OPINION | Time travel takes us back to the future

Last Sunday morning I dabbled with a bit of time travel.

I went into the future, and as a matter of fact, so did a lot of you.

We wound our clocks forward an hour at 2am and - ta-da! - there we were. Same dark, wee hours, but slightly later.

Daylight savings is a reminder that, in many ways, time is a kind of farce, a social agreement more than a concrete reality.

Whether it's the subtle manipulation of the clock twice a year, or agreeing on an international date line and Greenwich Mean Time, much of what we think of as a hard and fast truth is in reality a little fuzzier.

This is a great fact to take advantage of.

An example. When my children were small I introduced my own version of daylight saving.

On evenings when the kids were particularly exhausted and ratty (but of course, still loathe to retire), I was occasionally known to sneak around the house putting the clocks forward, and then announce a totally fraudulent bed-time.

I'm not proud of my lying ways, but needs must. It was for their own good (and my sanity).

It wouldn't work these days because the three year-olds would only look up from their iPads and contradict you.

It wouldn't work these days because the three year-olds would only look up from their iPads and contradict you.

Damn you, Steve Jobs.

Any time you take a long flight or, worse, a series of them, the superfluity of local time becomes glaringly obvious. The women I saw the other day at the airport enjoying a cheeky chardy at 8am would completely back me up on that, I'm sure.

Meddling with an hour here and there is one thing, but spare a thought for the Pacific Islanders who can gain or lose a whole day depending on which island they're standing on.

The international date line isn't even straight but wiggles around to accommodate political borders.

It's the very definition of manipulated reality, with the sun coming up and going down over the same bit of the Earth, while the calendars are on two different days.

So don't let anyone tell you time travel is an impossibility - it's happening every day.

- Michelle Haines Thomas

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