Thursday 30 August 2012

Life's Clocks - Sepia Saturday

At an early age we are taught to tell the time often using a cardboard clock on which the hands may be changed, aided by nursery rhymes like Hickory Dickory Dock.

You may even be led to believe that you can tell the time by blowing

A Dandelion Clock
(By Marco27 - CC A-S A 2.0 generic license)

But when I went to Stamford School in Lincolnshire life was ruled by the School clock and the bell.

Stamford School and Chapel
Just so that there can be no mistake here's the clock and the bell.

Clock and Bell
If I hadn't learnt the lesson then I'm reminded every day I walk up my village lane.

Sundial Cottage
It may be difficult to tell the time by this due to the shadows cast by the ivy and the climbing plant but when I get to the town of Yarm there is no confusion.

Yarm Town Hall (built 1710)
By coincidence I was in Yarm today to replace the battery in my watch which was losing several minutes a day. You could say I did it at the eleventh hour.

Had it stopped I'm sure someone would have said 'I told you so.'

If I could tell you - W H Auden

These days a lot of people check the time  and play games on their smart phones; mine just makes calls. I used to play clock patience with a pack of cards, but now like many others it's just Hearts and Spider Solitaire on a computer.

We don't have a clock like this.

De Scott Evans Grandfather's Clock (1891 oil on canvas)
Private Collection - The Athaneum - De Scott Evans (1847-1898)

Which reminds me that I'm a grandad 

Grandfather's Clock

Next weekend we are to attend a memorial service for a couple we knew who died earlier this year. You may remember John Hannah in Four Weddings and a Funeral reciting these words.

Stop all the clocks

Now I guess it's time for you to check out what other time travellers have posted at Sepia-saturday-141


Little Nell said...

I had an enjoyable 'time' reading this post Bob.An interesting collection of watch and clock stories and two wonderful Auden poems. Your Yarm town Hall picture reminds me that our dinner companions last night are from there. Wouldn't it be funny if you knew each other?

La Crona said...

Stop all the clocks and let the time tell what to poetry vibe for today, friend.

Debra said...

Do I ever remember the years when my life was ruled by the bell! It was a 12 year prison sentence. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we were trained when to come and when to go, when to sit and when to stand…
Love the “If I Could Tell You” by Auden. Love this story of clocks. What a clever post Bob! Well done!

What are your impossible dreams?

Peter said...

In reply to your last remark Bob, I don't what other time travelers have posted but I guess time will tell ;)
In any case, I enjoyed your post.

Jo said...

Yes I do remember the poem from 4 Weddings etc. I was very moved by it and found the words and saved a copy of them. Grandfather clocks are a very big deal on this side of the pond, they seem to love them.

Jo said...

I've mentioned your blog on mine for Saturday and included the scene from 4 Weddings with the Funeral Blues.

Wendy said...

What a thoughtful post taking us from a nursery rhyme to Auden with interesting clocks in between.

Bruno Laliberté said...

Much appreciated the poem at the end, even if the clocks stop for no one. Interesting perspective on the theme,
Feeling nostalgic?
Your post reminded me of the Sisters of St Ann and their bell, a handheld one, reminding us classes were to resume, and we had to stand very still when it first rang, and then, on the second ring, fall in line and go back inside, silently!!!

Postcardy said...

I never heard of a dandelion clock before.

Mike Brubaker said...

I miss the sounds of windup clocks and watches. Even some older battery clocks have very soft ticks that you can hear in the middle of the night. The division of time should be measured in ways the human mind can understand, and not by thousands of silent bytes.

Anonymous said...

you reminded me of the sundial my parents had when I was growing up; I had forgotten about that thing. I was dangerous! The blade protruded past the edge of the globe and it was a Cupid's arrow no less. You could really harm yourself on it if your turn in croquet went awry.

Anonymous said...

Great post with a wide take on the theme. I especially enjoyed the Auden YouTube.

Kathy H said...

I love all the cultural images you used - fascinating!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hey, Bob! There was a nice surprise at every scroll down the page on this post. Loved all the videos and commentary. Sorry about the loss of your friends.

Wonderful post.

Kathy M.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob .. love dandelion clocks .. and that school bell - but I love your Sundial cottage - what a great sundial and clock ..

What does it say .. "Time is more sacred than gold" ... great quote if it is ..

Cheers Hilary

ScotSue said...

I enjoyed looking through your different images on "time" with my attention caught straightaway by the fun cardboard clock and the dandelion. My favourite - the sundial.

Jana Iverson Last said...

Lovely post! And the photos of clocks were so interesting.

So sorry to hear about your friends.

Christine H. said...

I hadn't heard of a dandelion clock before either.
I love the look of the Yarm town hall and your entire assortment of wonderful photos. Although it's been a long time, I miss the days when you could just wind your watch to keep it going.

Nancy said...

You put together such interesting Sepia Saturday posts, Bob. I love the readers of the W.H. Auden poems and the poems themselves.

I have never heard of a dandelion clock. I will have to do a little research.

21 Wits said...

Thank you Bob, again I got lost (but had lots of fun) in all those videos. The poem being read (never heard that before) his poem is excellent, as is your lovely post bringing through the many lives of time! great timely post!

Teresa Wilson Rogers said...

Hickory dickory dock, the mouse ran up the clock...oh the nursery rhyme does stick out from my childhood!

Four Weddings and a Funeral, one of my favorite movies, now I want to watch it again!

Kranky Granny said...

Very enjoyable post. I learned things about clocks I had either forgotten or never knew.

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I enjoyed the videos, especially the Auden poems. They were thought provoking. The sundial picture was my favorite photo - I've always loved sundials!

North County Film Club said...

What a creative post. But I don't think I'd show that grandfather clock cartoon to your grandkid/s - it's way too sad.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Bob! I loved Hickory Dickory Dock. When we were past the nursery rhyme stage we amended the words to "Hickory Dickory Dock, the mice ran up the clock, the clock struck one, the other escaped with head injuries". What strange children we were in our family :-) Jo

Anonymous said...

I love "De Scott Evans Grandfather's Clock"! I remember that my grandmother had a standing clock in the corridor. She kept 'zeekaak' (hardtack) in a bag at the bottom of the clock and gave us some bits and peaces if we asked.
Wonderful post, thank you!