We were sitting round the table, a little drunk, wondering what the time was, so we all guessed. Two of us were accurate within minutes, and I was spot on, which led to talk of the internal body-clock. I’m always either close within a few minutes, or wildly out. This implies a nervous, uptight disposition – an inability to relax, someone had heard. I don’t know about that, but we got to talking about whether or not animals have a sense of time. The cat Domino seems pretty clueless, but every dog I’ve lived with has livened up on
the dot of five o clock feeding time, with much confusion when the clocks go forward or back.
Today, visiting Haddon Hall, we heard about the Turnspit Dogs – short, muscular animals, with strong legs and much stamina, bred to turn the meat spit over the kitchen fire by running for hours in a wheel – dog power. They were described as ugly, unhappy looking creatures. Poor things, why wouldn’t they be miserable, trundling round and round, so close to the delicious scent of forbidden food? These dogs if not relieved when their shift was up, would leap down from the wheel and force their dog companions to take
Tonight I was rehearsing songs for a concert, and making the same mistakes with rhythm again and again, getting more frustrated and inaccurate the harder I tried. I thought how a sense of rhythm and a sense
of time are different. But how would I describe that difference – sound and silence, movement and stillness, breath? What is time anyway?
With that the mind spins off, and I call it a day.