Posts Tagged ‘passport’

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!




 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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‘Ek wens ek vlerke soos `n arend dan vlieg ek oor die see…….


The engines groaned and the plane shook as the landing wheels lowered into position. The vibrations had been part of my last 24 hours. I reminded myself that I should also don a pair of those grotesque earphones. Everyone else seems to wear them to block out the cacophony of plastic squeaking and mechanics rumbling. No, this would only lesson the excitement in my stomach. I need to hear each sound, savour the anticipation and enjoy all that was once familiar. I strained my neck forward to take in the lights and scanned the horizon for the recognisable landmarks.


 I had maneuvered my case off the turnstile with my one good arm and made my way through customs. As I clung to my South African passport I took in the familiar accents and people. Bright adverts and logos lined the corridors. There was a barrage of thoughts that flooded my head as my eyes and ears responded to the stimulus. One being…….I miss my regular dose of the Nando’s humour! I loved their regular adverts which always make use of any current events or politics. It always amazes me how it is the somewhat insignificant things that come flooding back when I put my feet down on South African soil. I can feel that I am back and I have not even got out of the airport building!


So much to do and say......

So much to do and say……

 Their bright faces stood out in the maze of people gathered at arrivals. It was wonderful to be able to finally see their familiar faces in the crowd! They were there waiting for me and as we jumped into the ‘bakkie,’ Kurt Darren’s voice rang out through the speakers. Tears of joy rang down my cheeks…..it was so good to be back with all that was dear and familiar.


‘Die rivier is vol maar die trane rol……..’

The stay in Johannesburg was short but just enough time to get over the jetlag and the swelling in my long suffering arm. The bonus was being able to make brief contact with dear friends. My only regret was that I could not get to see everyone. All too soon I stepped onto another aeroplane and the next leg of my journey had begun.


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