Riding north along the Upfield bike path this afternoon, as it follows the train line west of Sydney Road (yep, just keep heading north to the Emerald City), I saw a man riding a bike with a girl sitting comfortably behind him. He must have been standing up on the pedals the whole way. As we crossed, I heard him say distinctly, "So at that time you weren't going to be in the circus, but then you were?"
Isn't that great? I spent a while pondering the grammatical ambiguity here; was she now going to be in the circus? or was she now in the circus? or had she been going to be in the circus, but now she wasn't (a counter-factual imperfect?)? Is "were" the principal verb, or does it leave the "going to be" understood? I need a grammatical analysis of the different temporalities and tenses at work here.
Either way, she was having a lovely ride in the sun. And so did I, stopping to load up my panier on the left side, a shopping bag on the right handle bar, both filled with dried fruit that is now soaking in beer, brandy and port ready to make Christmas puddings. OK, a little late, but still a glad contrast to last year when my father had to come to my rescue and help me because I couldn't stir them. Twelve months later, I plan to have the mixture all assembled when my family comes to afternoon tea on Sunday, so we can all have a stir and make a wish.