wings and things

Tick tock

Anthony has a lot of antique clocks – a magnificent grandfather clock, three carriage clocks, two mantle clocks and one cuckoo clock. All of them chime on the hour and some on the half hour.

Well they used to.

Ever since Anthony went into the nursing home, all of the clocks have stopped. Mostly this is because Ants always did the clock winding and he never really taught Ming and me. Also, once Anthony wasn’t at home any longer, there didn’t seem any point any more, and letting all of the clocks stop seemed a natural reaction to his absence. My love of their chiming diminished in equal proportion to my increasing grief (if that makes sense, which it probably doesn’t!)

I finally got my act together a few months ago and invited a clock man over to have a look. He serviced all of the clocks, got them going again and showed us how to wind them without overwinding them and pronounced one of the carriage clocks as too far gone. Well, Ming and I lasted a week, so all of the clocks have once again stopped.

Oh the guilt. And the silence! If you are used to the constant chime of clocks, the silence is like a thrum of nothingness. I miss the noise of the clocks, the complaints of people staying with us who said, ‘how can you stand it?’ I miss all of those hundreds of Sundays when Anthony wound each clock with such joy until he forgot how to.

The other day, when I brought him home for the day, he tried again with his favourite clock.


It didn’t work.

Tock tick (no, that is not a typo).