One has to face facts. The Saga years arrive and things one did become less easy – or downright impossible. The latter is not quite the case yet. I have come to the conclusion that maybe intercontinental flights are not a good idea – loos on air planes are to be avoided if possible – let alone ending up in say Argentina or Chile, taking myself round the country by bus and staying wherever I can find on arrival, especially when I require a stick for support.
Faced with a major Saga birthday, I opted to travel, choosing to fly to Ljubljana, take the bus to Zabgreb and then to Rovinj, after which I caught a train to Venice from Trieste. The object was to end up on 14 May having my lunch at Ai Cugnai, a restaurant where I first ate 61 years ago. I was introduced by an Italian friend who was doing research in the Marchiana library as a cheap place where locals ate along with a top dressing of impecunious British students or academics who regarded it as their secret.
The Cugnai was run by a family called Andreotti – the oldest sister Leonia did the bills, her husband, whose name I never knew, did the cooking with her younger brother Catullo, older brother Giorgio ran the bar and twin sisters Benita and Eda, who were my age, did the serving. Over the years things changed, it ended up in the Lonely Planet guide a secret no longer, tourists took over as the customers and the Andreottis – like me – retired. But the new owners maintained the tradition of serving good food so now I can sit remembering past times and old friends.
The table mat said it had been there since 1911 so I thought I would Google it and see if I could learn anything about the family and its past. The address, how to find it, details of the menu and a section headed 'reviews' came up. The first review plus picture read: '5***** I have been coming here for years so I must like it'. In the age of Google there is no such thing as a secret. It was signed by me three years ago. But it would be nice to think the family are also enjoying their Saga years.
enjoyable piece put me in mind of the often asked question of whether it might become possible to time travel back and affect the past. While I'm inclined to doubt that, it occurs to me that it doesn't matter because, even if it turns out so, whatever changes would be made are in the past. They've already happened and what we see now incorporates them.
I am not claiming to be any kind of intellectual sage or scientifically gifted genius. I have not set out on the path of advanced research in attempting to correct or even understand the key pillars of scientific knowledge. What I have discovered has occurred through happenstance, serendipity (one of my favourite words) or chance, call it what you will. However, through an everyday experience and the proverbial light bulb moment, I think I may have mounted a challenge to the theory, or should that be concept, of linear time.
Let me explain. I was walking home from the office on one of the two days a week that we currently go in. I can't remember which but it was either a Wednesday or Friday. I have gotten into the habit of walking home, using the half hour or so between office and home to reflect on the issues which were ongoing or had occurred at work that day. These journeys are in the main pretty uneventful with thoughts drifting through my mind and dissipating the nearer I get to my house. My initial and continued annoyance at the removal of the canopy for the King's Theatre aside, nothing remarkable tends to happen.
The day I am reflecting upon was a wee bit different. I was feeling slightly under the weather and not looking forward to my usual walk of around two miles. I was also running behind schedule. I can't fully recall, but there was some sort of family event planned for the evening and I needed to be there quite sharpish. So I made the decision, one which felt like a partial defeat, that I would take the bus. Not the entire route home, just part of the journey.
Tearing at my conscience, it was a difficult decision mentally as well as physically, for I am nothing if not a slave to my Fitbit and time on the bus is fewer miles (steps) on the clock. It's a form of addiction – I must reach at least 20,000 steps a day. I left work and walked to the first bus stop, which had one of those electronic signs showing the times for the next half dozen or so buses. My bus showed 10 minutes until the next arrival and I decided to walk on to the next stop. This took approximately five minutes.
When I arrived, the electronic sign adjoining the stop was showing eight minutes until the bus would arrive. Strange, I thought and decided to plough on to the next one. That is when it got interesting. This time I timed the journey between stops and it came to four minutes. On arrival, again there was a time disparity of three minutes with the bus showing as being due in not four minutes as expected, but seven minutes. Walking on to the next stop, again taking four minutes, the sign showed, yes, you have guessed it, six minutes until the bus would come.
Eureka! I was defeating time. Allowing for the walk between stops, the bus times at each stop was showing consistently increasing lag time. Physics was never my strong point and I don't think I even sat the O grade, however, I can confirm that I completed the journeys between stops at a constant walking pace.
Naturally, I consulted with the internet on arriving home. It seems that many other people, mainly based in the US, hold the same views with regards to linear time, along with a variety of other challenges to issues which till now had been unshakeable truths in my eyes. It is all falling into place. No doubt some will seek to rubbish my findings, but as my new friends across the pond would have it: 'They would wouldn't they'.
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