Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Don’t let me waste your TIME!

September 17, 2009




Concluding the further adventures of the visionary inventor of time Sir Martin Marion Hilary. Starting from where we left off (which seems a good a place as any) and having established a life of amnesia, Cotswold towns, and death by horse drawn carriage, that never actually happened – we suddenly find ourselves back on track and Sir Martin about to change the way we look at the world. Forever.

Having successfully papered over the means with which Sir Martin stumbled across his theory of time, it was now up to him to implement it. There was some initial resistance, some skepticism even.

People by this point had of course been using numbers for quite some ????, but nobody really knew what they were for, using them instead to varnish the underside of ships and catch small rodents – certainly nobody had considered they would prove to be the perfect vehicle for measuring and recording time. Sir Martin himself initially overlooked their use instead trying to categorize time with animals, and for a while different types of wood. All proved to be disastrous.

It was only when sat back at his work bench, pouring over his notes and scribbles once more, wondering how he could nail this remarkable new concept, that he caught, out of the corner of his eye, a rat tussling in the corner of the room with a number eight. That was it he thought. But of course rodents proved an equally ineffective way to mark definitions of time, and so he settled for numbers instead.

Happy that he finally had a workable model with which to present to the world, he only needed to know what to name it. What was it that he had invented? Marions? As it happens he came upon the name quite by accident. Up until this point Time was a small secluded Hamlet within Greenwich. The residents were known for their remarkable punctuality, even though no concept of time had existed up until this point. Duely however they were hounded from their homes and said residences were raised to the ground to make way for the Observatory and a celebration of Sir Martin’s genius. Any sense of guilt on his behalf assured by naming his invention after the hamlet, it’s inhabitants were never seen again (ironic in that they had been so punctual before).

And so named, soon enough this thing called ‘Time’ caught on like the proverbial wild fire with the definitions coming thick and fast. Minutes, hours, days, years. Everyone was assigned a birthday on a lottery basis, to stop the ‘popular’ dates from being hogged – suddenly some old people were surprised to find they weren’t actually all that old at all.

Sir Martin was an overnight celebrity. Bought before King George I he was duely made SIR Sir Martin Marion Hilary. Inevitably though his invention would come to overshadow all his other work in later years – even when presenting his concept for a box powered by lightening that could perform complex mathmatical ‘compu’tations, people would dismiss them wanting to hear more about ‘Time’ and what the next ‘Time’ would be!

History hasn’t in the intervening years been kind to Sir Martin, long forgotten, even to him his invention proved to be a great irritant in later years when suddenly his wife would demand to know what ‘time’ he was coming home. He died in bed, at his home, in  Denmark Hill, South East London, only a stones throw from his greatest achievement. He was surrounded by his wife and other people’s children, nobody was entirely sure how they got in….

We have all the TIME in the world….

September 16, 2009




Bringing you the further adventures of the visionary inventor of time Sir Martin Marion Hilary. Continuing on from yesterday, and the world in chaos with no way to measure or mark time – we find our esteemed hero pitched up in Greenwich, to make his way as a sailor. Fate however, was to deal Sir Martin, an altogether different set of  cards (he wasn’t going to become a sailor)…

Greenwich at the turn of ????, was a peaceful, small glade located in North West London. It was soon bought into question the wisdom of locating a Maritime College so far from the Thames though, and it was quickly and duly moved to the South East banks. They had initially intended to relocate to the Greenwich Peninsula, however the sight was being kept clear for an at the time unspecified venue to be built in celebration of a forthcoming global centenary, of which nobody seemed clear when was.

Rejected by the Maritime College for being too Scottish, Sir Martin was at his lowest ebb. He considered a return North, having experienced the bitter rejection and failure that marked so many that came to London with a head full of dreams.

Had that been the case,  it is often theorized that on the journey home he would have been accosted by bandits, who would have beaten him and robbed him of his meagre possessions. Left for dead in a ditch on a side road, he would have been found by a kindly Samaritan who would have taken him back to his homestead in the sleepy Cotswold town of Evesham. Temporary amnesia bought on by the struggle with the bandits would have seen him start a new life as the kindly stranger in town who would have been embraced as the lost son of a local resident –  the townfolk willing him to be a figure to reunite a community broken from loss of too many of it’s own in the Crimean War (unusual only in that the Crimean War was still some 150 years from having happened). Still eventually the goodwill he had generated would eventually be eroded by a mishap with the daughter of the town’s most affluent and influential figure and a herd of pigs. Hounded from the town he would have eventually died from malnutrition had he not been hit by a horse-drawn carriage.

Fortunately of course – this isn’t what happened at all. It is unclear how Sir Martin came upon his concept of time, what he had to gain from it personally. Nothing was written in the history books, there are no records. There is the theory that he couldn’t come up with a credible origin for his invention, that he didn’t now how to get from A to C, and so skipped B entirely! And fortunately that is where we pick up our tale tomorrow…. (to be continued)


Old father TIME

September 15, 2009


Sir Martin Marion Hilary


???? – 1736

In fairness to full disclosure I should really mention that the above image isn’t of Sir Martin at all – he was notoriously camera shy – even though at the time of his death the camera was still some one hundred years from actually having been invented.

Sir Martin was in fact a robust Scots man from the small Highlands town of Kinlochleven – often described by those that met him as big bear of a man and by those that hadn’t as a rather bookish and slight individual, not much is known of his early days. We do know that he came from a long line of beards – and an unfortunate combing accident in his teenage years left him with a rare alopecia that meant he could only grow hair in a small patch under his right eye that had the misfortune of coming out in the shape of a penis.

This was a shame that haunted Sir Martin all his life – not even finding peace on his deathbed, despite all of his magnificent achievements in the realms of time, he was heard to mutter his final words “why did it have to look like a penis…”

But nonethless we should be grateful that it proved to be the spur that drove him from his Scottish homestead to find a place for himself in the world. For it was that Sir Martin found himself in the year ???? freshly arrived in London and ready to make his fortune.

Now records show of course that before Sir Martin invented his concept of ‘Time’ the world was at this point in complete disarray. People didn’t know how to keep appointments, organised sports would often go on for weeks without anyone haven’t the faintest idea when to call time on them, and women were often pregnant for up four years.

Sir Martin had initially harboured some dreams of becoming a sailor – he spent many a ???? prowling the docks and banks of the Thames in the hope of being press ganged onto some long sea voyage to a far away exotic locale, invariably though he mostly suffered the ignomy of rape. But it took more than a rogering up the anus to keep Sir Martin down (he literally couldn’t sit down) and Sir Martin eventually found himself enrolled at the Royal Naval College in Greenwich.

Many now find it a coincidence that he should have found himself in of all places Greenwich, so close to the observatory and what would become the meridian line. But by this point Sir Martin really needed to get his story moving along, and so logic and happenstance be damned…

TO BE CONTINUED…. (tomorrow)