In the summer months, when visitors prowl the streets with eager purses, there was an infrequent car boot sale on the rugby pitch across the road from our house. It wasn’t a Ming vase, lost Turner masterpiece type of event, more a broken toys and scary ornaments affair. Still, as it wasn’t far, we used to visit just in case. And in all fairness we did pick up a few treasures, books, plants and this clock. When I bought it, for the grand sum of 50p, I was indulged rather than encouraged by my OH. “But” I argued “I love its chrome space-age sleekness, it is a prime example of the art of design”. And furthermore, it didn’t matter a hoot when the man on the stall confessed it didn’t work. Home it came and for the several years it lived on the mantlepiece in our bedroom where I would admire it for its gleaming beauty.
When we were thinking about moving I had to make some decisions about my treasures. Things would have to leave my magpie nest. I glimpse the shining clock and decided that perhaps it would be a candidate for rehoming. Now Ebay and me are not good friends. Generally, I have paid more in fees than I have actually made in profit. I am not suited to commerce. But still I thought “if it is easy to repair I might make a few quid on it”.
In town there was, and probably still is, a proper watch and clock mender. A professional enthusiast; he had special glasses and eye pieces and teeny tools. I took the clock in for his appraisal, saying “This lovely clock doesn’t work, could you give me a price for fixing it, please?”. He said “you need to put a battery in it”. I said “battery”. He said “yes, to make it work”. I said “Oh”, feeling more than a little foolish. “You just turn these screws to take the back off and put a battery in here”. “I have been trying to wind it up with that screw” I was getting in deep now. In an attempt to gain lost ground, I smiled sweetly, thanked him for his time and hurried from the shop, clock in hand.
Of course, I kept the little battery operated clock because I love it, it is shiny and space-age and works very well now it has a battery. And because it makes me smile when I am reminded what an idiot I am.