Friday, 12 October 2012

Endless socialising...

With the chaos of a week with a visitor the house lost it’s heartbeat for the first time in an age. There is a longcase clock at the bottom of the stairs sending it’s “tock  tic  tock  tic…” into every corner of the house then ringing a reminder of the hours. When Julie had a regular work schedule there was a fixed winding day but there has not been for several years now. What day of the week it is often has us thinking hard! I wind it whenever I think it needs it and check the height of the weights at random when passing. I heard one o’clock ring then some time later something felt strange… 

There should have been two clocks tick-tocking a duet because Julie’s father bought a pair for two pounds from a sale room not long after the second world war when they first moved in here, her mother who was a modernist was horrified and only let him keep one...

Everyone here is in a whirl trying to get things done and enjoy a little sun and dry weather for the first time this “summer”, at least they were up to a few hours ago when the heavens opened and the streets are awash with rain water.

Julie has several projects which she has got herself involved with which is the reason that this post is not about the late summer sun in the south of France! Tomorrow she will be giving a public lecture about one of the projects and we have been kept busy photographing in a number of country mansion houses in the area. That part is always fun and is the only work in that line that I ever get these days unfortunately. All was going fine until the images were downloaded to the computer where the thing which I have dreaded ever since I got the camera had finally happened. I hardly ever change lenses and when I do it is with extreme care to reduce the chance of dirt getting on the sensor, for four years my obsession had meant that it had stayed clean. Imagine my horror at finding spots and black worms on the images which have taken countless hours of retouching because we have a reputation to uphold! If I had been messier in the past perhaps I would be better trained at retouching... 

Weight is holding steady despite our socialising with our visitor and meals with friends whenever possible. 

Afternoon tea with cousins.

I guess we are old fashioned in that we throw a dinner party at the slightest suggestion, we might be careful with what we buy but that just allows us to be more generous with friends… Not content with having them here we sometimes arrange to arrive, food ready, at a friend’s home when he is stranded at home with a puppy guide dog for the blind which comes with such a strict list of instructions for food , exercise and time without company that when his wife has to go on business trips he is a prisoner at the moment.It gives a chance to call up people we have not seen for an age with the added advantage that there is no washing up to do after! With the first days of autumn we even tried a picnic in the foothills of the highlands picking up a friend en route, the roads were almost completely empty except for us which is how I like it… We had company for our picnic.



  1. What a wonderfully inviting table. It would be grand to have tea with you sometime, if only!!
    Love the new Bob. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yes, I liked the look of the table too! So, you have a tall clock in the hallway and a proper one too! We bought a tall clock a few years back but it is a copy of the real thing. The weights are imitation! We saw a lovely original clock where we bought it but the original clock would have cost over £3000 and I didn't want to spend that on a clock much as I would like to. No, the clock I bought cost me £600 which was pricey enough! I wind mine up every Sunday morning although every two weeks is sufficient. The problem with doing it every two weeks is I would forget which week I was in! We are pretty much alike in many respects Caroline, I love entertaining people at home but we don't have a great circle of friends and those we do have live too far for regular meets. Even family, except our children, live remote. That picnic sounds nice but don't you get pestered by midges or is it now too cold for them?

    Shirley Anne x

  3. I'm coming to tea too!

    My Granfather had a grandfather clock which he wound regularly. It's been silent since he died, no one quite knew what to do with it.
    Our village church has a clock that chimes the hour - twice. I love it, makes me feel safe somehow. Whenever there is a wedding they mess around with the chimes and then it's silent for a few days until someone resets it.

    Do you have to drive far to find such beautiful countryside?

  4. I love the photo's !

    As for clocks - not too sure about that. We might live next to a railway line which some consider noisy but the ticking and tocking might get a bit much for us.

    Last week we were in Obernai in France - when midnight struck we were treated to a ding-ding x 4, followed by twelve dongs then another tower added another twelve for good measure. A campanoligists delight perhaps

  5. Anji, just wind it up!

    Ours is as crude as you could imagine with rough lead weights hanging on cat gut! it is the length of the cat's gut which determines all the gearing to make it last just over a week between winds...

    I am sure we could lay on an afternoon tea like that if we put our minds to it but cousin Caroline does it so much better.

    We can get out into the countryside in only a few minutes but it takes a bit over an hour to get out to anything dramatic. When I was younger, so much younger than today, I used to sometimes ride out to the hills before going to work...

  6. Becca, the town church clocks used to chime out the day for me when I first moved here but they are now lost in a constant murmur of road noise, now if you hear a chime it is no use listening to count because you never know how many you have already missed. I loved the ticking and chiming to pace out the day. Interestingly the old crude long case clock keeps going within a handful of seconds per day and has seen countless modern clocks especially electric digitals come and go!


Many thanks to all who ever joined in the conversation and to those who took the time to follow my zig zag to a new life..

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