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.