Multi-tasking is something I used to do so well. But sometimes that activity can have a negative consequence. Well, I was taking off my watch when it slipped out of my hands and dropped to the floor face down. I picked it up expecting the glass to be shattered. What I saw was a big surprise. All the numbers had fallen off the face! I started to cry as the watch had sentimental value. I bought it for myself on the way to a holiday to mark my retirement from formal teaching. It wasn’t expensive but it was valuable.
I thought it was the ideal gift to remind myself that firstly it was time to leave and secondly it was time to begin a new adventure and have more fun, living my best life. Time is precious and every moment counts.
However, here it was the little watch with all the numbers missing. Val my husband was trying to console me telling me the numbers could probably be glued back on, but somehow that didn’t help! Fix it, I didn’t want it fixed, I just wanted it not to be broken.
Val was a watchmaker a very well-respected trade back in the day, before we entered the common market as it was then called, watches could not be imported into the country fully assembled. The apprenticeship for this trade was seven years. It involved attention to detail, patience, and precision. Horology is the correct title, so watchmakers were called horologists! There you are now the next time you are at a table quiz, you know that answer anyway!
When I met Val, he was seventeen and two years into serving his time. He would talk about watches and their names, and I would listen fascinated about how it all worked. Not sure now if it was the watches I was interested in or just him!
We started to talk about Salvador Dali’s painting ‘The Persistence of Memory’ where the watch looks like it's melting, and we began to reminisce about Val's work and how the trade diminished when we joined the EU. Watches could then be imported fully assembled and it also heralded the beginning of the digital age, and the traditional watchmakers’ services were no longer required.
We spent lots of weekends working together, he assembled watch movements, and I would wind them up! Blisters on my fingers from winders, but that’s how we saved to buy our house, teamwork. He was paid ‘piece work’ for his homework and the following Friday when he got his wages, we would work out what was to be deposited into our account and Saturday I would go with it to The First National Building Society. Then Monday morning he would head into work with a case full of ticking watches on the bus! The other anxious passengers looking around to see where the sound was coming from!
In the same building where he worked there were jewellers who made bespoke pieces of jewellery so every item I have is unique and made to order. One of the perks of being the girlfriend of a watchmaker! He bought me a watch for Christmas when I was sixteen and when I showed it to the family my aunt said, you know that when a guy buys you a watch it is the sign of a secret engagement! Red from my toes up I was mortified and just laughed it off and turned away. Was it? That was news to me! Nothing like the good old days for the little innuendos.
Val reminded me that it was not the first watch I had without numbers. He made me a beautiful gold one with a diamond at the top representing the number twelve. I was twenty-one and we were two years married. That was forty-seven years ago. The parts for the watch have since become obsolete, so I can no longer wear it in working order.
Isn’t it interesting how an accident can bring up happy memories and generate a conversation that went on for most of the evening?
Time passes by so quickly, and time is precious, but memories are more precious.
Why not give yourself the gift of time with my new meditation series - Meditate With Me! You can view the first in the series here https://youtu.be/ISx8o59PAbA
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