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Tony Grist

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Changing The Clocks [Mar. 30th, 2008|10:52 am]
Tony Grist
We do own a proper clock- I mean a clock that goes by clockwork. My parents gave it me for my 21st birthday, or for passing my "A" levels or for some other long-gone personal milestone. It's 19th century, handsome- one of the nicest things we own. Only it doesn't work. We sent it to a guy who repairs clocks- a friend of my father-in-law's; he kept it for months- years; he adopted it as his pet project and enjoyed working on it so much he waived his fee. Or so he said.  Maybe he just liked displaying it in his shop window. Eventually, reluctantly, he sent it back- and it still didn't work. 

These days I regard it as an ornament. I don't see the point of trying to get it going. It wouldn't keep good time, would it? Not compared to our modern, battery operated clocks.

And we're not short of those. Ailz keeps being given them as free gifts by the catalogues she patronizes. And we display them all- proudly- fondly.  I like clocks. 

I can see two of them from where I'm sitting. They disagree with one another by about a minute. That's not their fault; it's mine. I went round the house last night setting them all forward by an hour and I wasn't being terribly precise. I could adjust them, of course; it would take a few seconds, but I prefer it this way. It's a teeny-tiny protest against the modern world's obsession with time and deadlines and all that stuff. Clocks make good servants, bad masters. So what if I keep missing the opening minute of Torchwood?
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: halfmoon_mollie
2008-03-30 11:12 am (UTC)
when I think about time, of course, I realize it is relative, it's an invention of humankind. It's a different time in my kitchen than it is in my living room, and although I have two wrist watches that I take turns wearing, they don't read the same time either. Yes indeed, good servants, bad masters.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-03-30 11:53 am (UTC)
Exactly.

The clocks say it's 12.50, but my internal clock- which has yet to adjust- insists it's an hour earlier.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2008-03-30 01:35 pm (UTC)
I have an old mantel clock that stopped many years ago but still graces our mantle. I took it into a clock repair and after looking it over,the repair guy said "give it an honourable retirement". So it still graces our mantle.
There's something that stops my fancy about an eternally stopped clock.

I still have to change half the clocks around here. No hurry.

Edited at 2008-03-30 01:36 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-03-30 06:48 pm (UTC)
I used to own a cuckoo clock. It sort of gradually fell to pieces and eventually I chucked it out- an act of vandalism I now deeply regret.

It had a label stuck on its back, recording the name of its maker or seller- and his address (I forget the town) on the Adolf Hitler Strasse.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2008-03-30 03:09 pm (UTC)
For some reason we changed time a couple of weeks ago, ahead of everyone else. I forget why they did that.

I try to keep my clocks pretty accurate because our school starts a few minutes early. Soon I won't have to worry about that. :^)

I actually like our *atomic* clocks that automatically keep the *correct* time without us having to set them. Of course, we do have to put in new batteries every now and then. I guess we are slaves to time....
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-03-30 06:52 pm (UTC)
As Shakespeare's Richard II put it,

"I have wasted time, and now doth time waste me."
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2008-03-30 07:34 pm (UTC)
*Oh the truth to that!*
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[User Picture]From: seaslug_of_doom
2008-03-30 06:16 pm (UTC)
oh Oh OH! Don't let me in your house!

I have a coffee maker and a microwave sitting next to each other (mostly because they're both white with green displays) and if they're off by a microsecond I hover over them obsessively, pushing buttons, until they both silently slide over to the next minute simultaneously.

If I worked in an old-timey clock shop I would even try to get them all to tick in synchronicity, which would likely set up vibrations that would eventually make the building fall down around my ears. But it would be worth it!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-03-30 07:04 pm (UTC)
I'd just move them apart so I couldn't see them together- or maybe I wouldn't even bother to do that.

Isn't it odd how the sound of a clock fades into the background? I've just been listening to the two clocks we have in here- and it was an effort to locate the sounds and fasten onto them. It's not that they're quiet, or that I'm deaf, but simply that the brain has learned to disregard their ticking, along with the rest of the ambient white noise.
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[User Picture]From: oakmouse
2008-03-31 05:41 am (UTC)
All of our clocks are real ones with gears and everything. ;) This is due to two simple facts: our area has a lot of small power outages, on the one hand, which means that electric clocks are seldom accurate; and neither of us can endure the whine of an electric clock on the other hand. (It's one of those autism spectrum sensory acuities. That little whine sounds like a jet engine.) Thus we have a battery powered clock on the living room wall and wind-up clocks in the other rooms.

I love real clocks and watches, actually. I have my great-grandfather's pocket watch, complete with its little silver key. It was made in Wales in the 1850s, according to the maker's stamp on the back. It doesn't work but I've never taken it to have it repaired because originally I couldn't afford to and now I don't know where to find someone who could do a competent job of work on it.
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[User Picture]From: kaysho
2008-04-08 10:12 pm (UTC)
That seems to be the rule for 19th century clocks. We purchased one from an antique store just to give our house a little more character, and it kept decent time ... for about a week. Then it started running more irregularly, missing the slot that is supposed to stop it chiming (so at 9:00 it might chime 19 times, then 11 times at 10:00pm, 15 times at 11:00pm, etc.). Then it stopped working altogether. But it was still a lovely clock.

Since we're about to move, it's going into the moving sale. :)
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