This lady I know is three years away from being 100 years old. Her brain is still very sharp and quick thinking, and not necessarily stuck just reliving the past like so many half her age seem to be. Conversely, her body is getting a little fragile. She lives alone, can shuffle around her flat, but everything is a bit of an effort for her, although she can mainly look after herself still, thank goodness.
But, she lives with the trappings of history. Her history.
Including her grandfather-type clock. It’s probably technically not a ‘grandfather’ clock, which I think are taller and bigger.
Sigh. It’s a grandfather-type clock, nevertheless.
It chimes every 15 minutes. Every hour on the hour it slowly and laboriously counts out that hour with ‘bongs’, as well as the chimes ahead of the bongs. And the chimes that are similar to those of the famous ‘Big Ben’ chimes, come out loudly every 15 minutes. Every 15 minutes, every day.
Heh. I recall many many years ago having a watch that could let out a fairly quiet ‘peep-peep’ on the hour. I also recall some old person (not the lady with the clock) of the day slagging it off. “How can you put up with that damn noise all the time?” they protested.
It was a simple ‘peep-peep’, every hour on the hour. Yet it annoyed.
But, a clock that chimes so loudly you can’t hear each other, or the telly, every 15 minutes whilst it’s chiming and bonging away doesn’t annoy?
I guess this particular clock exists in this elderly lady’s flat because it once existed in the much much larger home she shared with her now long deceased husband. It probably wasn’t in her living room back in those days, but would chime majestically and resonate around the house from the hallway. It probably didn’t seem as loud as it does in her flat.
Even so, it would have still been heard every bloody 15 minutes.
And when it’s not chiming or bonging it’s doing a throaty tock tock tock tock every second that you can’t help but hear. Like a dripping tap water torture.
How on earth, why on earth, did generations of people put up with all this row? In days of old there was no music, radio or telly to drown it out. Ok, some families had a piano, but most sat there crocheting or reading. The house would be silent. Except, that is for the damn clocks.
People never had just one clock tick-tocking away, either, they’d have one, sometimes two, in every room, plus the bigger clocks in the hall. All bonging and chiming at different times, and tick-tocking at other times.
No wonder people would end up with ‘fever’ and slowly die in their beds hearing voices and noises that sent them mad.