Time

Time’s a funny thing. How long would you say three minutes is? Not very long, right? Not much you can do in that time.

But actually, I’ve recently been surprised by just what you can get done in that time span.

A friend of mine gave me this beautiful handmade microwave heating pad. It’s filled with flax seed, which makes for a lovely, comforting smell when it’s heated. Because that’s what you do with it: you pop it in the microwave for – you guessed it – three minutes, and then you cosy up on the couch and let it warm your back or your lap while you slowly wake up to the day. Or really, two minutes, and then you flip it over and do one more. But I’m usually lazy and just hit the 3 and let it buzz away.

But then I need something to do until those three minutes are up. I don’t want to sit down on the couch to wait, because it’s not enough time to get comfortable. So I putter around the kitchen.

This morning, I got a dozen jars of marmalade labelled and put in their box to go downstairs to the pantry while the pad was heating. If you’d have asked me, I would have sworn that task would take at least ten minutes. But no, I got the last “Marmalade 2020” written on the lid (first canning of 2020, how fun!) before that beep sounded.

It’s funny – I had the labelling of those jars on my mental list as a “job” to make time for before heading out for this year’s February trip to Europe. A much bigger deal than it turned out to be. And the reason I know it didn’t take long is that I had the microwave buzzing away for exactly those three minutes, giving me a clear and objective measure of time.

And then of course there are those times when you’re sure that you’ve only spent three minutes, but in fact it’s been half an hour…

Life, the Universe, and the Fluidity of Time. Is it just me, or do you have those experiences too?

Gratuitous Imagery

This poor blog has been rather neglected lately, after the flurry of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” (if you’ve not read that one – a Christmas story in twelve instalments – go do so. You’ll enjoy it. I think.).

Part of the reason for the long silence is that it’s been taking me longer and longer to write posts. I’ve got away from the fine art of knocking out a post and putting it out there in short order, and one of the reasons for that is that it takes me so long to find the right image to put with the post. Because, you have to have a photo with a post! It’s a rule.

I’m serious(ish) – I talked about that in my first blog post ever, which, now that I think of it, was almost ten years ago (hmm, tenth bloggiversary… might have to celebrate). “Never have a blog post without a picture,” my blogging course teacher said, so in that first post, I put in a gratuitous photo of my stuffed bear.

“That’s Steve,” I said. “He’s better-looking than me, not to mention more photogenic, so he gets to have his picture in the blog first.” Here’s the picture in question:

wp-1582040604826.jpg
Steve in 2010. He hasn’t aged a bit, has he?

But finding images for blog posts, even gratuitous ones, take a lot of time – you can’t just use any old photo off the Internet, there are copyright issues. I’ve been mostly using my own, and well, there are only so many that work. But then I found out this morning that WordPress has a library of free searchable stock photos, courtesy of Pexels. Thousands of free pictures! How great is that?

So to try it out, I did a search for (of course) “fairy tales”. What came up are several ethereal-looking blonde girls with flowing-maned horses – clich√© much? But then there’s also a couple of lovely pieces:¬†

gray bridge and trees


One that made me scratch my head a bit is this:

Because, steam engines are an integral part of classic fairy tales, yeah?

And then of course there had to be Neuschwanstein. Sigh…


But, there you have it – gratuitous imagery, readily available for the time-crunched blogger. I’ll be making use of it.

Life, the Universe, and Gratuitous Imagery. Let’s hope it’ll help wake up the blog again.