On clocks and watches and the passing of time

Photo by Brooke-Campbell

When I left the navy, I took off my watch and let time lose track of me.

Okay, that’s got my pompous litfic-ish catchphrase (that I coined on that day and have never forgotten) out of the way. On with the post.

My friend Kari Trenten asked this on Facebook:

Random question while I research…do you like clocks? Do you enjoy old fashioned time pieces or do you carry around something modern to tell time with?

It’s a fine pair of questions, and her curiosity jogged my memories of something very dear to me.

All through my childhood, my favourite clock was my Nan and Grandad’s. It’s a Napoleon’s hat-shaped mantle clock of pale reddish-blond wood that used to chime pleasantly on the hour and give a part-chime every quarter hour too.

A hundred years old now, I should think, it had a lovely delicate tone. It was quite heavy, about ten inches across its base, maybe six inches high and four inches deep, and contained a fine working mechanism that no one was permitted to touch except Grandad.

It sits in my Mum’s house now. After some years of neglect, she had it renovated to keep time accurately, but decided not to have the chime fixed.

She knows it’s the only thing I want to inherit. My memories of Nan and Grandad’s home are a treasure. It was a sanctuary for me, that place, and the clock was always there. When it comes to me I will certainly have its chime restored.

Hip update: Day 7

6 days since the injury. Learning to maintain the fine balance between careful movement to prevent all my soft tissue and muscle stuff in there seizing, and too much movement that will keep tearing the stuff that I hope is trying to heal.

I hope this metaphorical balancing act won’t be too difficult, because even careful movement hurts like a high-pitched screech. And frequently causes them, although I cut them off quickly because they’re embarrassing.

I’ve found a manoeuvre that reduces the pain of a certain movement. One of the screechy moves is my right leg sliding forward delicately to meet my left one. You know, like a step, only reduced to a six-inch shuffle. Moving backwards aches sickeningly, but it isn’t sharp like going forward. So in the middle of the night when I couldn’t persuade my bladder to wait any longer and had to walk to the bathroom, I discovered that if I move sideways it isn’t as bad.

Lesson learned. I’m walking like a crab, left foot out to the side, right foot raised gently until only the ball of my foot touches the floor like a dancer in slow motion, then gently bring it to rest alongside left foot. And repeat. It’s a slow walk, but it doesn’t bring a hot wave of near-faint pain and lights dancing in my vision as the price for every six inches of horizontal progress.

Next mission will be to conquer the stairs problem. Because my bed is up there.

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