There have been some significant loud ticking clocks in my life. The first was the clock built into my grandmother’s cabinet in her living room in Vienna. I slept under it on a pull-out sofa when staying over, listening as I closed my eyes on the clean pillow, holding a corner of the duvet as she did. I can see myself waking up to her setting the table for breakfast with rosehip tea, black bread and jam, and sometimes a kipferl (usually for my sister, who likes to dip them in cocoa). It stopped a number of years ago. Omi’s still loudly ticking.
At 12 or 13, my sister Anna gave me a watch for my birthday. It featured the number 5 (o’clock) and no other number, because it was based on The Fifth Element, which I had never seen. 5 was my favourite number. I’m still pleased that 5 x 5 = 25 and I use a combination of those numbers on any non-important passwords to this day. It also featured a convex, bubble-shaped face, and the loudest tick that I have ever heard on a wristwatch. Classmates and teachers were aware of it. Friends would make me hide or put it in another room at sleepovers. Whenever possible, I slept with it tucked under my ear. The battery stopped when I got to 15 and was never replaced.
Last summer Pierce made me the above pictured clock for my birthday. It’s made of old floorboards from one of the neighbouring houses on the street where we live. If our house had not had the original floorboards we would probably never have moved in. I get upset when I hear about people tearing them out, more so than anything else in a house. In fairness, these were quite damaged after years of carpet abuse and I’m more happy than sad that we got them out of a skip and can now take a part of our road with us. The tick sounds a bit like someone briskly shaking a cup full of uncooked rice. Pierce uses it to time his physio exercises, while I just like it as background noise to everything.
Working my way through some film photos from ages ago. I think this is from a November trip to Kerry. It feels like we’re in the mirror image month right now. It was cold and on the brink of colder, now it’s cold and on the brink of warmer. All things dying back, all things springing forth.
We planted two narcissus bulbs into an empty olive oil tin from Lisbon. The bulbs placed into water jars are growing almost as quickly, but they sometimes have balance issues - we wake to find them teetering drunk over the edge of the fireplace. Everything smells great.
When I came back from Lisbon Pierce surprised me with this advent calendar that he had painted with 25 christmas-related things, including Krampus, mince pies and a penguin. There’s a square of chocolate behind each day with different flavours - cinnamon, pepper, masala, ginger and aniseed. It’s a lot less populated now. I’m coordinating my baking plans around the gingerbread man on day 22.
Good evening, it is one hour until the weekend. Here is a rare photo of boyfriend and girlfriend together in one photo. Miracle! Sleep.