16 March, 2012

Clocks, take two

Since i wrote my previous piece on the clock-tower near my window the chimes within it have developed another, rather more frustrating, error in their ringing. While it is now possible to hear the chimes and tell what time it is, they are clearly not ringing as designed nor, by any stretch of the imagination, correctly.

Just to recap, the clock is designed such that there are two bells, one of which chimes on the hour, and both of which chime on the quarter hours, with single, double, or triple double times, a double chime being one ring of each bell. Of the eleven months i have lived here, the number of double chimes has been incorrect for about eight. Obviously, unless one knows their pattern of incorrectness this makes it impossible to tell the time accurately.

All this has changed now. For some reason one of the two bells is now completely silent, meaning that a single “double chime” consists of solely one bell ringing once. Curiously, at the same time as the silencing of the bell, the number of chimes at the quarter hours has taken a turn for the better: There are now three bells at a quarter to, two at half past, and one at a quarter past the hour. Consistently. This is a real improvement on what was happening, as now, hearing one, two, or three chimes, assuming you know it isn't one, two, or three o'clock, you can tell the time.

On the other hand, at roughly the same time as these two changes (the silencing of one bell, the accurate ringing of the other), the hourly chime has become incorrect. Instead of ringing once for each hour, as is standard for every chiming clock i've ever heard of, this clever clock now rings once for each hour, and once more. Thus, it rings twice at one o'clock, thrice at two, and so on. I don't know, however, whether it rings thirteen times or only once at twelve o'clock; i don't happen to have heard and counted at that hour, though i could make a case for either.

The first time i noticed this was early one morning, as i woke up to go to work. I came close to panicking when i counted the chimes and realised that, if they were correct, i was already half an hour late, and hadn't even got up yet. It was only once i was up, rushing to have a shower and get out the door that i realised that the clocks in the flat were not showing me as late; still, i had to turn on the computer and go on-line to convince myself that it was not me that was in error.

I suppose the best thing that can be said about this current state of affairs is that, now that i know, i can tell the time without having to look at a clock. To be truthful, though, if i'm in bed i almost always glance at the bedside clock to reaffirm what the clock-tower says, or at the mantelpiece if i'm in the living room. I no longer trust it.

On the brighter side, when we change to daylight saving time in a couple of weeks, the clock-tower will be ready. So, i wonder how it'll go wrong then.


Catie Eliza said...

HAHAHAHAHA... Madness.... I bet it's aliens.... you should try to get hold of the Doctor (Who) and get the matter addressed properly. Maybe you should start asking locals for any information, put a file together reay for when the doctor arrives!?! ;] hahah xx

Elsie Wilson said...

You're a funny one, Catie E.

Oddly, it's changed yet again (gone wrong again) since i wrote and posted this piece. Lovely looking clock; useless for timekeeping!