I think Dr Who got it right in regards to time.

It’s not a straight line, it’s a curve, it’s a loop, it’s as long as a piece of string or as short as a piece of string – and, of course, you can go back in time or forward in time as quickly or as slowly as you like.

Let’s go back in time, to start with, to the day almost two weeks ago now of the play-off final.

I decided, on the promise of pie and peas, to go and watch it at the home of my son-in-law, Steve, in Grimethorpe.

I also decided that I’d walk it there, pretending that the stroll from Darfield to Grimey was the equivalent of the walk up Wembley Way or the walk down the tunnel onto the pitch.

Going back in time the walk down the bridle path and over the river is also the walk that generations of miners took to Houghton Main.

Their ghosts walk with me as I stroll. Maybe there were pitmen from the past who went to that FA Cup win in 1912; maybe if I listen hard enough, if I time travel accurately enough, I can hear them talking about it as I pass the weir, or perhaps that’s just the breeze in the trees and the rushing water.

Zipping to the future I see that next season Barnsley win League One comfortably and I’m doing a celebratory stroll down the bridle and I can hear the voices of the ghostly colliers who were at the 1912 final more clearly; I think I can hear them singing.

In the more recent past there I am, around 13.30 on May 29, 2023, making my steady way along the path at the side of the bypass which, unlike time itself, is straight and not that long.

I picture the moment earlier that day, at about 05.30 on my morning stroll, when I bump into another Steve, not my son-in-law, on his way to get the coach to Wembley. ‘Kick off’s at two o’clock, tha knows!’ he says, driving off. Is it? Surely not! I check on my phone that it isn’t, and it isn’t. Phew! That’s the kind of time travel I don’t want.

Time is all around me as I walk. The past crowds in as I pass the place where Houghton Main’s pitstack was and as I amble by ASOS.

All the people who worked there for all those years now crowding together in the cage of the past as it rushes downwards into even deeper pasts, to places you have to have a really long memory to remember.

I pass a bus, waiting for workers to come out of ASOS. It’s not the faithful old 27 that chugs around its little circuit all day, it’s the bus that goes to Sheffield, almost replicating part of the legendary old 70 bus route.

The 70 was a real time traveller, seemingly taking years to trundle from Upton in West Yorkshire to Sheffield.

It was rumoured that you could get on the bus as an adult paying full price and get off it as a pensioner with a bus pass.

The driver has got off the bus because he’s early and he throws the crumbs from his sarnie out for the birds,

He also chucks an apple core and I hope that time works hard on that core and that one day, when I’m a very old man, I’ll be able to pick apples from the tree that grows from it.

Apples can be time machines too, it seems. There’s one passenger on the bus already, even though it doesn’t leave for a while; he’ll be hoping that somehow time stands still and that he can get home in time to watch the match.

The ASOS windmills turn serenely in the slight breeze, going as slowly as time seems to when you’re waiting for a play-off final. I speed up my stroll a little, even though there’s still a while to go to the kickoff.

Look at me walking. Now, from this perspective, we all know what happened in the match but as I’m walking along I have no idea.

Barnsley might win. They might win easily or they might win a nail-biting penalty shoot-out. You all know that didn’t happen, as do I as I type this a few days after the game.

Time, eh? Oh well, it’s a great healer. See you in August, or the ‘future’, as we call it.