Punch the clock

Posted by Ian

One of the best things about Christmas and New Year is the way it messes up time. Well, gently manipulates it. Five whole days are taken out of circulation and given new names: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

The effect, at least from personal experience, is to temporarily lose all track of where you are in the week. You completely forget whether it’s a Tuesday or a Wednesday, whether it’s the weekend or not, and – if you’re lucky to have the whole period as holiday – the last time you went to work. The effect persists into the new year. It certainly doesn’t feel like a Thursday. In fact I’m not sure what it feels like. But it’s quite nice.

Another subversion of time has been underway for a while on Harry Lamin’s Experiences of an English Soldier. Lamin is currently posting letters direct from the front line of World War One. Albeit exactly 90 years to the day they were originally written and sent. The blog is a project set up by his grandson, and has been running for one a half years. It’s a fascinating example of history being brought back to life. As readers, we’ve no idea when or where Harry will post next, or whether he survives the war. The erratic, unpredictable nature of the blog perfectly – and poignantly – recreates what it must have been like for Harry’s relatives at the time, anxious for news, assailed by fear, and waiting, and waiting… 

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