The Clock Goes Back

My laptop contracted a bug. It didn’t rub its lar obviously.

I love an Apple Store. The new, pretty devices, the display tables, the way the staff mill around. For me though, it’s not until you get to the back of the store that you really feel the strength of the place. The technical department are legends. I’ve come here to back-up computers, fix phones, diagnose faults. I’m here today to try and recover photos on my Time Machine without having to restore my laptop completely.

Jack and I have had Macs since 2004. Our indomitable G4 laptop still works to this day, albeit without a functioning battery. When I open it and see the files on its home screen – a picture of Jack’s dad performing his ‘stroke’ face, a folder entitled ‘mutations’ and my embryology certificate, it feels like opening a time window. To when everything was a bit experimental, but also more possible.

We’ve seen our friends, Poppy, her daughter Elvie and our friend Gerry on this trip to London. It’s been nice and I’m not usually too bothered about the grown-up friend zone. Not because I don’t love my friends or wish them every happiness – I do.

Friendship is a lifestyle though. When Lulu told me she wasn’t adventurous with tears rolling down her cheeks, something clicked. I realised it meant she carved her identity out of her friendships. And friendship is usually a sedentary business unless you can make friends on the move. The richest friendship is still borne from physical contact – at least sometimes.

But nothing stays the same. We’ve discovered my mum’s local Tesco’s is closing down, which will force her and Ela to drive to their supermarket instead of walking and bring 6,000 new flats across the road. Always London is developing and upgrading. Their green-belt living won’t be so green anymore. 

The British Museum is all about change. Two days ago, when the demonstrator held up the little bronze figure of the Roman household god, the Lar, she said, ‘Have you noticed anything strange about this figure?’

Uhh… we thought… that Romans prayed to little metal dolls?

She took it out of it’s box and pointed at its body. ‘You can see it’s wearing a tunic – so its clothes are obviously Roman. But its face is shaped as a Gaul’s – the sticking-up hair and sunken features. This lar probably belonged to a Celt who was integrating into Roman life. It shows cultural change at the time and the adaptation to that change. 

Meanwhile. my laptop is being fixed – slowly. I’m sitting at the Genius Bar, turning thoughts over, letting the laptop do its thing. Right now, it’s taking half-an-hour to upload 1,000 photos onto the Cloud. Once they upload, then all our photos will finally be in the same place. We can all stop and look at the past. Forever, right?

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