Tick, also Tock

I’ve been aware for some time that the Professor had a certain hankering for a long-case clock. He was highly pissed off some years ago when Northfield rang from an Edinburgh auction to say there was a Turriff clock going for tuppence, and alas, the phone was switched off. But recently, the sharp-eyed Northern Gentleman spotted a clock, going v. cheap because made in Welshpool whereas everyone up here wants a Scottish clock, which is now in the front hall. It dates from 1824, and, with its touchingly amateur painting on the dial, is a low class of long case clock, just as this is the smallest size of gentleman’s house. It looks very well here. The vendor came with it, and set it going — and also disabled the chime. I am happy to coexist with a grandfather clock, but have reservations about one which chimes, and moreover, is in possession of a fine, loud, resonant, chime. I could foresee nights when hitting Planet Zed has not been too easy when ‘DONG DONG DONG DONG’ would rouse one to thoughts of horologicide if not worse. We all synchronised watches, and clock, at 4.04 (pm). Having got the clock tick-tocking reassuringly, and the chime mechanism muffled by an elastic band (the technology of a long-case clock is not exactly rocket science), the clock man left at 4.22. ‘They take a while to settle down’, he warned. We weren’t a bit surprised. They are not only grandfather clocks by name, they are grandfather clocks by nature, viz., grumpy old men. 4.27. With absolute mysteriousness, the bloody thing ceased to tock, while continuing to tick. Tony the Gardener, who was fortunately on the premises and has a mechanical background, was pressed into service. I’m not sure what happened after that except for my making cups of tea but currently it neither ticks nor tocks. But at least it doesn’t chime.

5 Responses to “Tick, also Tock”

  1. The Man From Maryport Says:

    In my adolescence I spent a long hot summer responsible for the weekly winding-up of the mechanism of the church clock in my home town. The sheer recurring stress occasioned by its utter recalcitrance convinced me that a policy of crisp minimalism ought to be pursued in respect of any timepiece not actually employing atomic or quartz crystal technology. Still, it sounds like a beautiful thing, and I do hope the minor difficulties will be soon overcome . . .

  2. Buttongrrrl Says:

    There is a lovely clock maker in Tarland if you need one? Here’s his website http://www.tarlandclocks.co.uk/

  3. Jane Says:

    Mysteriously, though it is ticking and not tocking, it is still going, and keeping time in an approximate sort of way.

  4. Eleanor Says:

    You might find that you become used to the bonging actually. I kind of miss the quarter-hour chimes from the mantel clock at home when I am away.

  5. The Other German Guest Says:

    I haven’t been catching up for a while, but doing so as always makes me feel like being right there. My parents used to have a clock like that, unfortunately it either chimed or didn’t work, usually more of the latter. Horologicide seemed ny very often…

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