That’s what I’d do.
By the time I got there
I’d calmed down
and was smiling at my lunacy.
I did take the battery out though
and decided that next morning
I would go up into the loft.
I was going to retrieve my
old mechanical mantel clock.
And so I did.
It wasn’t going, so
I removed the back and took out
the movement, laying it out gently,
for I was my normal calm self by now.
Methodically, as my father had shown me
I took the pieces apart and carefully cleaned
each part using the finest clean oil,
one hundred percent synthetic Liberty oil.
I let the spring soak a while, cleaning
the face and hands and the rest of the body
then using lint-free cloth to dry the parts
I very delicately began to put it back together.
It was a joy to do, I’d missed just – tinkering.
It reminded me of my dad and family. It wasn’t
all good, but the good far outweighed the bad.
When it was all back together, and after a number
of cups of tea, I sat and admired the clock for
what it was. It was a simple, barely elegant,
Westminster chime, utility mantel clock.
Nothing fancy at all, but it had history.
Where my father got it I don’t know,
but it was always on the sideboard
in the front room. That’s a misnomer too.
The front room was at the back of the house.
It took me till I was a teenager to understand
the vagaries of room naming. It was never a lounge,
more a sitting room really. Why it couldn’t have
just been called the best too I never understood,
but there you go. Anyway, I took the clock
and very carefully, set it down on the mantelpiece.
It was now happily ticking away and I was so happy
to see it there. It never keeps the time as well as
a battery-driven digital movement with a created
tick, but the reassuring tick tock tick tock
is so much more pleasant to listen to when you
lie in bed at night and hear it through the house.
A home needs nice clock in it.