I'm not sure I believe in such things - an old friend used to believe in time bends as a way to describe ghost sightings, and his theories made extremely good sense - however, last night i honest believe I experienced one.
Yesterday would have been my Dad's birthday (he'd have been 74). My Mum is struggling right now without the dog any more, add to that Dad's birthday, and yesterday was not a good day for her. She had a meltdown before I left her to come to work. All the years I've known my Mum, I have never seen her so sad for so long; it's heartbreaking to see because there is nothing I can do to help her or make her feel better. It's as if 72 years of hurt, bullying, abuse, and goodness knows what else she went through in her childhood, have come hurtling to the fore. I truly believe she is now only beginning to grieve the loss of my Dad as well, and he's been dead 25 years this year. That's why I am trying to be there for her as much as I can, and trying to work on ways to get her Stateside to meet the family she has never known. I think it would do her the world of good.
Anyway, I'm digressing.
Because of how bad she had been in the morning, I decided I needed to do something with her yesterday evening to take her mind off things. I know she enjoys a trip to ikea, so I phoned her during the afternoon and asked if she fancied going - of course, she said yes. The store is a 40 minute drive away from home. We left at 17:40 and were lucky enough not to hit too much rush hour traffic, although we crawled along in the usual black spots. Thankfully it wasnt' raining - it's a horrendous journey to do in the rain.
Arriving at ikea (it had to be around 18:15 if not later) we headed straight for the cafe for a coffee (I have a family card so it was free - and you can top up too; I call that a bonus). We also had a slice of cake each (paid for). I had daim (if you're not tried it I can highly recommend it - the diet got put on hold another day) and Mum went for their apple pie. We must have sat there for a good half an hour as we were chatting and people watching. We then made our way into the store itself
We've discussed maybe later in the year replacing our sofa. The last time Mum bought new was 1996. We know it was then because I was living in a certain area. Since then all chairs and sofa's have been hand-me-downs (we're not proud - being poor we can't really afford to be :) ) What we have currently is nice enough; my brother had a corner suite he gave us. The lounge isn't big enough or the right shape to use it correctly so we have it separated. I have one part on my side of the room, Mum has hers on the other. It's nice enough, although the foam stuff in the cushions had worn down during the time he owned it, so we had to cut up an old foam mattress to re-fill them (much cheaper than buying new ones). We've talked about getting a couple of chairs (I'd love a recliner but have you seen the price of them?) We must have tried out every chair, every sofa, every chaise and rocker they have in store - some we tried more than once. I'm sure this time next year we'll try again, because we won't have replaced what we have.
We spent time in the kitchens, dreaming about what we will have in our kitchens when I finally win the lottery (they have an absolutely gorgeous grey one which would go perfectly in the house I've had my eye on for 2 years (that's right, it's not sold in all that time - it's just waiting for me; I can feel it :) ). We wandered around that store for hours. I'm sure I heard them give out a shout about the cafe closing soon (it shuts at 20:30) therefore, I deduced (with my best Sherlock Holmes impression) that as we left the store it was about 20:35. This seemed about right as it sure felt as though we had been in the store well over 2 hours.
We'd not eaten (other than the slice of cake) and Mum had expressed an interest in a hot dog, so I offered to drive her to a local burger bar that was still open; she loved the idea. At this exact moment in time google are telling me it would take 44 minutes to get between the 2 destination points, and there are no roadworks, or traffic holdups. Last night they had roadworks on the motorway so you can add another 10 minutes onto the journey, then take a few off as there wasn't much traffic on the roads. I estimated when I got out of the car in the freezing cold, on top of a hill with a north wind blowing, that it was about 21:15. Did I mention it was cold and windy?
Neither of us are the fastest of eaters, plus we were chatting and checking out the view below so by the time we left it was just around the 10 pm mark - or so I thought/it felt. Home is 15 minutes from where we were, so when I walked through the back door and saw the clock said 10:01 pm I thought nothing of it. It was as I expected.
However, a few minutes later I looked again and realised it wasn't 10 pm at all. It was only 9 pm. Even now, some 16 hours later I am trying to figure out how it was so early. Every bone in my body, every fibre of my being said it was not possible. Ikea on a quiet night if you don't stop can take well over an hour to wander around. We got there at 18:20 (or later). We had coffee, we tried out all the chairs, we dawdled our way around the store. We took the slower route to the burger bar, we ate, we chatted, I took the back roads home. There is no way on this earth the time should have been anything before 10 pm - in fact I felt it should be nearer 10.30 pm than any other time.
I cannot explain how we did everything so quickly. I do no believe it was humanly possible to achieve all we did in such a short space of time so either my car developed a super power and travelled faster than light, or we somehow got caught in a time slip which gave us at least an extra hour. I cannot stress to you just how impossible it was for it to be so early. I am completely flummoxed by it all.
This all reminds me of a kind of time slip story my lovely Nanny shared many moons ago - but that's a tale for another day.