but at the last second his buddy touches him on the arm which miraculously turns him into Mr Super-Nice. He has a change of heart, smiles, congratulates me, and welcomes me to the bar.

Movie pool table

There’ll be a lot more people here at the time to watch my victory game

THE VENTILATION DUCT
I could have just listened at the door, but that’s no fun. Instead I crawl along the ventilation duct which positions me just above the room where the two baddies are having the crucial reveal-all conversation, which starts just as I arrive, and finishes when I move 1mm and create a creaking sound that makes them look up to exactly where I am. It’s ok though, I’ve got all the information I need to save the day.

Bruce Willis scene

Thankfully Bruce Willis will be there to help light the way

THE GREAT ESCAPE
I’m driving through a city to escape the baddies. After crashing my car into some crates of fruit, I leap out and carry on by foot. I will run at high speed across several busy roads while looking behind me and  not getting hit by anything, and will then join in with a St Patrick’s Day parade that is conveniently passing through, enabling me to hide long enough for the baddies to lose me.

Taylor Lautner

I’ll be like Taylor Lautner, only in high heels

THE SPONTANEOUS SPEECH
I walk into a bar (again), there is some reason why I need to have my say about something to someone in there. As soon as I utter the first few words, the jukebox music screeches to a halt, and everyone goes silent. I deliver an award-worthy speech; I’m making it up as I go along, and yet it is word perfect, everything flows, it is poignant, dramatic (but not overly so), and leaves everyone in awed silence. There may follow some applause, I’m not sure, maybe even a few tears. Either way, I’m pretty sure I’ll be looking fabulous throughout.

Movie glamour

I’ll be looking pretty much like this when I deliver the speech

What have you only ever seen in movies that you would like to do in real?

(This post was inspired by a recent post on Slouching Towards TV that you may like to read too.)

Sardine Cans in the Dirt

French Alps

The French Alps. Spring 1977. Four young girls aged from three to seven are digging in the dirt for empty sardine cans. The days have been getting warmer and the snow has almost completely thawed, revealing the treasures beneath. The girls dig with their hands, and with sticks. The ground is cold but they barely notice. They collect anything interesting that they find, but what they are really looking for is old empty sardine cans. There is no greater treasure to be found here. Sardine cans are vessels in which to make perfume from the fresh fragrant mountain leaves which they will collect later. Sardine cans are for storing collected pretty stones which they know are precious fairy gems. Sardine cans are plates and cooking pans for use in the many camps they will build over the summer. Sardine cans are houses or baths for any little insect friends that may be found. Sardine cans are beds for the dolls they will make out of grass.

Today’s excavation yields three cans. A good haul. Before they can be used though, they need to be carefully cleaned. The girls use a stick to scrape out the dirt from inside and then take them to the spring to wash them. The water from the spring is freezing cold and their hands quickly turn red and numb, but they won’t stop until the cans are as clean as they can be. One of the girls gets a little cut from the can while rubbing it under the water. A drop of blood. Nothing serious. When the cans are clean they are left out to dry. Soon they will join other cans, along with pieces of broken plates and glass, ready to fire the imaginations of four young girls on their mountain home.

One of those girls was me, and that was a little glimpse into the year I spent living in an abandoned village in the French Alps with my mother and another family. No electricity. No plumbing. Nobody else but us. The other village homes were empty. Everyone else gone. We grew, or reared, or found, our food. We didn’t really have any toys. But we had a mountain, our imaginations, and sardine cans in the dirt.

photo credit: WouterKvG via photopin cc