Mens Temporum . UK

Mens Temporum in Latin means "Mind of Times",
but the word mens can signify much more than simply "mind".







The purpose of this website is to share an experience, one that has originated within the mind of a single person, myself, its creator. Only you know your reason for visiting it and how that came about though. Therefore immediately I offer you a choice. You may visit The Fiction, The Facts or The Speculation but don’t be misled by these titles. There may be as many facts within the fiction as there could be fiction within the facts. As to the speculation, who knows? In truth everything on this website may reside in the grey area between fact and fiction. Only you can decide where to draw the boundaries as you see fit. As this is a place for the telling of stories and little else let me try to explain with one now.

When I was young I owned a wooden jigsaw puzzle. It was double-sided with a picture of Mr. Toad from The Wind In The Willows on one side and Ichabod and Katrina from The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow on the other. I imagine that it was merchandise connected with the film containing both these stories released in 1949 by Walt Disney Productions although I never saw that. In fact, being English, I only knew about The Wind In The Willows and hadn’t heard of the other story then. Therefore I would put the puzzle together with the picture of Mr. Toad, the one that I recognised, uppermost. When working on a double-sided jigsaw puzzle there is the additional problem that one must determine which side of each piece is relevant. The fragments of picture on it are clues but the shape of the piece regardless of the pictures may also be of assistance in placing it. When I had completed the puzzle I would carefully place it between sheets of cardboard or such so that I could turn it over to see the other picture, the one that I had assembled without seeing it. Once assembled it was impossible to determine which picture I had actually used to guide me during the assembly. That is the nature of a double-sided jigsaw puzzle, that it is extremely difficult to see both sides at the same time while assembling it. Perhaps it could just be done with the assistance of a mirror.

The two stories depicted by the puzzle only became connected historically through events within the Disney studios. Equally the two pictures were unrelated except by being two sides of the same physical medium. Their coexistence was just a coincidence which I could not understand at the time. What I present here on this website are equally two possibly unrelated stories which happen to coexist within my mind. Now that I know both of them I am faced with the same problem as with that jigsaw puzzle, that I can no longer be sure which was my guide while I was assembling this joint experience.

You now have to decide which story you will read first, but please bear in mind that it isn’t just the information that one acquires but the order in which one acquires it that determines the nature of one’s experiences. I recommend that you start with The Fiction. I cannot say exactly what you will find there as I am writing this at the end of 2015 and I don’t know what has happened here since then. You will at least find the first part of a novel that I started writing at the beginning of 2011. It is a reasonably light-hearted fictional story which some might class as being in the science fiction or fantasy genre, but don’t let that put you off. Regard it as being as wispily playful as The Wind In The Willows. After that you may like to read The Facts, which attempt to explain how I came to write the novel and the thoughts behind it. That is perhaps a darker tale with a hint of the paranormal, a fitting parallel with The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Obviously reading that first would spoil the experience of reading the fictional story itself, but it really depends how much time you have to waste here. The complete fictional story that I conceived was very long and how much has been committed to text so far depends more than anything on how interested anyone has been in reading it. You may wonder in that case how I came to write any of it at all and so do I. Believe me, so do I. Maybe the answer lies in the third section, my speculations. If you are the sort who likes to read how a story ends to judge the rest, then by all means read that section first, but doing so would hardly be sharing in the experience.

All that I ask is that, as Samuel Taylor Coleridge once explained, you suspend your disbelief for the time being while you read. At exactly what point you choose to resume disbelief is entirely up to you. I happened to attend the same school as Coleridge, but not at the same time of course. To have done so I would have to be either incredibly old or a time traveller. In fact physically I have travelled through the seventy or so years of my life to this point at the conventional pace and in the normal direction. What my mind may have done is possibly a different matter, but all our minds wander from time to time, don’t they?

My name? It’s Rob, just Rob for now.