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Date: 27/08/15

To Tell The Time No More

First of all, please take a few moments to read this from some years ago.

Done that? Good.

Well, the old clock started 'doing it' again last night, so after tea I resolved to sort it out in the same way as last time.

As before, when I removed the thingy that stops the oojie from getting out of control, the clock wound down like lightning again, leaving me to get on with what I thought would cure it.

This proved to be far more difficult than my previous attempt, in that I just couldn't get the pendulum mount back in the right position for normal escapement to take place. In the process, I lost two washers into the doings somehow, although that wasn't going to be much of an obstacle.

It was while I was trying to manoeuvre the thing back into its optimum location that something snapped. The pendulum hung from a doobry (let me know if I'm getting too technical, won't you?) which hooked over a couple of lugs which protruded from either side of a thin strip of metal which was part of the top of the mechanism.

It was that thin strip of metal which had snapped. So now there was nothing for the doobry to dangle from and so, ergo, nowhere for the pendulum to go.

It's way beyond my abilities to repair; or, to put it in high-falutin' horological terms, it's terminally shagged.

I've been having a pretty shitty time of it of late as it stands; the long trudge of weeks on end at work without the remotest possibility of release from the grind until September has started to take its toll. I slept particularly badly last night, with the result that - because I wasn't properly relaxed and managed to get myself into some odd position or other - I have endured a painfully stiff left shoulder all day.

Added to my previously-stated - and utterly justifiable - detestation of the month of August in general, I could have done without this latest reversal. Because that clock was probably the nearest thing to a family heirloom that I could claim. It has sat on mantelpiece, table or chest of drawers in this dwelling and its predecessor for some forty-five years, and has been almost as much an integral part of my life as my toenails (but without their regrettable tendency to make holes in socks. My toenails have never chimed either, to the best of my recollection). To lose it leaves a feeling almost like a bereavement, or like the feeling people probably get when they go back to see their childhood home again but discover that it is no longer there (or, even worse, find it in a state of dereliction). Not ever to hear again those chimes ringing out in the darkness of an insomniac night, not ever again to take comfort from its measured tick in the stillness; these are disconcerting, dislocating and disturbing thoughts.

Yes, it's just a 'thing', and all things must pass, I know; even time itself and the means of measuring it. But I could quite contently have done without a reminder at one and the same time so symbolic and yet so concrete just at this moment.