A Measure of Time

I'm about to read a book called 'The Order of Time'. Part of the blurb says, 'time flows at a different speed in different places'. While I'm unlikely to go into quantum theory and my Physics knowledge is limited to my A-level syllabus, I want to give my take on the passage of time. 

On Friday I finished high school. A major chapter has come to an end. Now is a time of reflection as well as looking ahead — with excitement and with trepidation. 

My whole year sat in the park dressed in our old school uniforms reminiscing about the years we spent together. I have a mental snapshot of that moment which I will take with me throughout my life. During this time of reflection, I thought of the way I often measure time. For me, it is usually the distance between two points — events or experiences, sometimes of little meaning in themselves, which I remember clearly and which echo with the reality of today.

I had an orthodontist appointment at the beginning of year 11.  At that time I booked a return bout, for the end of that academic year — right after my GCSE exams. I recall that I speculated about where I would be, how I would feel, how my exams would have gone when I reached that second appointment. When I did return, I paused and thought about all that had happened in that period of time; a huge amount occurred between the parallel events, yet it felt like no time at all.

These junctures aren't always organised routinely. Sometimes it's an event I find myself experiencing which I  vividly remember also happened years ago. One happened recently. It snowed in London for the first time in years. It was strange and beautiful - my good friend Tom took the photos in this post to forever remember it. For one second, I flew back to the last time it snowed in London. I have similar photos of my brother and I decked out in garish ski gear in our driveway, our excitement evident across our beaming faces. The snow-day bookends, the then and now, were, for me, a time travel experience. Two events years apart, that seemed like they were adjacent on my personal timeline. 

Sometimes it's triggered by an event, like the snow, sometimes by a song, a smell, a taste, or even a look. A flash into the past, and a sweeping reflection on everything you've been through since that moment. 

Now as I finish school, this could be the first of another bookend, which I'll look back on at the end of whatever my next chapter might be. I'm taking a mental snapshot of all of these events before I hurtle forth into the next period - university, my twenties, being an adult. 

I am, like many others, in the centre of a massive transition. I’m dealing with many aspects of this emotionally complex time. I'm leaving things behind, processing exam stress, still working out what is the right path for me, trying to help my friends (and they me), navigating my life as best I can. It's not easy. I guess I'm just trying to feel everything, to notice the time go by instead of let it slip through my fingers. I want to grab every moment I can, put it into this collage of memories and be able to look back on these moments with the same vivid recollections that were triggered by the snowfall. 

Photos by my very talented friend @tomprod 



  1. I adore these photos, they look so magical–right out a fairy tale!!! i totally get that about measuring change with life events, I'm obsessed with looking at how different life is now to a year ago, its both nostalgia-inducing and exciting to see how far you've come. Best of luck with your revision and exams, whilst its a terrifying and stressful period its (in definite retrospect!) exciting to be presented with so much potential change. Don't think about the end too much though, focus on the prospect of summer and freedom!!xx

  2. You look so, so beautiful in these photos! They're so beautifully captured. I relate to you in many ways - life just seems to be going insanely fast! All the best with your exams. xxx