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Archive for July, 2013

Time stood still this week…..

 

I walked down lanes and peeked over walls...

I walked down lanes and peeked over walls…

I awoke out of my deep sleep and could not work out where I was. It was hardly surprising as I had clocked up four different beds on two continents over the past week! I was definitely home and all the familiar sounds filled my ears as I surfaced from my foggy oblivion. I felt like I had been away for ages, yet it had only been seven days. It must be ‘an age thing’ where time just slows down. My emails and an update on the local news beckoned and I stretched across and grabbed my phone.  

 

An article bounced out at me. It was written by Professor Richard Friedman from Weill Cornell Medical College. It explained my warped time perception in a nutshell.

‘Studies have shown that the greater the cognitive demands of a task, the longer its duration is perceived to be.’ So I was not going crazy, the intellectuals also ponder such mundane perceptions. In my case a great deal of brain power was needed to find my way backwards and forwards to Heathrow Airport, to make sure I was on the correct underground train and not to lose my passport!

 ‘They also found that repeated stimuli appear briefer in duration than novel stimuli of equal duration.’ This also reinforces my perception of why I appear to do the repetitive task of my weekly ironing in a flash. But gloriously, time stands still when I savour the magnificence of an old cathedral. The brain is a wonderful!

 

Chichester had much to delight!

Chichester had much to delight!

So with all that explained so eloquently by the good professor, I could safely relive and savour some of the memories that I had added to my store this week. I took a train trip down to Chichester to catch up with some dear friends. The English countryside did not disappoint and the Sussex surrounds were as picturesque as I had imagined them. I peeked over walls into cottage gardens, read gravestones in forgotten graveyards and downed a local beer in a friendly tavern. The highlight had to be my visit to the Chichester Cathedral. It had been functioning as a cathedral for over 900 years. The difference was that this grand dame had moved with the times. There was a fusion of modern tapestries with old 12th century artworks. A modern copper and stone font stood below an exquisive stained glass window. It was an eclectic mix and a work in progress.

The cathedral was alive with people, a real mix of all ages. The reverence that one felt did not disallow the discussions that ensued between the enthusiastic participants. Groups of students debated the different eras of architectures, whilst younger members stared up at the roof and the coloured light that filtered through the stained glass windows. As we wondered round the choir burst into song. I thought I had died and gone to heaven!

 

Chichester Cathedral is adorned with magnificent  windows.

Chichester Cathedral is adorned with magnificent windows.

The professor concluded…….

‘It is simple: If you want time to slow down, become a student again. Learn something that requires some sustained effort. Do something novel. Take a new route to work, vacation in an unknown spot.’

 

Here’s to slowing time down a bit!

Cheers!

Cheers!

 

 The music is also a new choice inspired by my sons. Goldfish is a band from Cape Town, South Africa, and I am told their music type is a mixture of electronic African jazz. 

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