Saturday, 4 February 2012

Time Machine

“I have a time machine,” said The Girl, holding up her tent.

We talk a lot about the way people lived in earlier eras, as we walk together and talk about the plants we see. I’ve casually explained that, whether in Denmark or Australia, a million years ago or a few thousand, people lived mainly by gathering wild foods, hunting, fishing, and – lately – planting and herding. We look at books to see how Egyptians built their houses or what kind of meals Romans ate.

What ages have you visited? I asked.

“A Long Time Ago,” she said, capitalising the words with her voice. “Back to the Way Things Were, in the Time of Our Ancestors.”

How long ago? I asked.

Three years ago,” she said dramatically. “When I was four.”

Life was simpler then, wasn’t it? I said.

Photo: The Girl on a street in Dublin, on one of our weekend outings.

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