I have ceased to be bold. My shell cracked a long time ago and it’s not a laughing matter. I managed to avoid “Yoke” just to save the groans. So the modern world greets me as Mother Nature intended, not exactly naked, but without armour.
I was boldly going, or going boldly, depending upon your preference or adherence to the ever-changing rules of grammar. But few others cared to go where I was going. Let me set the record straight, it was not Wales as that is to be concluded sometime in the future. But, future is a clue. I was travelling in time again.
James Tiberius Kirk, you have never been to Scarborough!
Old Kirky Boy had done an awful lot of trekking as was evidenced by his weekly outings in the 1960s. He went to planets where the well-proportioned female aliens were green, blue, red, purple…the list is endless. Indeed, the primary rule of first contact was generally broken by his own primary driver, “to boldly conquer” any alien female on his trek. Perhaps that was the primary point of space exploration, well that is what a young, pre-pubescent youth, that was myself, thought. Now the older me looks back on time as mini-treks in travel.
But, James T. Kirk never did venture to Scarborough.
For a long time in my life, I had never been to Scarborough. It may have well existed in the outer-universe for all the good that it did me. There is no Doomsday Book entry for it and the Bulgarian International Football Team decided not to stay there during the 1996 European Championships (won by Germany). But our modern-day Doom-recorders say this about it:
The town was reportedly founded around 966 AD as Skarðaborg by Thorgils Skarthi, a Viking raider, though there is no archaeological evidence to support these claims, made during the 1960s, as part of a pageant of Scarborough events. The origin of this belief is a fragment of an Icelandic Saga. In the 4th century there had briefly been a Roman signal station on Scarborough headland and there is evidence of much earlier Stone Age and Bronze Age settlements. However any new settlement was soon burned to the ground by a rival band of Vikings under Tosti (Tostig Godwinson), Lord of Falsgrave, and Harald III of Norway. The destruction and massacre meant that very little remained to be recorded in the Domesday survey of 1085. The original inland village of Falsgrave was also Saxon rather than Viking.
Just why did the Bulgars not take a liking to it?
Anyway, as a now grown man, I had knowledge of Scarborough , but not in the way that James T. would have it. My knowledge is relatively recent and involves doing a day’s supply teaching at a school that has a name that should belong to an uncle or older family relative. It is neither.
My first visit to this establishment was about a year ago. I lasted a day. Realised that I had nothing left to give to teaching. Accepted that the youth of today were beyond my reach. The behaviour then, well masked beneath the obligatory Head’s website remarks, “Our children are making adequate progress,” suggested that things were not so rosy in the garden of youthful learning. I struggled with some groups who steadfastly refused to accept me as any recognisable member of their species. On that point, I must hand my agreement. The experience added more deflation to an already deflated educational ego. I would, I would definitely not be going back there at any time in the future.
At roughly eight o’clock on a mixed weather morning, I sat in my car, in the staff carpark of the school that sounded like my uncle and wondered just what I was doing there. I had blinked and a year had past. Time travel it was.
As I waited in my car, I noticed other teachers arriving. They looked relatively human, bearing no scars from the various battles they had obviously been engaged in. I saw a familiar face and then another, people I had worked at during my short tenure at a previous school. One was an English teacher and the other had been a Headteacher. Time had conspired to level out the playing field.
And just why do you think that you are returning to the same places again and again?
It’s like a game that I have entered into without realising. There are clues along the way that I am picking up. I am in my car and I am seeing faces from the past and soon I will enter into an appropriate form of communication with them; nothing deep nor stoical. We have all landed here at the same time. Our stars have crossed and we don’t know why. I suppose my little journey is one without end, Star Trek and Beyond. Like all travellers, we will share a welcoming smile, a hand-shake, then a fare-thee-well. The important thing is to touch-down, to plant something solid on something solid, to be.
I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the experience, but it was going to be an experience. The Head of English greeted me, in a manner that suggested she may never see me again after this day, and gave me my lessons to teach.
A whole chunk of them were concerned with the Science-Fiction genre. My first class of the day arrived and I was relieved to find that they were not predisposed to hostility.
I had landed and had made First Contact for a second time.