Monday, 6 February 2017

The Truth About the Portuguese Time Traveller Part 2

NB. I meant to write this up as soon as I got back from Sri Lanka on Jan 16th. However, so many things happened there, and I was given so much information, that I wanted to look a lot of things up myself first before sharing them – and it all just took longer than I expected. It's also a lot LONGER in length than I expected, which is why I have divided it into two parts!

[By the way, if you've not read Part 1 yet, you can find it here. And if you haven't already seen the video of my journey down the platform at Galle Train Station, you can watch it here!]

Here goes part 2...

At the end of the platform, leaning on a post, there was a Sri Lankan man in a dark red shirt, waiting for me. As soon as I got close to him he knew who I was; he ended his phone call, looked towards me and said, straightforwardly, as though it was no biggie: You want the Portuguese Time Traveller? When he turned to face me I saw why he was able to be so self-assured – he was holding a picture of me in his left hand. He waved it towards me and laughed a bit, congratulating me on how much I looked just like myself – and that was when I saw that this was not just some photo from my website or something, but a photo of me as I was dressed THAT day, in the very dress I was wearing, which I had bought for the trip to Sri Lanka, and which I had never worn before! I even had my shawl on in the photo! And I NEVER wear a shawl, I had just wanted to look sophist while I was there! It looked at first like I had a comedy chicken on my shoulder too, but when I asked him for a closer look I saw that actually it was just that I was sitting in front of some kind of chicken-related poster. In short, it was not a photo I had seen before, the reason being that – as far as I knew – it was not a photo that had ever been taken. I asked the guy where he had gotten it, and if I could keep it, to which neither question met with success. Then I tried a different tack – keen to a) find out what the hell was happening and b) be able to pass on the details to everyone who knew I was going over there to meet him, I asked what it was like being a time traveller, and where (when?!) he had travelled to so far –  and was he about to take that photo of me himself so he could give it to his past self to use to recognise me, etc etc...

Alas, yet again he laughed in my face, before holding out his arm to show me his watch – the most magnificent watch I've ever seen.



This, he said, was the portuguese time traveller, not him. He was an horologist who lived in Colombo, where he was about to catch the train back home to from Galle. I found the above photos on the internet (he wouldn't let me photograph his watch, and doesn't know I took that video of him waiting, eek). They and the following information are what I've uncovered about the portuguese time traveller since geting back home again, based on the details he gave me at the time...

The watch in question, which is made by Swiss manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen, is called a 'Portugieser Perpetual Calendar', and was produced in 2015 (the same year I received the letter from myself in Moscow, which started all of this off). IWC Schaffhausen, which was founded in 1868, is renowned for the unprecedented level of its precision engineering and technical invention – and is also the word's pre-eminent designer of pilot's watches. On its website, IWF describes the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar's features like this:

Analogue date displays with hands have a long tradition in IWC watches featuring perpetual calendars. In the case of the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar, for instance, the date, day and month are to be found on three subdials and, thanks to the clear layout, are extremely easy to read.

The classic moon phase display with discs is usually found at “12 o’clock”. The Ingenieur Constant-Force Tourbillon is one exception and displays the double moon at approximately “1 o’clock”. The moon phase display used in the Portugieser Grande Complication is astonishingly accurate and deviates by just 0.002 per cent, or 1 day, in 122 years. The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar is even more precise. Larger moon phase wheels with a higher number of teeth reduce the deviation so drastically that a future inheritor of the watch would theoretically need to take it to a watchmaker to have the moon phase display adjusted by only 1 day in 577.5 years.

In advance of the release of this particular model, the horologist told me, there had been much speculation on what the watch's new 'complication' – i.e. its unique new feature – would be. Rumours circulated that the 2015 watch would be so technically advanced that for the first time ever it would be capable of actually manipulating time and not merely recording it. This led to the myth of the 'Portuguese Time Traveller'. Predictably, "time travel" does not appear on the list of features given on the IWC website. It does include this intriguing description though:

In the anniversary year of the Portugieser (Portuguese) family, both watches have been modified in terms of technology and design. For the first time ever, the double-moon model comes with the railway-track chapter ring typical of the Portugieser, while the designers have transformed the entire moon phase display into a star-studded night sky, so that the moon and stars appear to hover in infinite space.  

According to the horologist, the time travel expectation did not come to pass, which is probably for the best given that this particular model costs £30,000, meaning that only the rich would be able to take advantage of it. (Although – if that were the case – this whole Trump debacle would make a lot more sense. Biff Tannen's Pleasure Paradise, anyone?!)

HOWEVER, the horologist told me that in early 2015 he was visited by a foreign chronographer, who had come by one of these new models and who had made certain alterations to the mechanism herself. This was the watch that he was wearing that day, and which would, so I had been told, in conjunction with my CERN data tape, help me to successfully complete my time machine in the future. Kneeling on the train platform, he placed my tape upside down on the ground, carefully opened up the case of the watch and, placing it onto the metal disc on the tape's base, began to readjust its three sub-dials, using the code running down the side of the tape as a reference guide:

As soon as this was done, the moon phase dial began to rotate rapidly – but I only saw this for a second; as soon as the movement began, the horologist lifted the watch away from the disc, readjusted it and put it back onto his wrist. I picked up my CERN tape too, only to find that the metal disc on its base was scorching hot to the touch.

'This is as she said it would be', he told me, and said that he would need to take the tape, along with the watch, back to Colombo with him to give to the chronographer, who had also been the one who had given him my photo and instructed him on when and where to be to find me. I felt extremely uneasy about this – for one thing, if this chronographer had the watch in the forst place, knew who I was, where I'd be and what I needed, then why hadn't she just come to meet me herself, rather than do it all through this random horologist? For another thing, my whole reason for coming to Sri Lanka was to bring this tape, which clearly had great significance – could I really just give it away to a total stranger?

He showed me again the photo he had brought with him, looked at me very intently and said that I just had to trust him, that there was nothing else to be done, and that when I needed it I would find it again, in the right state for the job it had to do. And so that's what I did – I gave the man the tape, and I left him there at the station, waiting for his train back to Colombo, while I went back out into Galle to find Luke and tell him what had happened...

Two days later, on the morning of the day we were due to fly back home, we booked a tuk tuk to take us down the coast to Unawatuna beach. When it arrived and we got inside, we both had a good LOL about the fact that behind Luke's seat was a photo of a chicken, very similar to the one in the background of the PTT owner's photo of me. We swapped places so I could replicate the image as I had described it to him. When Luke emailed me all of his photos at the end of the trip I saw that the photo we took that morning was in fact the exact same photo I had seen – two days before it had even been taken – at the station. Would it ever have existed if I hadn't seen it in advance and consciously replicated it? Surely it can't have done. But that's what happened, and now here it is, out in the world, ready for some future person to take it off the internet and take it back in time to the Sri Lankan horologist, so he can find me again on platform 2 of Galle station on January 13th 2017.


The Truth About the Portuguese Time Traveller Part 1

NB. I meant to write this up as soon as I got back from Sri Lanka on Jan 16th. However, so many things happened there, and I was given so much information, that I wanted to look a lot of things up myself first before sharing them – and it all just took longer than I expected. It's also a lot LONGER in length than I expected, which is why I have divided it into two parts! Here goes part 1...

Last year I was invited to visit CERN by one of the physicists who works there, and while I was there I was given what I thought was a now useless data tape, amongst some other gift souvenirs.

Meanwhile, on December 31st 2016 I received a series of emails from someone called Year Solver, whom I have never met and whose real identity I don't know, but who first emailed me in October 2015 (via gumtree, in response to my public appeal for advice on particle accelerator reconfiguration) and whose name INEXPLICABLY appears in the acknowledgements to my book Volodya. The acknowledgement looks to have been written by me but I did not add it in there, and nor indeed had I even been in contact with Year Solver at the time the book went to print. Here is the page in question, and there's more info about it here:

In the emails, Year Solver said that if I was to save my future self from being stuck forever in 1920s Russia (as was suggested in the letter I recieved from my future self, dated 1929) then I had to make my way to Galle train station in Sri Lanka on the 13th of January 2017 with the data tape I had been given. Once there, I had to find the "portuguese time traveller" – the implication being that they (whoever "they" were ) would then be able to help me use what was on the tape to make/find a static generator for my future time machine. 

Despite realising that this sounded completely crazy to everyone around me, I thought: what the hell – if my future self needs me then who am I to let her down! So I bought a flight to Sri Lanka and, accompanied by my supportive boyfriend and dearest love Luke Wright, set off to find the time traveller...

We had never been to Sri Lanka before, but we knew we were in good hands when we saw that Sri Lankan Airlines not only had Time After Time on its onboard flight list, but also all of the Rocky films:

 We flew out on the evening of the 10th of January, which meant we were both quite drunk and far up in the sky, between countries and literally on top of the world when it came to the one year anniversary time of David Bowie's death – an excellent place to be, all things considered.

Sri Lanka is an absolutely beautiful country, and it was really exciting to explore around Galle, but as we know from Wundt's Law, excitement is not always a pleasurable thing, and I was feeling increasingly nervous about who I would find at the train station on January 13th. Indeed, when it came to the day itself, I rather wished I had adhered a bit more closely to my "present Rosy looking out for future Rosy" ethics, because the night before I had gotten totally shitfaced and then had not drunk enough water before going to sleep, so the Rosy of the next morning spent a considerable amount of time puking and whimpering:

 Luckily, I recovered in good time and at the appointed hour took a tuk tuk to Galle train station. In the meantime I had received some perplexingly vague instructions from Year Solver with regard to what I should actually do once I got there: 

 I arrived at Galle station at about 5.30pm and, with the CERN data tape in my hand, made my way onto platform 2. Then – when the clock clicked over to 5.45pm – I walked down to the far end of the platform, as instructed. I didn't really know who I was looking for, although OBVIOUSLY in my mind it was someone like this:

In fact, what I found was someone – and something – very different... watch the video below and then move onto Part 2 of this blog to find out more!



Saturday, 31 December 2016

Time Travel Update: CERN, Year Solver & Sri Lanka!

It  has been over a year since I updated this blog. Partly this is because I have been finishing off my PhD on Mayakovsky, partly because my time travel progress seemed to slow down a little (although there have been some very interesting points, as you will see below!), and partly because the two main occasions on which significant things happened this year both also happened to correspond with the deaths of people who were very important to me, and so I didn't feel like writing anything at all.
In mid-January I received a letter from a physicist at CERN, inviting me to go there for a visit. This was really exciting because in the 1928 letter I received from my 2017 future self while I was in Russia last year it said that I would be given a static generator "on the CERN trip". At that time (August 2015) I had never even really heard of CERN, and had no plans to go to Geneva to visit it, so to have an invite from the organisation itself seemed too amazing to be a coincidence! Here is a scan of it:

At the time I received this letter I was feeling super miserable because David Bowie had just died (in fact, although for us in the UK he died on the 11th, the letter from CERN had actually been written on his official death date of the 10th!) I had left Facebook and didn’t feel much like socialising with the wider world, so I thought I would just go along to Switzerland and see what happened. The guy who had written to me said that April would be better, so I waited till the very start of that month and went over there. Of course I felt very excited and anticipatory about the prospect of this “static generator”, and given that I knew he had read my letter, I knew that he knew that that was what he was supposed to give me… But in the end he didn’t give me anything! We had some really interesting chats, and he certainly gave me some very useful information (which I'll go into another day), and I had a private tour of everything there, including the LHC itself, which was really cool, but then it all ended quite abruptly with other people who worked there arriving and the guy I was meeting having to go into a meeting. He gave me a bag of cool CERN souvenirs, and that was that!

The day after, I flew back home to England, and on that same day I found out from her son that my friend Yelena, Mayakovsky's daughter, had died. Yelena was an amazing woman, extremely loving and witty and intelligent, and very influential on me and my work – I won't say anything more about that now except that it was a very sad time, and again things slipped off the radar, time travel update-wise.

SO... that brings us to the present day. Having heard nothing whatsoever for over a year from Year Solver (the most promising-sounding person out of all the responses I got to the Gumtree ad I posted last year asking for technical assistance, and the name that mysteriously showed up in my book acknowledgements)... this morning I got a series of mad replies!

The easiest thing here is to just screenshot the emails – here they are!

So there we are – that's where I'm up to now, and here is the data tape in question:


The question is, should I actually go to Sri Lanka on the 13th of January?

I'll keep you updated...

Friday, 6 November 2015

Impossible Time Loops

Today something really exciting happened, followed by something truly mind boggling!

Firstly, the book I was editing from last Autumn up until this May, Volodya: Selected Works by Vladimir Mayakovsky, is finally back from the printers, so I got to see it in its finished glory.

It looks really beautiful, and of course I was super keen to start looking through it, but when I got to the acknowledgements page I saw something completely inexplicable – more than inexplicable, it is impossible.

Before I carry on – as you may know, in September I ran an advert in as many places as I could think of, asking for people with any expertise in time travel or particle accelerator reconfiguration to get in touch with me. I was instructed to place this advert while I was in Russia this August – instructed, I should say, by myself – in a letter addressed to me but dated July 1929, which was found in the archives of the Mayakovsky museum in Moscow.

Between the 17th September and now (6th November) I have recieved ten replies, a couple of which are secondary replies from the same people. Here are all the responses I got in the order I received them:

A pretty interesting range, as I'm sure you'll agree! The most promising of them to my mind were the two from Year Solver and Rab. I've emailed both of them back and am waiting on more info...


I opened my book in great excitement, and looked through opening pages till I reached the acknowledgements page. There were all the acknowledgements I had written, and then – at the bottom of all of those – was this:

I DID NOT WRITE THIS!! And furthermore it is impossible for any mention of Year Solver to be in the acknowledgements at all, because I only received the email from her/him on October 16th – one week after my book went to print!!!

Also impossible is that my acknowledgement reads:

Finally, I must express my infinite gratitude to Year Solver, without whose frank and unquestioning technical expertise I would never have made it back to the future in time to finish this book.

And yet... I haven't travelled in time yet, so I have had no need to get back to the future! According to the letter from 1929 I won't time travel until 2017, and (clearly) I successfully finished my book earlier this year, so I didn't need to "get back" in time to finish that! The publishers must know when that detail was added, and by whom, but I am a little worried about them thinking I'm completely mental if I ask them about something which has, ostensibly, been written by me. I have gone through all of my emails over the last few months and can find nothing which directs them to mention Year Solver in my acknowledgements.

Could this mean that by successfully reading in 2015 the letter I wrote to myself in 2017/1929 I have somehow changed the way the future/past will play out? I simply cannot keep up with these potential permutations of the space-time continuum... but somehow I think that over the next couple of years I will find out!

My book is being launched in Brighton on the 19th Nov:

and in London on the 26th Nov:

Come along and celebrate – see this absurd thing for yourselves and tell me what you think!

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Time Traveller with expertise in Particle Accelerator Reconfiguration URGENTLY REQUIRED!

In the letter I received from my future stuck-in-the-past self in Russia I was told to get help "as soon as I got back home". Well – I've been back a couple of weeks now, so it's not exactly immediate, but then I guess that the Rosy who wrote that letter is probably long dead by now (or very old and still living in Russia perhaps!), so she won't know that actually I've been home for over two weeks already.

BUT – I'm getting on the case!

I have posted ads in various online forums, asking for the help, as instructed in the letter. This is the ad I have posted around; if you know anyone with this kind of experience and/or information, or you can think of other places I might be able to spread the word, please let me know!

Time Traveller with expertise in Particle Accelerator Reconfiguration URGENTLY REQUIRED!

I urgently need the help of a time traveller (or simply a scientist – personal experience of time travel may not be absolutely necessary) with expertise in particle accelerator reconfiguration – specifically someone who knows about converting fixed-point time travel transporters into mobile devices.

I am a 33 year-old woman and live in England. Last month in a museum in Russia I was given an old letter addressed to me, which appears to be written by myself – but which was written in 1928. The contents of the letter (which is attached as two images) instructed me to find an expert in this field as soon as possible. Some of the writing is not very clear so I have worked it out as best I can and typed it out (see below). I started to develop a time machine earlier this year, which  it seems will at some point in the future be successfully completed, but so far I am in the early stages and do not have the relevant knowledge to solve this problem.

Are you able to help?

Rosy Carrick


Dear Rosy,

If all has gone to plan you will receive this letter at the Mayakovsky museum in the Summer of 2015.

I urgently need your help.  In 2017 I successfully made my first journey through time but arrived in Russia not in 2030 as planned but in 1927, after I was diverted off-course by a rogue meteor storm on the far side of the Andromeda galaxy (or it could have been a loose bolt, I’m still not sure). The resultant force of arrival caused the wormhole exit to shift altogether ­– it is now completely lost to me.

Today’s date is July 19th 1928, V’s 35th birthday. I have been here already for nearly a year, and there is no way to get back.  I know that at this time you know very little – that is okay. You don’t need to know the answers yet. But you need to do your utmost to help me! If you go on to make this journey without taking the proper precautions then the same thing will happen a second time and we risk forming a time loop from which our liberation may prove difficult.

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING! – As soon as you get home, you must begin to search for experts in Particle Accelerator reconfiguration. I adapted the static generator given to me on the CERN trip but I should not have been so impatient to use it – by turning a f–[the paper has worn away here – “fixed”?] point transporter into a mobile device I failed to take into account the correlatory electromagnetic readjustments necessary for adequate circular-linear acceleration on my return (specifically the exact quantities of additional magnets required and their necessary locations. Find an expert by any means – and remember to make clear that potential singularities are not the issue – the tunnel here was perfectly stable; the problem is with forming a new path from my current location! All you have to do is make sure you have these additional components in place when you make your trip – that is all. Then, when you go back… well – to be honest, that part is unknown to me, but theoretically this current timeline will be replaced by your new one, in which you are – I am­ ­– able to leave here at any time.

I have written and rewritten this letter so many times. By now you have been to Moscow on four previous occasions, I know, but this trip is your first since work on the time machine began in earnest, which makes it the earliest feasible date for you to receive the message and fully understand its seriousness. I couldn’t take the risk of you reading it before you were ready to – to do so could have had serious repercussions for all both of us.

It is difficult to know how much to say so I am saying as little as possible and I’m sorry for that – I know you must have a lot of questions. Volodya smells lovely all the time. It’s funny to see him working on things I have already read. People think my hair is insane – I did one of my inadvertent purple rinses the day I left and V calls it my phosphorescent halo! Of course it’s mostly grown out now. Not telling him the future is inevitably more difficult than not telling you the past… Later this year he will meet Yelena in Nice, for the first and only time. He doesn’t know it will happen of course, and I haven’t said anything about it, but I have said that “whenever he comes to meet her” he should tell her all about me and show her my photo. She’ll be too little to remember but I like the idea. I miss the Olive like billy-o. When you get back to England, give her a cuddle like she wouldn’t believe, from me.

Okay – I pray (to the Gods of 80s beefcake, who I also miss a great deal!) that this gets to you. You are a bad-ass cut-throat bitch, keep doing what you’re doing! And – at the risk of interfering with your future in a way I definitely should not: Aug  19th/20th 2016 – NO! NO! NO! Trust me!

With all the LOVE!

Rosy xxx

– p.s. If you cannot find the parts you need, DO NOT use the time machine!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Evidence of my Time Travel!!!

Okay – I am in complete shock. It seems that evidence of MY OWN time travel – time travel that I as yet know nothing about; that for me has not happened yet – has been uncovered at the Mayakovsky museum. At the moment I have no idea what to think about this, or what to do about it, but this is what has happened:

Yesterday I had my meeting at the museum, at which the new director, who was visibly shaking with nervousness and unease, handed me an envelope with his name and my name on it, with an instruction (written by whom we don’t know) for him to give it to me (“Rosy Carrick (Leaver)”) specifically THIS Summer – the Summer of 2015. The entire museum building has been undergoing repairs for the last two years, and this envelope was found by workmen amongst a boxful of other old photos, letters and documents. 

Inside was another, much older envelope, which has obviously been opened at some point, and half of which has disintegrated/been ripped away. The postage date stamp on the back says the 7th August 1934. On the bottom half is just a simple address, to Vsevolodivich Snegiryov (there is no first name, but maybe that is on the torn off part on the bottom left of the envelope), No. 8/12 Andreevskaya Street (a small street far out of the centre in the South West of Moscow).

The top half of the envelope has the address of the sender:

Klyazma Halt (“polustanok” – which translates literally as  “half the machine”, or “half the machine tool”),
North Railway Road.

Klyazma is the name of a factory, but I don’t know what sort.

And inside this envelope was this letter, dated 1928:

At the moment I am getting ready to leave Moscow and come back to England. I have the letter with me and will start to deal with it when I get home, but for now... is this not completely insane?! I have spent the last month tracing Mayakovsky's footsteps on the streets of St Petersburg and Moscow, and thinking about the uncanniness of watching a show in the Stray Dog, of standing at the front door of his house in Zhukovsky Street, of walking along the cobbled streets of Kuznetsky Most and, yesterday, of walking up the stairs to his own office room in Lubyanka passage, the place of his death. Can it really be that I have not only been tracing our movements through the same space but different times, but that I was in fact really there, in his time too?

When I first met Yelena in 2012, she frequently commented on our immediately close relationship. I had been a little worried about going to stay with an 86 year old woman about whom I knew nothing at all except that she was the daughter of Mayakovsky, but in spite of this, and of the massive age gap between us, we got on extremely well, and it was like we'd known each other for years – so much so that when she gave me a copy of her book, Mayakovsky In Manhattan, she wrote this dedication on the first page:

I am now beginning to question everything in my past in a way that is making me feel quite crazy. I have to go to the aiport to go home now so I can't write anymore, but I will decide what to do when I get back.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

How To Be Magic!

The day after tomorrow I go back home, and tomorrow I am meeting for the first time the new director of the Mayakovsky museum, Alexei Lobov. For the last week he has been sending me quite insistent emails, first about how I should call him as soon as I arrive into Moscow from St Petersburg, and then to vehemently concretise our time and day of meeting. It's very nice to be so eagerly anticipated! I was put in touch with him by Yelena, Mayakovsky's daughter. Alexei went to New York to meet her a while ago, and by all accounts he is a pretty cool dude. I'm meeting him at the actual museum, which has now been closed "for repairs" for at least a couple of years, so I am hoping to get a sneaky peek at what's been going on there.

It has been so wonderful to be back in Moscow – I have never been here in the height of Summer before; everyone is happy – many people have stopped me on the street to chat (very unusual in Russia in my experience!), and everything seems full of wonder, which in turn has made me think about the practice of magic, and how common it is these days. I frequently think of myself as a magic person, not because I'm a loon but because it's true. After all, to perform magic is to change or influence events or situations in mysterious ways, and we do that all the time – it's just that we're so used to it that we don't call it magic anymore because we understand more now than we did in ye olden days. Here are some examples of my recent magicking:

1) Usually I am extremely late for everything, but this year for my birthday my brother Edward bought me a special device called a watch. The wearing of this watch has made me be on time for at least 20 things since May. Simply by checking the numbers on something which measures out time in exact correlation with every other time device in existence in my time zone, I am able to know what I need to do and when I need to do it. The magic even seems to work when I have no idea where I am and how long it will take me to get to where I am going; on several occasions like this I have nevertheless arrived exactly on time or even two minutes early! You can do this too – all you have to do is strap the watch to your wrist and look at it quite often.

2) For the last month I have been in Russia. On many occasions I have gotten lost in unknown streets, with no idea where I am or how to get to where I'm going. However, with the help of a special talisman called a map I have been able to find my way every time. The "map" is essentially a miniature two dimensional representation of the real world, so by looking at it as though you are a giant, gazing down on the whole city in one glance it is possible to find your place physically (by looking at a street sign for example), and then to find and contextualise that place on the map. I pity the fools who do not have this magic at their disposal, because it can be impossible to know what to do without it.

3) My daughter Olive very often loses her belongings at school – usually her school uniform. To stop this happening I have begun the practice of writing her name on all her stuff. This way, simply by looking at it, people know to whom it belongs, and it is eventually returned to her. The same goes for P.E bags – every child has exactly the same one but they know exactly which is their own based on which markings they see written on the front of them – a very useful kind of magic indeed.

4) Languages. The first time I ever visited Russia I barely spoke any Russian at all and, although it was a fun experience, it was also quite terrifying. This time I feel much happier and more relaxed, and the reason for this is that I constantly practise and do my best to learn the Russian language. This language is merely a sort of magic code – without it it is impossible to communicate with anybody at all, but with it, suddenly you see new meanings and significance in everything; doors of opportunity open to you in all directions (a bit like in the film Labyrinth when the worm shows Sarah that, with a slight change in perspective, it is possible to walk through ostensibly solid walls).

5) When I went to get my visa registered in St Petersburg, I entered the necessary building on the ground floor, but the office I needed to get to was on the top floor. Hard to believe, I know, but there were no flights of stairs anywhere for public use! But what they did have was a small, metal, mirror-lined room called a lift. All I had to do was to go inside and press a particular button. The doors shut, and when they re-opened I found myself in a completely different space to the one from which I had entered – and was now on the very floor I had needed to get to! It was crazy!

This practical approach I take to magic is the same one I take to time travel – and judging by the results of my research on the latter so far, it seems that the prospects of doing so are very good indeed!