24 little hours
24 just isn’t enough. Simple as. And it needs to be sorted.
How on earth can I teach, mark, plan, father, organise, write, print, deliver, drum, iron, read, watch, cook, eat and somewhere in all this sleep without extra time? And you may well call me unorganised (those of you who have seen my desk may have evidence to support your case) but I honestly believe I’m doing the best I can. I’m trying my very best to be the human equivalent of Superman and yet he still seems to outshine me at every turn. (How come his issue #1 gets a $1 million and I get twelve hits on my first blog – I work just as hard!!)
This is why I’m proposing something radical. We slow the earth down – not by much, but just by an hour or so, just to give me a bit more time to do that little bit extra. Yes, it would cause untold damage to the world’s climate, yes it would send currency markets into confusion causing a complete meltdown of the world economy. And I’m pretty sure the people at the Calendar club would be quite cheesed off when I tell them we’ve got to have a rethink on the whole ‘sturcture of time and existence’ idea. But hey – there’s the chance of an extra 60 minutes in bed here – so there’s a case worth arguing.
No? It’s not even worth setting up a pointless group on Facebook for? Well really, I knew that political apathy was rife but I thought I might be able to motivate you to wave a placard for this one. Tsk.
The truth is, that it must be the same for all of us. I rarely see someone nowadays for more than two minutes before they are rushing elsewhere or at least telling me (usually with some breathlessness) about where they’re headed next. It’s been well documented that the technological age has, despite all its whizz bangs and flashy screens, so far failed to deliver the utopia we all dream of (the one where we get a bit of time to ourselves). Ignoring the fact that no-one has (as yet) delivered on an app for my phone that will cook me my dinner while ironing my shirt, we seem to still be in the same stressful environment we were x number of years ago.
I have always been amused by the old anecdote about a time and motion study on American home life in the fifties. Focussing on housework, it appeared from the findings that the invention of the dishwasher didn’t do anything to reduce the workload of American housewives, due to the fact that they would a) spend time loading it and b) psychologically use more pans while they were cooking as they weren’t as worried about making so much of a mess. I find this amusing because a) I have owned a dishwasher and I find the study to be very true and b) apparently no man in America seems to be able to handle anything as elementary as a dishwasher, despite being in charge of the biggest nuclear arsenal this side of Andromeda. Whatever happened to boys and their toys???
No matter what we do, no matter how many gadgets we have, we’re always chasing our tails, apologising, then moving on. So is it possible that we can actually use the technology to improve our lives, or should we just all give up and go home now?
“You would all this time have proved there is no time for all things.” – Antipholus of Syracuse, The Comedy of Errors
You see. Even Shakey knew it.
I was scared this week by George Osbourne. And not for the reasons you would think either. It’s been the Tory party conference in Brighton and the shadow chancellor was giving a speech to the blue rinsed faithful about how young whipper snappers like him and ‘Dave’ were going to sort out those rotten lefties. This bit doesn’t scare me anymore, or the knee jerk rhetoric, or even the double-edged promises designed to feather the nest of the few. After twenty years of being frustrated at their antics, I’ve come to understand the mindset of the conservative party and all that sails in her. Get in, stay in, be nice to the people who put you there. Shimples. I’m sure they had a lovely time at the beach in a rainstorm, I’ll leave them be.
No, the words that put me on edge were -
- Book the room by email
- Send a group email to all the members of the organisations he’s a part of to get them to come
- Advertise on a local website to give a higher profile to his event
- Use Facebook to widen the number of invites and make his social circle part of his event
- Get the questions straight from the t’internet! (Although checking to see if there are 2 christmas islands so that there aren’t any hairy moments on the night…)
In short Bob can do all the planning for his quiz without ever leaving his chair. Problem solved.
Ah you got me, it was me, but it really was shocking to me when I realised after the event last Friday that the whole thing had existed entirely virtually until we actually got to the point of me welcoming the first guest. And the more I think about it the point can be extrapolated out to a much wider net. If a success can be made of a fairly small-scale event like quiz, then what potential do we have for cracking a much bigger egg – like an election?
As a party organiser and generally in my other incarnations I spend an awful lot of time worrying about things that I’m realising slowly can be easily solved by the simple click of a button or just a little more forward planning. Instead of re-inventing the wheel each time or going for the labour intensive option, perhaps I should spend a little more time emptying my inbox and filling up my sent items file. The technology exists, I just have to use it more effectively to make sure that the ‘time’ is spent on things that are far more important like family & friends. After all I can’t file them in an inbox. (Yet – app needed please!)
A final contradiction
And so I’m off to write a newsletter. A paper one which is going to go to all local Lib Dem party members in the area. It’ll need a lot of stamps, will use ink and paper and will be a drain on the financial resources of the party as well as my time, probably taking about three hours when all the licking and sticking is done. But at least the letter will be short. And I’ll only really need to write it once. It’s going to read -
“Can I please have your email address?”