dinsdag 28 maart 2017

In search of lost time

Putting the clocks forward (or even worse: back!) is a stressful time at Dove Cottage, not in the least because there are so many of them.

This is mainly Jos's doing, as before I met him, I'd never given clocks too much thought.

Apart from a delicate gold watch I was given by my grandfather when I turned twelve, and my travel alarm clock - one of those ubiquitous folding red leatherette covered numbers - clocks weren't a memorable feature of my childhood home.

Admittedly, there are two clocks which I clearly remember from my childhood, both belonging to a set of grandparents.

My maternal grandparents with my great-grandfather





The first, an ornate zamac clock flanked by two equally ornate statuettes, was standing proud on my maternal grandparents' mantlepiece.

If my memory does not fail me - it is after all 40 odd years ago - they were slightly Art Nouveau in style, so they might have belonged to my great grandparents.














My paternal grandparents in front of their house






The second, belonging to my paternal grandparents, was a traditional cuckoo clock, its obvious atrraction being the little bird putting in an appearance every hour on the dot.




When I met Jos in 1994, this Westminster chime clock, which had belonged to his father, was silent.



Its muteness was caused by his (later our) cat, Poesie, who had knocked it off the window sill when she was still a playful kitten. We finally had it repaired after we moved to Dove Cottage, and for the first couple of nights I hardly slept a wink due to its quarterly chime.

Recently, after many years of service, the clock went silent again, and it's currently awaiting another visit to the clock doctor!


Not long after we moved into Dove Cottage, a little junk shop suddenly popped up in our village. Through its grimy window, Jos spotted this pretty wooden clock, perfect except for a missing piece of beading. Its mesmerizing tick-tock is accompanied by the hynotizing swing of the pendulum which is visible through a little window at its base.


Joining this clock, which is on the mantlepiece in our sitting room, is a small wall hanging pendulum clock, which was a gift from a friend. It's by Junghans, a German clock manufacturer established in 1861, and it's in an ongoing tick-tock competition with the clock on the mantlepiece. Their out of sync tick-tocking is the perfect accompaniment to a quite afternoon of reading, although I know it would drive some people mad!



Last year, the two clocks were joined by a 1950s electric one, which is quietly humming along in the background.









From a long defunct second hand shop came this larger pendulum clock, which lives in our dining room.

Although its face is quite damaged, the decorative wooden casing and leaded glass insert are in perfect condition. Apart from its chime running riot - which Jos was able to mend - it was in working order when we bought it.










In August 2015, we found this 1940s ceramic kitchen clock at a flea market. Unfortunately its coil had sprung so it had been sitting idle on top of a cupboard until a month or two ago when Jos took it - along with a couple of watches - to a clockmaker to have it repaired.

Last Friday, it finally returned home in full working order and it's now taking its rightful place in our kitchen.



This watch also got a full service. It used to belong to my maternal grandfather, who worked at Gevaert, and was presented to him for 25 years of service in 1953.

After spending many years in a box full of odds and ends at my parents' house, it was given to Jos by my dad.



The final repair job was this dainty gold tone lady's pocket watch, which we unearthed during one of our clearing sessions at the house.






I haven't got the slightest idea who it might have belonged to.

It was missing a glass cover to protect its exquisitely decorated porcelain face, which has now been remedied.

Now, all I've got to do is find a way to wear it.

Along with the lady's watch came a job lot of men's pocket watches. At least one of them belonged to my maternal grandfather, who I remember always wearing a waistcoat with a pocket watch, like he does in the first photo of this post.

They joined Jos's little collection of pocket watches, which includes watches inherited from his older brother and grandfather.



Having finally put all the clocks forward, there's just our body clocks left. These will probably be slightly out of kilter for the next week or so.

Neatly tying in with the clock theme of this post, I will leave you with a famous astronomical clock which is a magnet for tourists in the nearby town of Lier.



We spent Saturday walking around this delightful little town, which will be the subject for my next post.


A final little clockwise twirl to show you what I was wearing, and I'm off!

See you soon!


20 opmerkingen:

  1. You have some interesting clocks and I loved the peek at your kitchen, it's great! One of my favourite possessions is a clock that belonged to my grandma, it always reminds me of her, I'm so used to the chime I don't notice it. The astronomical clock is a beauty. You look very chic for your trip into town xxx

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    1. Glad you like the peek into our kitchen, Sally. I should do a post on it some day. After all these years, I don't notice the chiming of the clocks anymore, either. In fact, I think it's a rather reassuring sound, especially at night. xxx

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  2. I love old clocks and have to restrain myself from buying them. I restored a cuckoo clock years ago.
    You have some wonderful clocks with their neato faces!

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    1. Thank you Tami. One day, I'm sure we'll buy a cuckoo clock, even if only in honour of my grandparents ... xxx

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  3. Ha ha, love your parting sentence- so clever!!!!
    LOVE your clock collection. I always dreamed of having a mantelpiece crammed with all sorts of antique and assorted clocks (it all harks back to the 1996 Doctor Who movie in which the Doctor had the aforementioned mantlepiece). They are so interesting esp with the family connection too!

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    1. I'm glad you like my parting sentence. I'd been working on my post but couldn't find a suitable end. Then, once I'd switched off my laptop, I came up with the clockwise twirl bit ... A mantelpiece crammed with assorted clocks sounds lovely! xxx

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  4. i´m one of them who went crazy about a ticking clock - not to mention so many! and i´m happy to report that the only 2 clocks i use are changing the time by itself - phone and laptop. without any ticking of course :-)
    although i can appreciate the beautiful designs of all this clocks totally!
    hugs! xxxxx

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    1. For me, a ticking clock is a very soothing sound, but I understand it can drive people crazy. I'm glad, though, that my laptop and phone don't need changing, as I'm such a complete technophobe. xxx

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  5. I love your collection of timepieces-the electric kitchen clock is especially nice.

    I'm a bit of a clock collector as well, but I haven't the patience to keep them all wound.

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    1. I don't have the patience either, but Jos has, although he sometimes forgets one. Most of them go for a week or more, but one of them - the Bambi clock, which isn't even in the post - only goes for a couple of days, which is kind of hard work ... xxx

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  6. What a collection!! I can't cope with all the ticking myself, especially in a bedroom. X

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    1. Luckily, we don't have a ticking clock in the bedroom, as I need complete quiet to be able to sleep, and often have to resort to earplugs. Fussy, me? xxx

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  7. That Leir clock is absolutely wonderful!
    I think clocks are a man thing, aren't they? Every bloke I know collects watches and seen fascinated by vintage clocks. I don't even wear watches.
    Loving the lavender dress with the green cardi, you're a human version of a crocus! xxx

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    1. I have several watches - all different colours, obviously - which I wear for work, but I try to go watchless during the weekend. I quite like being compared to a crocus! That really made me smile ... xxx

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  8. Hello Ann,

    What a wonderful collection of clocks and watches. I also loved the old photos of your grandparents and great grandparents.

    Your outfit - the(blue/lavender?) dress and green cardigan is gorgeous and what lovely beads those are. I really like the photo at the top of your blog of your wardrobe contents - so colourful and lots of lovely patterns!

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    1. Thank you for visiting Veronica. I'm glad I was finally able to comment on your blog. Since my dad passed away, I'm officially the family's photo archive keeper, and it's been fun sorting through all the old photographs. Glad you like the outfit, and my blog header. xxx

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  9. Loved the old family photos, I ought to post some of my long gone rellies....I wonder if they would object??? Your ceramic clock is very stylish and the pocket watch, beautiful, your dad's house has certainly turned up some treasures. Have you seen The Repair Shop ? BBC2 every weekday at 6pm (7pm your time?) I think Jos might like it. xx

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    1. I'm certain my maternal grandmother, Bertha, wouldn't object. I have many photographs of her, posing in different outfits. Sounds familiar, now that I think of it. Who knows, she might have had a blog had they existed at the time ;-) Jos says thank you for the tip on The Repair Shop. We've already programmed tomorrow's episode! xxx

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