Alastairs Photo Fiction: No time

Before we had clocks, we used the sun to monitor the passing of time during daylight hours. Makes sense! Depending on the time of day the sun is in a different place. Something to track. Same thing with nighttime hours, when the sky was clear. We kept track of time based on where the moon was in the sky. The thing here is – at some point in the evolution of our keeping track of time, we lost time.

We lost the valuable time being spent in close, interactive relationships with each other and nature. (So my story today has to do with the time of it all).

Photograph by Alastair Forbes, 2013

Vignettes of “No time”


“Daddy, would you help me fix my bicycle tire, it’s still flat and you said you’d fix it a few weeks ago?”

“Not right now son, I’ll take care of it but I have no time today, maybe tomorrow!”


“Mommy, can I help you cook dinner? I’d like to help you!”

“I’m sorry honey, mommy has too many things to do today, I just don’t have the time to show you what to do right now.”


“Hi John, can you come over and play in the yard with me?”

“I don’t have time right now, there’s a cool show on TV and after that I have a new video game I’m going to try.”


“Hi Janice, this is mom. I was wondering if you have time today to stop by and visit your dad and me at the retirement center. We’ve been missing you and the little ones. It’s been awhile.”

“Hi Mom! You know how much we all love you, and we’d love to be able to come visit, but there’s so many things going on right now.”

“That’s what you said a few weeks ago Janice, perhaps you have a little spare time on Sunday?”

“Mom, don’t go there. Don’t make me feel guilty. I have too many things on my plate, There is just no time right now. Sunday I’m just going to stay home and chill, but we love you and will be out to visit when we have more time.”


“Hello Henry I’m leaving this message on your answering machine. I was told you called in sick today. I hope it’s nothing serious. Remember we have a deadline on the project your working on. We really don’t have time for you not to be here. I hope you get better soon.”


How many “no times” do you have in your life?

“tempus fugit”


Join in the creativity. Write a short short story (Flash Fiction), based on Alastair’s photograph. Click here:Β Alastairs Photo Fiction LinkΒ – to get started. Good Luck!

Time is fleeting, I hope your time today was spent well for you!

~ Penny

penny l howe

46 thoughts on “Alastairs Photo Fiction: No time

  1. I often think of the ‘Cat’s in the cradle…and the story goes…’ etc. So I always made time for my children. I would rather leave dishes in the sink and go bug hunting. I’m hoping it makes a difference in how my children ‘visit’ me…when there is time.

  2. I haven’t got the time to read this one right now Penny but I will be back later… Yes I am jesting, this is a very good posting that many of us will be able to relate to, it offers an authentic view towards something that all of us do from time to time πŸ™‚ Have a fun afternoon Penny and be good, like me πŸ™‚

    Andro xxx

    • Hi Andro. A very busy week for me also, with various online and real life activities. So I’m getting lots of exercise, both physical and mental as I try to accomplish various tasks for the day. And it’s blazingly hot here too! Having said that, I am always happy when you stop by to visit. A pleasure for me to read your comments. You always brighten my day! Thank you Andro. πŸ™‚ I will try to be exactly like you in the “good” department! πŸ™‚

      Penny, xx

      • No air conditioning needed here that is for sure but for me personally I enjoy the cooler weather, I always have πŸ™‚ I am pleased that you find my comments nice to read, I usually try to add something worthwhile as I know that a lot of thought and commitment goes into writing posts.

        Some visitors tend to just click on the ‘Like’ option or add very few words, which is quite alright I am not complaining but for me, i do prefer to add a lengthier offering, especially when the Space that I am visiting appeals to me, and yours definitely does Penny πŸ™‚

        Have a nice evening,
        and a tad cooler I hope πŸ™‚

        Andro xxx

        • Hi Andro, it’s 10 pm now, and it has cooled down. It made it up to 107 today, tomorrow it’s supposed to only be 104, sigh! We stay comfortable as long as we don’t go outside, but it is kind of claustraphobic with everything closed up!

          I’m glad my space appeals to you too. Have a great Wednesday,

          Penny πŸ™‚

    • I know how busy your life is RoSy,(well, I don’t “know” know, I don’t have spies or anything, lol) but I have a hunch it is exceedingly busy and many times stressful, so bravo to you for making it through each day and still managing to smile and be so positive and upbeat … in spite of what life can hand out every day (this I do know)! πŸ™‚ xo

  3. so practical and true.. Particularly touching was the one about Janice not going to the retirement home to see her parents and the one demanding Henry to report despite his being sick

  4. The irony of modern culture, yes? We insist that technology will save us time, and then we spend that time chasing after more and more technology instead of each other.

    • I wonder how many people understand that those we love (family,children, elderly, friends) aren’t hearing those words “I don’t have time! They are hearing “Sorry you aren’t important enough for me to find the time”. Whether it’s true or not that’s what they’re hearing! I agree completely with you Lyn!

    • Hi Mike, Thanks, I’m thinking the issue is always people. Time is now a commodity or medium of exchange in today’s world that isn’t being utilized very well! Trying to be socially correct here! lol

    • Yes, it can be a quandry but I’ll bet you, when there is someone in need, you’re right there Sally, your care and concern for others does shine through you know! πŸ™‚ xo

  5. So true. I say it all the time. I don’t have time to do things. We all do I think.

    I am making time to sit and do nothing this afternoon. That and the fact that my back hurts πŸ˜†

    I hope you all have time to enjoy yourselves today. Much love to you all over the pond.

  6. In our busy life it is a shame not to have time anymore. We should make time as quality time for children, sick ones, everybody really is a gift and a real present we can easily give and it doesn’t even cost anything. It will be appreciated and valued!

    • Perfectly said Ute. Not that I’m surprised to hear these words coming from you dear friend. Time is the greatest gift of all we can share with others, you are so correct! xx

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