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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Grandfather Clock to Smart Watch

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way. Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain. You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today. And then one day you find ten years have got behind you. No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking Racing around to come up behind you again. The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older, Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time. Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way The time is gone, the song is over, Thought I'd something more to say.

Home Home again I like to be here When I can

When I come home Cold and tired It's good to warm my bones Beside the fire

Far away Across the field Tolling on the iron bell Calls the faithful to their knees To hear the softly spoken magic spell

This song "Time" was on The Dark side of the Moon album by Pink Floyd. It was released early in 1973. One of the best selling records of all time. I was 15. My copy was on cassette which I used to often play on a little portable cassette player quietly by my bed last thing at night. I don't think I ever heard the end of the side that was playing, I just heard the click as it turned itself off.

I've been thinking about time. Not in a ticking away sense but in a technological way. Specifically I've been thinking about my watches and clocks.

I once heard "A man can't have too many watches". I've a few. Most have flat batteries. Most are fairly inexpensive. Some were presents, some I bought myself and some are just functional almost disposable. But two are special. The first special watch is a Casio G-Shock. Complete, in a presentation tin complete with an instruction manual. It's heavy, it's clearly been used and it's too small for my wrist . Why is it special? It was my dad's and he loved it. When he bought it it would have cost him a fair bit. At the time it was cutting edge, solar powered and the time was set by satellite. My other special watch is the one I'm wearing now. A Garmin vivoactive3 smart watch. A kind of entry level smart watch but exactly what I wanted. I imagine buying my watch would have given me the same satisfaction as my dad had when he bought his.

My smart watch (not actually smart, the word smart implies some sort of intelligence) is just a nice bit of tech. Like most 63 year olds I understand about 10% of its capabilities, the other 90% goes above my head. But one feature I particularly like is it gives me a steps targets that I can achieve. Every time I can't achieve my target the target decreases. If I achieve my target it increases. I like it. My target tomorrow is 5010 steps. I may actually get there. By the time I do the walk on the 15th the target will be much higher. Then I start my next chemo, my target will then rapidly decrease.

But more interestingly each of the clocks we have has a story.

In the summerhouse we have 7 clocks. the first clock has a dial depicting the Cerne Abbas Giant. The second hand is it's willy. A present from Robin (who else)? The next clock is a picture of Tricia and I on the Hornet at Flambards, a gift from PW. A black and red handmade octagon shaped clock is number 3, a clock which I made. 4th is a clock I rescued from a school that burnt down at Ealing Broadway back in the 70s. 5th, 6th and 7th are handmade pottery clocks made for the company WTCS that I worked for for years. In the house is a long case (grandfather) clock that my dad gave Tricia and I when we had our pub. There's an antique wall clock which dad gave me in exchange for two other wall clocks in need of repair.

Dad also gave me a lovely old gilt carriage clock with bevelled edge glass panels. The kitchen clock I made out of a birthday card. There's also a clock that lights up when you clap your hands and one that looks like a block of wood until it also lights up.

I like all my clocks, I like all my watches. I just can't stand the ticking. So the clocks that can make a noise I don't wind up. The ticking reminds me of "Ticking away the m

oments that make up a dull day" and I don't like my time ticking away.

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