Have I ever mentioned I love clocks – preferably chiming clocks. It started when I was a little kid. We moved a lot and I always found it comforting that no matter where I was, when I woke up in the middle of the night I’d hear my mother’s mantel clock chiming, letting me know I was home, that I was safe.
As a first anniversary present, we bought our very own mantel clock. It’s the old fashioned winding clock that you have to have a special key to wind it. The clock chimes a Westminster chime – the first quarter of the song for 15 minutes after the hour, half for the half hour, three quarters for … yeah, well, you get the idea. (Yup, different clocks have different chimes – go here to listen to the various types.). Believe it or not, even though I sit right beside it, I barely notice it though if you’re not used to it, it can drive you a little batty I’m told. (In fact, my youngest son JUST realized as I as typing this that it chimed at times other than the hour.) I still love hearing it when I wake up at three a.m. as I often do, and listen to it chiming.
About six years ago, GG bought me a cuckoo clock. It’s not an old fashioned wind up, it’s a quartz mechanism which goes against my purist preferences but it’s got a beautiful sound. Whenever I’m talking on the phone with my sister and it chimes the hour (as it usually does at least twice while we’re talking), she sighs and tells me how jealous she is. (While I’m sighing over her gorgeous Grandfather clock that’s chiming in her background. Yup, Sis collects clocks too.)
Why did Gizmo buy this cuckoo clock for me? Because he’d made the mistake of trying to help me by winding the mantel clock when in the twenty years previous, he’d never touched it. Yup, he overwound it and it sat silent on the shelf while we tried to find a proper repairman – the type who can deal with the insides of an old fashioned wind-up mechanism are few and far behind. Earlier this spring, I met my mother after a long separation, and we kept to neutral topics. One of them was how my mantel clock wasn’t working. Her clock, the one I grew up with that started my obsession, had also needed repairs, so she sent me the name of the person who repaired hers. Who was, in all places, in Peterborough just a few blocks from where GG works.
So it’s ticking away again, on the first real mantel I’ve had to put it on (no other house I’ve lived in since I got married had a fireplace.) And it’s probably less than about three and a half feet from the cuckoo clock.
I guess I should also mention that up in the dining room, I have a real cuckoo clock with its lead weight winding mechanism (that’s the pinecone thingies that hang on chains beneath the cuckoo clock) and the kidglove bellows that make the cuckoo actually cuckoo.
And there’s also the chiming wall clock in the living room. It just chimes the hour, it doesn’t strike. In other words, it plays a tune, but doesn’t ‘bong’ once for each hour so you know what time it is, you just know it’s the top of the hour.
Now Gizmo Guy and I often sit in the family room watching TV and conversing with our laptops going. We’ve both been fiddling with Google’s iGoogle page, and this morning I added a widget to my page. What widget, you ask? A cuckoo clock that actually chimes. A cuckoo pops his head out and chirps the hourly count followed by a bear and a fox with a beer mug in his hand dance to a fanciful tune as they move from the door on the right to the one on the left. (On the half hour you’re treated to a single chirp but no dancing animals.) It’s hilarious. I told GG about it, and yup, he added it to his page too.
Can you imagine the cacophony in our house this evening at the top of each hour with the two cuckoo clocks, the mantel clock, the wall clock and the two laptops all chiming?
Yup, it’s a zoo. And I love it!
By the way, GG and I have promised each other we’d get a grandfather clock for our anniversary one day. So it’s only going to get worse!