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:
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: