Happy New Year from 1905!
Speaking from 119 years ago...
So here I am in 1905, at Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. As you can see from the above picture this New Year’s Eve is interesting. The sun setting and some off-worlders docking their ship in the midst of the dolmens on Salisbury Plain.
I left the 2020s a few days back. And I have to say I’m glad I did. I went down to the post office come grocery store in Salisbury - I’d got old coins and notes off eBay and so had usable currency. So I was able to buy a loaf of bread, butter, and cheese, along with other items I needed. Taking them back to the place I was staying at, I have to say the taste was quite incredible. It was a real shock as in the 2020s food is seriously lacklustre.
Also I noticed how much slower life is in the early 1900s. People are also far more polite. I bought a newspaper and back in November there’d been the first aeroplane flight for more than five minutes in the air. So there was a lot of talk about that. France & Spain had signed treaty for Moroccan Independence; oh and in September a woman had been arrested for smoking a cigarette in a car on 5th Avenue, New York City.
In a couple of days I’m off to meet Aleister Crowley - back from his sojourn in Cairo and no doubt clutching his Book of the Law, which he claims was channeled through his wife from an extra terrestrial, non-human intelligence called Aiwass. He reckons it heralds the Aeon of Horus and that the world will be radically changing. I’m not sure whether to tell him things aren’t good in the 2020s, a world of encroaching tyranny.
Then again, old Aleister might well say it’s all predicted in the Book of the Law. I believe it probably is. Eventually out of the chaos and tyranny will come the “new humans” who live according to the “true will” and all that.
The plan is to meet Aleister at the Atlantis Bookshop on Museum Street (London). it’s still there in the 2020, by the way… still going strong. It will be odd popping in there and no Geraldine Beskin, who runs it today. She wasn’t born then… I was half-tempted to say she had been born then, but if she reads this I’ll be in big trouble! Haha… I fear the wrath of Geraldine!
Anyway, I suspect Aleister and I will adjourn to The Plough across the road from the Atlantis. Again, it will be pretty odd to be having a snifter there as it was very much my watering hole in the early 1990s and on and off since then. I’ll probably see what rum they’ve got. I’ve got no idea if they’d even have Captain Morgan’s. I favor Cuban rum as a rule. God knows whether they’ll have that in the 1905 version of The Plough.
Of course the British Museum is up the road. I’ll be tempted to pop in there too. It will be pretty odd with not many cars about and horse and carts running up and down Tottenham Court Road.
Even here in Salisbury I have to keep my mind focused on the time I’m in. I didn’t expect to feel so bewildered, actually. No phone to check the news and so on… no videos to watch, no cryptocurrency. People light up fags (cigarettes) and pipes in restaurants too.
And I have to be careful what I say. People are very nice, but when making conversation it’s easy to forget that we hadn’t even landed on the moon back in 1905 (now for me). Thankfully I’d read H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Arthur Machen as a boy, so there’s a certain amount of common ground. But I’m forever having to monitor myself, which is more tiring than you might think.
One thing that stands out is the freshness of the air. So, so different to the 2020s. Over here at Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain is like paradise… and no planes in the sky, just about no cars, and absolutely no chemtrails… no wonder the air seems so fresh.
Anyway, I’d better get on, I’ve got lots to do.