Friday, July 25, 2014

Time Thieves

Time Thieves

Those of us fortunate to be children in the sixties saw a lot of changes happen on our watch.  I still remember the first day girls were allowed to wear trousers to school.  I, of course, remained clad in a dress but eagerly watched out of the school bus window as we pulled up that inaugural morning to see which of us was to be the first one to boldly step across the sartorial threshold.  There stood Kathryn, the only girl in a pair of trousers, looking both proudly rebellious and extraordinary comfortable as she maintained her status as class iconoclast with enormous dignity and flair.  Times had changed.  

We saw a  man walk on the moon.  Well, I fell asleep on the sofa before those first historic steps, but “collectively” we saw a man walk on the moon.  We’ve watched as computers took over the world, ever shrinking in physical size even as their domination of the culture grew.  There are no record stores anymore.  No more waiting for our holiday photos to be developed.  No more running from store to store: we can order everything, from underwear to Bartlett Pears, online.  

All this technology makes our lives easier, right?  A to do list can be knocked out in short order, right?  So what do I do with this amazing gift of additional hours afforded me by electronic progress?  I waste time on the internet.  Great grey masses of minutes - enormous, air-filled hours.  I fall down the rabbit hole at Pinterest and get hopelessly lost in a world of dreamy pictures, knitting patterns, and recipes.  Or I wander over to Twitter and find articles I’ve missed, following the links to read them all.  There are the new photos of Prince George to see and new videos to watch.  (I’m still in love with this one.) I check the weather in Lerwick; discover a funny picture of Prince Charles. 
And then, Lord help me, I find the quizzes.

Now I’m not thrilled to admit this, but I’m a total sucker for quizzes and questionnaires.  The Proust one is my favourite part of every Vanity Fair magazine.  I answer each question and compare my answers with everyone from Maureen O’Hara to Tom Jones.   I mean, how great is it that Catherine Denueve answered the question, “What do you dislike most about your appearance” by saying, “My left ear”?

Unfortunately for me, there is an alarming number of these little time thieves scuttling across my screen these days.   Purely for fun and hardly scientific, they are hard to resist all the same.  I blame Downton Abbey.  “Which Downton Abbey character are you?”  That was the first one I saw and of course, I  just had to participate.  Actually, there were several of these little tests on Downton Abbey and I took every one, finding out at the close of each that I was, indeed, the Dowager Countess.  No lovely Lady Mary, no stalwart Mrs. Hughes.  No, I was the Countess, always the Countess. 
I spoke to  several friends who all said, “Oh, yeah.  I can see that”.

This was so revealing that I began to take more and more of these little personality tests. So far I’ve learned that my spirit animal is an Owl and the colour of my aura is blue.  I will, apparently, be reincarnated as a dove and my mental age is twenty-five.  (Really??)
Which Shakespearean character am I?  Ariel. 
Which Wizard of Oz character am I?  Glinda.
And though, with her long legs and impeccable style, I was hoping to get the Duchess of Cambridge when I took the “Which Member of the Royal Family Are You” quiz, I was instead informed that I am, in fact,  The Queen. 
 I am now seriously afraid a pattern is emerging.

At this moment, I should be making coconut cupcakes for book club.  I should be scheduling a couple of train trips and finishing Chapter Eight.  There are linen shirts that need ironing and a shawl I am determined to finish knitting before a big journey in the fall.  Some birthday presents to wrap.  Dinner to plan.  And finishing Chapter Eight!  
But wait! 
 I need to find out which Dr. Seuss character I am before I do anything else!  

See?  It is a funny picture!

(and oh, by the way,  I am The Cat in the Hat!)


  1. Pamela I loved reading this post because truthfully it is a bit familiar. I am finding myself saying, "just step away from the computer" then am in bed at night looking at Instagram!!

    The Arts by Karena

  2. Oh Pamela you are a naughty puss . . . I've just wastes an hour and a half on cute dog videos and shed a tear or two over some of the returning soldier ones and all before the dog's, the chickens' and my breakfast!
    I think I will grow up to be the Dowager Countess some day the way inappropriate remake fall of my tongue . . .

  3. Oh, my dear, you have me sitting here giggling away for you have described, perfectly, me (the countess, of course). :)

  4. Hello Your Majesty!!!

    Oh Pamela, that video of the boy and dog………….love, love it so much! Made hubby stop what he's doing on his computer to come watch - he loved it too! A peaceful moment, reassurance that childhood is still wonderful, and a boy and his dog will never change.

    ….and where will you be come Autumn this year? Can't wait to hear and, as it requires a warm knit, perhaps you're off to northern Europe!

    Happy summer days - can't wait for Jan. and the next DA season.
    Mary x

  5. Thank you for many smiles and much empathy.....

  6. Oh I think I would like to be the Dowager Duchess. Even though she sounds a bit mean at times, she certainly has her principals and will not be persuaded without good reason. Many years ago one of my colleagues brought us all a character from Poo Bear Books, and she gave me Owl. Quite a compliment from a staff member who challenged my ideas but who considered me the wise one. The internet is great as I follow Vicki Archer's blog and have just returned from spending a delightful week in St Remy de Provence at Le Petit Bijou which her husband David had remodelled and Vicki decorated. It was a treat and to be recommended. Cheers Rosalie from Australia

  7. Well at least if you are The Cat in the Hat Pamela, then you will come back and talk to us again. (My son's favourite book as a child was 'The Cat in the Hat Comes Back)!
    I am afraid that I don't bother all that much with the Internet. I look at my e mails, put on a blog, read my blog list, order anything I want and then switch off. My weakness is reading - once I start a good book I find it almost impossible to put down - and time races away. If all my books are read and I have no chance to go to the Library and there is nothing ordered from Amazon, I pick up my favourite book again - I almost know Anne of Green Gables off by heart - and I am sure I could answer any quiz on it. My love of the book started when i visited L M Montgomery's house on Prince Edward Isand (such a beautiful island).

  8. Loved this..(and my aura is orange)..:))

    xoxo T.D

  9. Oh, my dear merry friendCat//Dowager/Queen ...... I had NO doubt!!

  10. What a lovely cheery post in these rather miserable days with all sorts of nasty news that we, personally, can't affect.
    I love quizzes! - always have - and there is now the splendid game 'words with friends' - sort of like scrabble but sillier - so many fun ways to waste time. How splendid to be the Queen and the Dowager .....must rush off to find out what I am!

  11. I Googled wasted days and wasted nights and the result it rendered was retirement and the internet. Bad combination, so bad. Sigh.

  12. Pamela,
    What a fun post. Yes, I too have seen so many of the changes you've mentioned. I vaguely remember the book Future Shock hinting at much of the technology we've seen and the eventual change it would bring about. I'd write more but I'm going in search of who I am both in the Royal Family and Downton Abbey. :-)
    Enjoy your upcoming weekend.

  13. Hello Pamela
    What you say is all so true and amusing. We are so much more efficient and then, like you say the distractions.
    Have you tried lumosity? Don't if you have not. It is another time thief.
    Enjoy your weekend
    Helen x

  14. Try to go computer free at least one day a week, succeed once a month at most.

    Me too, me too, the entire Prince George, William, Kate thing. Wanting the fairytale of their public lives to be even better in private.

    Personality tests? Long ago told, "You were not born with an attitude, you have Taratude."

    So, last nite, I discover a honey hole of historic garden posts from Europe and had to read them all. Sent the link to a client, she did the same thing, gobble immediately. How does the computer do this? A book, person, tv I could pass up easily.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  15. I too am addicted to quizzes. I just love finding out what character I am - in anything! Have you completed the Game of Thrones quiz yet? I am Mother of Dragons. :)

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  17. I am the Dowager too! Where did you find the other quizzes!

  18. I'm afraid there are a lot of "Alice" personalities out their. Too tempting to push that "on" button in the early morning. I tell my friends, "I open the it".

  19. "Time thief" describes this phenomenon so well. We fall into the rabbit hole of the computer and are hardly aware of time slipping by. Thanks, Pamela, for this humorous description of what so many of us do. Your book club must have appreciated those coconut cupcakes!

  20. And you didn't even mention you tube! Do you have any idea how many drawing, sketchbook, and watercolor demos they have? Reading your blog is also seriously tempting me to try knitting. I see trouble ahead!
    We must be close to the same age- I remember that my grade school used to make us wear a skirt over them if we wore pants. Seriously...?
    I've taken a lot of the same online tests with identical results (except the aura...I wonder...). I like being classed as the Dowager Duchess- her little asides can just put me on the floor.

  21. I enjoyed this post so much, your Ladyship.
    And even though I almost never take quizzes, I am feeling compelled to discover which Shakespearean character I am. Uh-oh.

  22. Oh dear. I am Ophelia.
    And yet, whenever I've seen Hamlet, there is a moment when I wish Ophelia would just haul off and smack that indecisive windbag prince!

  23. It could be worse---I'm Lady Edith!?!


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