Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Keeping Watch

'The clock has been silenced so that I can sleep undisturbed by any charge of bells into a darkness
as deep as a mad eye'.

Kay McKenzie Cooke

Aunty Phyllis' clock that thunders out the time at the top of the hour and then issues a one-chime clang at the half hour. We are so used to it now we hardly notice it.

The bells next to it are from Kyoto, Japan, Larnach Castle here in Dunedin, Munich and one that was given to me by my Aunty.

The lurid digi clock on the microwave displays time in 24-hour clock-mode. 

When I look at the shells I think of my low-tide beach walks over the years and of my son who sent me some over from Thailand ( or maybe Bali?). There's my mother's wooden fruit bowl , my sister's blue-glass vase, Robert's grandparents toast rack. 

On a significant birthday, Robert and our three sons gave me this tidal clock - it informs me when it's high tide and when it's low tide. Five hours apart. Inscribed on the back is a plaque that says, 'To you after 54, 750 tides'. But who's counting?

The pink cloth under it is an embroidery sample sewn by my mother when she was seven years old. The white cotton-cloth is from my daughter-in-law's mother who made it for me one birthday. It's a beautiful piece of work and has my initials worked into it. The seashell box was always on my mother's dressing table for as long as I can remember (I was the one who decorated it with shells). The white dish says 'Happy' and reminds me of the book launch for my third book. (The person who gave it to me will know who she is).
The photo is one my brother took of my parents circa 1966. 

My watch watching me as I write. 

Included among the knick-knacks, a paper weight made by a well-known Wellington glass-maker, and given to me by my friend Rose. A knight-bookmark from the City of Lichfield (from my friend Chrissie) a drinking flask (that I've yet to try out) with the inscription, 'Great Kiwi Poet - THIRD - 2001'. And a tiny spoon that says, 'Gore. N.Z.' (Which I either got from my mother, or from Pauline who when she found out I collected spoons, kindly sent me her spoon collection).

Time for tea?

This little watch doesn't work any more, the grooves in its wind-up button have been rubbed off and it needs a strap. But it is very precious to me with its mother-of-pearl face. It belonged to my Nana. It was constantly on her wrist and I used to admire the way the colours on its face caught the light. 

You may, or may not, have noticed that I have been using a line of my poetry as an introduction for the last three posts. 
I am quoting, line-by-line, a poem of mine and using it to inspire ideas for the post. It's quite a long poem, so I'm thinking now that it's going take some time to get through it. Bear with!



Avus said...

I like old clocks. My grandfather bought my grandmother, as a wedding present, a second hand "American" 8 day striking clock which dates back to 1851. It came to my mother who gave it to me and I have since given it to my daughter in Oz. So the "family heirloom" travels down the years.
But the hall looked bare without it, so we went of to a local antique/junk emporium and found another (striker)with pendulum which has taken its place.

Kay Cooke said...

Avus - Thanks for that. A lovely story! Striking clocks can become like faithful friends.

Clocking Out

 I have been neglecting this blog for some months. I think perhaps I should face facts and accept that it is indeed time to retire this blog...