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  • Time Travel - Measuring my success (or otherwise) as an aviatrix
Time Travel - Measuring my success (or otherwise) as an aviatrix
Written by
Helen Smith
January 2011
Written by
Helen Smith
January 2011
On the morning of Sunday 2nd January I attempted to travel forward to this evening and visit Hampstead Observatory some time after 6pm. I came home and wrote up my observations: the skies were clear, the stars were visible, and I had watched the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in the company of other star-gazers, some of whom were women wearing fur coats.

This evening, after the event passed in real time (with cloudy skies, and Hampstead Observatory no doubt shut), I compared my notes with what really happened in order to measure my success. I would have said that my first attempt at time travel was a failure - I would even have been ready to abandon my new career as a time-travelling aviatrix - if it hadn't been for two things:

1) The pair of black tights left behind by whomever had been sent to take my place while I was in Hampstead. This thrilling piece of evidence will be the first exhibit in my proposed Time Travel museum.

2) A comment left on this blog by Suzie Bee on Sunday 2nd January. She said she would try to meet me at Hampstead Observatory the following evening - this evening - but by the time I read her comment, I had already returned from my expedition. (Indeed, I was worried about how we would notice each other in the excitement. I was going to suggest that pioneer time travellers wear distinctive red coats or fancy hats - but that must be the subject of another post.)

For now, here's the interesting part: I knew of Suzie's existence but I hadn't realised until today that she had a personal blog. I honestly promise you that I hadn't read it until 11 o'clock this morning and didn't know what this brave young woman looked like. But when I saw her picture, it gave me hope. Because wherever I time-travelled to on Sunday morning/Monday evening, Suzie was there.

As I explained in my notes, several of the women standing close to me outside that parallel-world version of Hampstead Observatory were wearing white fur coats (I dare say you'd call them boleros as they were quite short in the body, but I didn't bother going into it in my notes). But out of the corner of my eye, standing a little further away, I saw Susie in her vintage fur coat. I didn't see her face but I saw the coat. I did, I did.

Ach, I had written something like 'Several of the women were wearing fur coats, some of them white' in my notes. But the sentence construction seemed clumsy, the detail unimportant... I edited what I had written, allowing my sensibilities as a writer to overtake my responsibilities as an aviatrix. I will learn from this mistake.

I will try to navigate more carefully, I will be truthful about what I have seen, and dilgent about reporting my observations. And I will time travel again. Soon.

Let's be friends

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