Stephie Journal – Day 1

The weather has turned again and today was a rather beautiful misty morning. I realised I’d left my umbrella at the office, but when I looked out the window to see piles of grey nothingness rather than sheets of rain I was rather relieved. Must be the first blighter ever to be happy about mist.

Now I don’t want you running away with the idea that I’m all cock-a-hoop about mist and can see no possible downside – in fact not being able to see literal downsides is indeed one of the figurative downsides of mist. But the particular mist induced downside I was facing this morning was avoiding the snails. The way I was brought up was to consider the best kind of snail a dead snail, my mother hated the way they went after her lettuce, and father thought them nothing more than jumped up slugs, “what’s so special about carrying around your own home on your back? How does that make them all smug and superior to slugs, eh?” He would ask this before continuing, “I would have thought having to carry around your own house would make you a lower order crustacean, what do you think about that?”

But despite my training, London has softened my country ways so I don’t wan’t to squish them, and I certainly don’t want to ruin my shoes.

When I arrived at the office there was some excitement in the lift. A couple got in, which is odd enough to be getting along with. What kind of couple gets into an office lift? They were having a rare old time and completely ignoring me, then suddenly the scene turned slightly ugly. He asked her, “what can I smell on your breath?”
“Hot chocolate,” she replied.
“I smell fag smoke”.
“Nah it’s just hot chocolate, honest”.

The lift rattled to a halt at the floor before mine, they made to get out, but just as they exited the lift she pinched him on the bum. I couldn’t believe myself and neither could he as he jumped about a mile.

I didn’t know what to think afterwards. I don’t want somebody telling me what to do. I was pleased that she got her way, even if that wasn’t the way I would do it, he’d have to deal with me smoking if I wanted to. But was I jealous somehow of this hot chocolate guzzling, bottom pinching flake? She had something I wanted, but I didn’t know what.

-Stephie

Humming

Ever since I was eleven I have had a deep suspicion of people who hum. I can remember my birthday that year as though it weren’t 12 years ago but were rather yesterday, or indeed the day before. I was walking downstairs, hair a little less than its usual shevelled state and suddenly I heard a most disappointing sound. It was as though someone was forcing a kazoo through a cat. Hold the marching band, stop the balloon release, birthday is immediately and totally arrested pending further revelry. It was then, or around then, that my cousin Archie came wheeling around the corner. This isn’t a figure of speech, what I was faced with was a roller-skate propelled cousin where I might usually have expected to find a small bust of Churchill or similar.

Said cousin was gesticulating wildly and clearly wasn’t just having difficulty with the skates. He was also having difficulty with the things he was running into and frankly his whole attitude to life, he was also having quite considerable trouble carrying a decent rendition of La Marseillaise.

It was that moment that started and finished the whole formative chapter of my life in relation to humming. The noise was so godawful, so inconsiderate that I swore I would punch anyone on the nose who did it in my presence ever again. And I’ll be honest I spent a fair few years socking faces left and right until the whole thing started to seem about as inconsiderate as the humming if not, perhaps, maybe a little bit worse. So, and this time it is figuratively, please do try and keep up, I had to knock the whole thing on the head.

Nowadays, generally, I merely seethe. I am quite a seether, as a rule, I am generally pretty good at it, and people tend to be quite aware that something has gone wrong. Not sure that I’m absolutely positive that the switch to seething from bopping on the nose was entirely a step forward for the old psyche, but it certainly stops one getting arrested which is generally frowned upon these days.

People tend to go off one if one is quietly seething, but as one can’t help seething one has started to become a bit superstitious about hummers. It’s as though they herald periods of upcoming separation and rejection from human society. Don’t get me wrong, periods of separation and rejection of society are good in themselves, nothing wrong there, but only, in my opinion, when self inflicted. Not when they are foisted upon us by deranged folk who think their lips a harmonica.

-Stephie

Stephie Lettings

Hello everyone. For my birthday this year Katherine surprised me with an idea for a birthday present. She decided to send me on a six week method creative writing class at the wonderful bookshop Bookseller Crow. The idea was that not only would I hopefully enjoy the present but that I would be forced into making time and space for writing – something that’s difficult on occasion. You may well be thinking, “yes I’m on board with the idea of a six week course, even possibly – at a push – a creative writing class, but there seems to be the inclusion of the word ‘method’ up above there and you better explain that pretty pronto buster’. The idea is to create and on occasion “be” the character you are writing about. I have decided, in my usual style, to throw myself into this and so Stephie is now on Twitter. Indeed Stephie will be taking over the blog, and will be writing on a daily basis for the next seven weeks (the course is six weeks, but we write in the weekly class too, and so I will publish those bits, when they focus on Stephie too). Today’s piece is from the first class. I pass you over to Stephie. See you in seven weeks.

– Alex.

 
My name is Stephanie Penelope Barnaby Lettings but most people call me Stephie, except old Stebbings, she thinks Stebbings is a great deal too close to Stephie and Lettings and so she calls me Penny. Actually she pretty exclusively calls me ‘Penny, you call her Stephie, you know Stephie Lettings, yes that one’ but then that’s old Stebbings for you. Never really was quite sure where the Stephanie bit came from if I’m honest, it might have been somebody pater had a bit of an eye for before mother, but I never asked him before he shipped out. Barnaby was the family dog’s name before I came along and father was so upset when Barnaby died that he insisted he’d name his first-born after the dog, but when I popped out a girl clearly the name had to move down the pecking order pretty smartish. If mother got a look in in all this it was probably about the whole Penny bit, never quite understood why she’d name me after her most hated aunt, but that seems to be roughly the posish. Obviously the old surname, ‘Lettings’ is a bit of a let down around the more respectable tables for luncheon, but I am assured that it is French, or some such, rather than from the estate agent trade or something ghastly like that.

– Stephie.

Split Screen

Since this blog has been restarted there has been an amazing reaction from the movers, and to a certain extent the shakers (although I will be honest and state, for the record, that the shakers were a lot more interested in making wooden furniture than I had initially imagined). The advertising spods have been straight on it… Urging me to leverage my brand into another vertical – as if that’s a thing.

Well I do have a business idea and it concerns the pictures, you know the flicks, you know the movies? How about this plan?

Well what do you think?

Oh you’re just going to give it the silent treatment – how rude.

Oh I suppose you insist everyone explains their actual idea before casting judgement, Cuh!

Well here it is, half a film in your lunch break.

The first half of a film is shown twice, once from 12-1 and again between 1-2. And then the second half shown twice on the next day.

Films are shown like that for a week – on Monday & Tuesday, then again on Wednesday & Thursday, and on Friday they whole film is shown.

Only 90 minute films are shown so you see 45 minutes of film in the hour slot, which means you can get in and out in your lunch break.

Say this week the film is going to be everyone’s favourite golfing film -Caddyshack. I take my lunch break at 12 o’clock, so I zip down the pictures and watch the first half of the film. On Tuesday my 11 o’clock meeting is running late, so I decide to take lunch at 1pm and watch the second half. Or I could have decided to wait until Thursday when the second half was also on.

Now I know I’m not a movie mogul or an owner of a cinema. But if you want to steal my idea please do. Just call it Split Screen and I’ll be happy.

Nina and the lost dog

Nina was walking along one day when she heard a dog barking and ran over to see what was going on. She saw a dog walking along and barking with it’s lead trailing behind it.

“Hello,” said Nina.
“Hello,” said the dog.
“Why are you barking?” asked Nina.
“Because I’ve lost my owner,” said the dog.
“Oh dear,” said Nina, “I’ll have to help you find them, my name is Nina by the way, what’s yours?”
“My name is Patch,” said the dog.

Nina and Patch went walking along looking everywhere for Patch’s owner.

“What is the name of your owner?” asked Nina.
“Her name is Lucy,” said Patch.
“Well let’s shout it out…”

“Lucy, Lucy, hello, we’ve got Patch”

But who should turn up but Nina’s cousin Oliver.

“Hello, Oliver,” said Nina.
“Hello, Nina,” said Oliver.
“Can you help us find Patch’s owner?”
“Yes,” said Oliver, “you haven’t got lost again have you Patch.”
Patch had to say that he had, and he looked quite upset about it.
“Don’t worry,” said Nina, “we’ll find Lucy”.

“Lucy, Lucy, hello, we’ve got Patch” they all shouted.

This time Lucy actually did turn up and she said, “Patch, Patch, I’ve been looking everywhere for you. I didn’t come here before because I was looking somewhere else.

“Don’t worry,” said Nina, “we’ve been looking after Patch for you”.
“Thank you for doing that,” said Lucy.
“And thank you for finding me,” said Patch.

And then it was time for everyone to go home.

The end.

Life isn’t like a box of chocolates

Life is only like a box of chocolates, if you throw away the bit of paper with the descriptions on it. Obviously then you would never know what you were going to get, but you have to ask yourself why? Why would you throw away the bit of paper if you hadn’t finished the chocolates? I mean are you stupid or what? But in the end it’s all chocolate. It’s not as if you are about to find the lost treasure of Sierra Madre. It’s chocolate, chocolate, chocolate with a nut, chocolate, chocolate with a different kind of nut. If you never knew what you were going to get, it would be chocolate, chocolate, experimental poetry, chocolate, atomic bomb. That’s what life’s like.

Fisica – Part 1

*Sping-Spong*

Mike’s head turned to his computer. He had spent the last nine months hoping that he would have dealt with this issue before it came to this. He hadn’t, he had left it for Simon to raise.

—-
To: Mike

From: Simon

Date: 29/10/15 22:03

Subject: Fisica’s next product

Mike,

After our last conversation, I have been wondering if perhaps you aren’t as finished with my services as you implied. If, for example, Fisica’s next product is actually based on my encryption technology rather than it being a side feature, as originally described, perhaps we should discuss next steps?

Simon.

—-

To: Simon

From: Mike

Date: 29/10/15 22:14

Subject: RE: Fisica’s next product

Simon,
Unfortunately I can’t discuss future product direction for Fisica with those outside the company.
Mike.

—-

He stood up as he pressed send. Simon had worked for Fisica. He had written the encryption tech when he was a contractor. He had been too expensive to keep on, but Fisica’s new product relied on his work. But he can’t know that. He simply can’t.

Mike knew that the right thing was to ask him to be an employee. That was the best thing to do, but the problem was that Simon was just as much of a nightmare as one would imagine. Once he was an employee there was a good chance he’d just want to screw everything up for Mike. Mike knew that this whole thing was a nightmare, but maybe, he hoped, there would be a way to get this product launched without having to deal with Simon. Poor Simon, Mike thought, could a company basically decide that you were annoying, albeit super smart, and therefore decide to use your best ideas, but not deal with you anymore?

Legally he was in the clear, Simon had signed away what he had done. But would the board want the smart guy who invented the tech outside the company and available for hire or inside working for them?

Mike knew that it was time to talk to Jerry. Jerry was Mike’s therapist, and Mike had been avoiding seeing Jerry almost as much as he’d been avoiding talking to Simon.

He went back to the computer and to Jerry’s website, booked the first appointment for tomorrow morning, then he sent an email asking for an emergency meeting with his investors. After that he popped a sedative, drank a glass of red and went to bed. This meant he had a really confused four hours during which his brain was fighting sleep, but then he fell asleep so completely and soundly that when his alarm went off, he couldn’t remember for a clear three minutes who he was or why he was awake at six thirty.

He had a cool shower. (Who actually wants a cold shower? Cold showers are ridiculous.) He dressed carefully. He wanted to be able to maintain the sartorial high ground. Jerry was a poor dresser. He had a thrown together look, one day Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts, another day a ripped blue denim shirt and jeans. The problem was that in between these crazy combinations, Jerry’s throwaway style could end up looking like very carefully put together non-style. Mike didn’t know why he cared. He certainly wasn’t fashionable himself in the conventional sense. But he liked to feel the best dressed. Working with developers meant he could win most of the time.

Mike pushed open the door of Jerry’s office. On the ground floor was a toilet and a staircase down to the consulting rooms. A sign had been hanging on the door to the toilets ever since Mike had been coming here saying “Beware of the vom”.

Mike walked down the stairs and into the waiting room. The receptionist was mixing a Bloody Mary.

“Is Jerry in?” asked Mike.

“Not until 8am, never before that. Just getting things ready.”

“I’m his first appointment.”

“What you having?”

“Just a water please.”

“Suit yourself.”

Mike sat with his water and waited. At 8am the door swung open, Jerry walked up to the bar, gave an evil look to the receptionist, walked around behind the bar and looked back to Mike. He gestured Mike to come over to the bar. Jerry went into the fridge and pulled out two bottles of beer. He passed one to Mike.

Mike said, “I’m fine thanks”.

“It’s not for you,” said Jerry, “I don’t have enough hands to carry everything”.

“Ok.”

“I mean,” said Jerry, “if you are on some kind of health kick have some celery, we always have celery”.

“I’m fine,” said Mike.

“Ok let’s go.”

Jerry carried a beer and the Bloody Mary through to his office and Mike followed with the other beer.

Jerry quickly arranged himself on his bean bag in the middle of the room. He had placed the drinks on a small mat and he gestured to Mike that he should approach and put the other beer by the side.

“Careful,” said Jerry, “the raffia is sitting on carpet so it can all go over at any minute.”

Mike went and picked up another bean bag from the pile in the corner of the room and placed it in front of Jerry.

“So what’s up?” asked Jerry.

“I have a problem.”

“Tell me about it,” said Jerry, “you are seeing your drunk of a therapist at short notice after a gap of six months. You don’t need to tell me you have a problem.”

“Ok.”

“So tell me.”

“I have a meeting in two hours with my investors.”

“And?”

“They think I am the reason my company is successful, but actually the technology behind the flagship new product was written by somebody else. This software is the reason most of the investors came in. And I sacked the person who wrote it because… Well I told him it was because we didn’t have enough money, but actually it was because I was threatened by him.”

“And now he’s upset?”

“No, yes, I mean he’s obviously upset, but I think… I think he may have realised that nobody else knows that he’s the one that invented code Fisica relies on.”

“But surely that happens all the time? People invent things when they work places and they pass the rights over to people,” said Jerry.

“Yes they do, and he did. But I work in an ideas business, and my investors think I was the man with the ideas, when actually it was him, I sacked the guy they actually wanted.”

“Is that really true, or do you just think it’s true?”

“How would I know the difference?”

“Good question,” said Jerry, “that’s supposed to be my job, I’m not so sure I like you asking the interesting questions.”

Jerry finished his first beer. Then held his nose and drained the second half of his Bloody Mary.

“This is tough this morning,” Jerry said.

“Some people would say it’s a bad idea to seek advice from a drunk shrink”.

“At least I’ll give you advice,” Jerry said, “most of these guys will ask ‘how does that make you feel?’ and tell you nothing”.

“So tell me something,” Mike said.

“Well if this guy is so important to you, hire him back.”

“But that won’t work, he’s a complete disaster to work with and… Then he’ll know…”

“Surely he already knows that he invented this thing?” asked Jerry.

“Yeah, of course! He knows that, but… but… he doesn’t know that… He doesn’t know that what he invented is what the whole company is focusing on, although he will soon when we put out a press release, and he doesn’t know that the investors don’t know that he was the one who invented it. They think it was me, he thinks they sacked him even though they knew it was him.”

“And if you hired him back?”

“Hey! I thought you didn’t do self-reflective questions.”

“Fine,” said Jerry, “I’m telling you to hire him back, tell me why you aren’t going to?”

“Because he’ll ruin everything. He’ll twist everything around to him.”

“Ok,” said Jerry, “I say you ruined anything that was going to be ruined when you sacked him and tried to get the glory for something you didn’t do. If you aren’t the inventor the only reason you could conceivably be valuable is as a leader not a scaredy cat who won’t face up to the world he actually finds himself in.”

“You’re wrong,” said Mike, “Simon is toxic and it was only my leadership that got that wart out of the firm.”

“Ok, if you’re sure. Time’s up.”

“That’s nowhere near time.”

“I have to take a crap, you can follow me in or not. But that’s where the rest of this session is taking place, I promise you that.”

Mike stood up.

“Thanks for your time, Jerry.”

“Come and see me next week Mike, book it on your way out, you’re going to want to see me next week.”

“Ok, I will.”

“Hey Mike, what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to tell the investors to press ahead without Simon.”

“Ok,” said Jerry, “I’ll see you next week.”

About Roast Chicken

I love a roast dinner done properly. But they are divisive beasts. In the UK, they are often the dish most likely to evoke a cry, most often heard in Italy, “I like it the way my Mum cooked it when I was growing up”.

When I was a boy, my brother and his mate devised a plan similar to the we-both-pretend-we’re-going-to-each-other’s-house-but-we’re-actually-going-down-the-park. They both claimed that the other’s mum served Yorkshire puddings even with roast chicken. It worked for a bit, and we got this “fusion” version served a few times before my mum saw sense.

People do have these quirks, somebody’s mum I’m sure does serve Yorkshires with roast chicken and their kids go around in the world thinking everyone else is plain wrong. People often want to have or recreate the roasts their parents served. Or absolutely do not. I have a friend who refers to this meal as “a oven cooked chicken with veg” so it technically doesn’t count as having a roast dinner, something he felt was ruined for him by his parents in his youth.

My father makes an outstanding Roast Beef for which he roasts ribs. It is unequaled in my experience and so I don’t really attempt it. My mum’s roast chicken is far more achievable (not that that doesn’t make it fabulous) and so Roast Chicken is the roast I turn to. I have made a few changes and modifications over the years, so it now feels like my roast chicken recipe for my family. But the lineage is there.

There is also a lot of influence from Nigella Lawson. I love what she says about roasting a chicken in “How to Eat” for her “Tagliatelle with Chicken from the Venetian ghetto”, her roast potatoes from “Feast” and most importantly an almost throw away comment from “Nigella Express” which shaped a lot of my thinking about cooking generally.

I like quick and easy no-fuss recipes a lot so a book like Nigella Express is great, it’s quick but not as fussy as Jamie and his 30- or 15-minute meals. Not trying to make a masterpiece, just trying to be successful quickly. And in her Express book she has a roast chicken recipe. And she asks the question, how can a recipe that clearly takes at least an hour and a half be considered quick? Well she suggests doing everything in a pan all together and she makes the point that actually roasting a chicken can take as little as 5 minutes prep work and then the oven does the rest and during that time you can be washing your hair or whatever.

It’s true that you don’t have to do much when roast chicken is in your otherwise quick meal, but isn’t really true when dealing with a roast chicken dinner with potatoes and veg and gravy and all of the proverbial trimmings. When doing a roast chicken dinner, there are quite a few things to get right. But don’t worry… I have your back. Next week’s recipe should be the foolproof roast chicken recipe you’ve been looking for.

The Prince and the friend

Once upon a time, there was a prince who was very annoying. His servants were always trying to find ways to make the other servants have to go and deal with him.

Ring-Ring-Ring goes his bell, and everyone tries to hide or look busy or tries to busily hide.

One servant, a very clever servant, called Joan, never seemed to make herself scarce in time. She was very smart, and was always trying to invent things, but she was so busy thinking of all kinds of super smart things that when the bell went she didn’t always hear it straight away. By the time the bell rang the second time, she would suddenly realise what was happening, think about hiding, and realise that everyone else had beaten her to it.

One time, when our story starts, Joan walked into the room and the prince was screaming, “What’s taken you so long?”
“Sorry,” she said, “what can I help you with?”
“I want a tree house that I can live in.”
“With one lump or two?” Joan asked automatically, she had assumed he was going to ask for a cup of tea, that’s what he usually asked for at this time of day, but what was he asking for now? A tree house – woweee that sounds like a big thing, but maybe a fun thing to make? Maybe, Joan thought, she would actually enjoy making a tree house for the Prince.

Despite the fact that the Prince was now shouting at her for talking about putting sugar into his treehouse, Joan wasn’t really listening, she was already thinking about the heights and benefits of the different trees in the Royal gardens. She was thinking about which kind of wood should be used for the construction, and she was wondering if there was a way to make some kind of pulley system to engineer a special kind of lift up into the treehouse.

“Sorry, Your Majesty,” Joan said, “I didn’t mean to say one lump or two, I meant to say, of course you can have a treehouse. Would you like a cup of tea to drink while you are waiting for the treehouse?”
“Yes I would,” the Prince said without even saying please, “and mind you don’t make me wait too long because I want this treehouse RIGHT NOW!”

Joan hurried out of the room with plans bursting out of her big brain. And within just three days Joan had built a treehouse so amazing even the Prince was impressed, though he didn’t say thank you.

If you thought the Prince having a treehouse would make things easier for the servants then you would be totally and completely wrong. The prince was now further away, and they had to go a long way to find out what he wanted and then come all the way back to get whatever it was and then he would usually complain that everything had taken a long time to get to him.

Joan didn’t like to see everyone suffering, especially as it was her treehouse that was causing the problem. One day, she woke up with an idea. What if she invented a long distance speaking thing / telephone? Then when the Prince wanted something he could call the servants and then they could just run out with whatever it was.

The prince was really impressed with this, although he didn’t say thank you, and he started calling up all the time.

But the servants still weren’t happy, the prince still never said please or thank you, and even though they didn’t have to go to the treehouse to find out what the prince wanted anymore, it still was a long way to bring everything he asked for. And when that took a long time, the prince was ever so cross.

One morning, Joan woke up with another idea. What about a super cool train set that the servants could load up with whatever needed to go to the prince which would take everything much faster than the servants could carry it.

The prince was really impressed with this, although he didn’t say thank you, and the servants started sending everything to him on the train.

After a bit of time the servants realised that they were really happy with this latest invention. They only had to take the prince’s phone calls and send whatever he wanted by train and they never had to see him. He still didn’t say please or thank you, but as they never had to see him in person it all made things much easier for them.

One day when the phone rang, the prince had a special kind of request, one that couldn’t be answered with the train. He phoned up and said, “Can’t one of you come and see me? I’m lonely.”

And who do you think happened to have answered the phone? It was Joan. So Joan decided to go to the treehouse and see the prince.

“Hello,” said Joan.
“Hello,” said the Prince.
“Was there something you wanted?” asked Joan.
“Yes, I want a friend,” said the Prince.
“Oh,” said Joan, “I’m not sure it’s going to be easy to find one of those.”
“Why not? Why can’t you be my friend?”, asked the Prince.
“Because you aren’t very nice.”
“BE MY FRIEND!”, the Prince shouted, “I ORDER YOU TO BE MY FRIEND”.
“No,” said Joan, “it doesn’t work like that.”
“Why not?” asked the Prince.
“Because if I’m going to be your friend, you have to try and be my friend first. I’ve done nothing but be nice to you, and you have done nothing but been horrible to me and my friends.”
“NO I HAVEN’T.”
“And,” Joan said, “my friends aren’t allowed to shout at me.”
“Oh,” said the Prince, “that doesn’t sound very good.”
“No,” said Joan, “being my friend is really good, and if you want to be my friend you will have to decide to be nice to me. I’m going to sit quietly now and wait for you to say something nice.”

Joan waited quite a long time, while the Prince tried to think of something nice to say.

Eventually he said, “I do quite like this treehouse, and I do quite like the train you made, and I do like the telephone you made as well.”

Joan waited a bit longer.

“That was nice, what just I said,” said the Prince.
“It was,” said Joan, “but you still haven’t said thank you.”
“Oh yes, thank you for everything that you have done. Can we be friends now?”
“Yes,” said Joan, “we can, as long as you really mean it.”
“Yes I do, I’m glad we can be friends,” said the Prince, “would you like a cup of tea?”
“As long as you make it yourself,” Joan said.
“I will…”, the prince paused, “please will you show me how?”
“I will,” said Joan.

And the Prince and Joan lived politely ever after.

Update on time for a change

So as you may know, last week I changed time forever with my new universal system of time. Since then, apart from the customary Nobel prizes, Field Medals and various Gongs and Bulls that have been flowing in, there has been one consistent message which is, “what on earth are you talking about, and what is the point of it?”.The point is that there are two problems to solve with time zones. The genuine “I’m on the other side of the world” type time zone problems where you need a big adjustment and the “small regional differences” which are different because everyone wants to go to work at around nine in the morning and leave around five in the afternoon. This system tries to fix both problems, but to understand it let’s take them one at a time.
1) People who are near each other

People who are near each other shouldn’t be on different time zones at all. There is no point in Europe and Britain having different time zones. They only do because Britain and France both want to go to work at 9am (ish) and they want it to be light from an hour before in the morning most of the time for commuting. The traditional way to solve this is to let each zone have it’s own time and make 9am be at lots of different times around the world. But there is another way. They could just start work in France at 8am instead and leave at 4pm. But there would be uproar apparently. They would be going to work at the same actual time of the day as they were before, but just be calling that time 8am now. But people can’t cope with change like that.

So what we do is trick them. We change to splitting the day into quarters not halves and at the same time tell people “work will start at the new time of x”. That way nobody will notice that we’ve just converted the world into only having 4 time zones.

First of all this means I can work out if I can call anyone in the same quarter of the world as me by simply saying “can I call you at 2 in the morning”. It means the same thing to them wherever they are.


2) People a long way away

Suddenly working out times for people in Australia is easy too. If I want to work out what time to call them, I know their morning and afternoon are my evening and night. Night isn’t a good time for calls for me, but evenings are ok. So now I know that my evening is their morning I can call them at a convenient time. I can even say, “can I call you at 2 in the morning your time?” and know that that will be 2 in the evening my time. The numbers always line up.

In between is easy too. America is all on one time zone now. Morning for America is Afternoon for Europe. That’s all you need to remember.


3) This is all very interesting but can I see it as a picture?

  

I think we’ll need to drill into some specific time examples next week, but for now I’ll let you digest time itself.