I visited my wife’s childhood home last week, clearing out the last few things following the death of her father.
The house lies in a village just off the A55, the main road into north Wales. My family took me on holiday to Wales when I was about 13 years old, and we would have travelled along that road. I sometimes wonder if I saw my wife back then. Perhaps she was walking to the village shop as we drove by. Did we notice each other?
There’s a small possibility. It’s less likely than bumping into people you know whilst on holiday, but there’s a chance. It’s a fascinating thought: think of all the people you might have met in the past and not known it at the time. Future friends, or people who would become famous.
Which brings me to the Time Traveller’s Wife. I read this book years ago (I’ve written about this elsewhere), but recently I’ve been watching the TV series. I was struck by the scene where Henry, the male protagonist, travels back in time as an adult to meet Clare, his future wife, when she was aged 13.
And it struck me that there was no parallel to this situation in real life. It’s possible that I met my wife by chance when she was 13, but I would have been 13 too. There is no situation where I would have the experience of meeting a younger version of her.
In the Time Machine, HG Wells was writing a critique of utopian ideas. In the Sterkarm Handshake by Susan Price, 21st century morals are contrasted with those of a 16th Century Scottish-English Border clan.
I must have enjoyed the Time Traveller’s Wife. After all, I’m watching the series having read the book. I’m just not sure what the point of it is…