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.

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