Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Clara, the Clock and the Candles - Part I

This last Saturday Bill suggested we visit the Tynemouth Fleamarket. We used to go quite often but haven't in months. Bill's kids seem to enjoy browsing there, but I don't tend to go unless I'm looking for something specific. [Warning, this post rambles...]

A few months back we fell into the habit of eating breakfast in the dining room (as opposed to in the kitchen or in bed), using the 'good' Noritake china (which we use for dinner every night of late), our wedding silverware and some silver metal tea/coffee pots that belonged to Bill's mom. The cereals are decanted into glass jars, milk served in jugs (we each have our own) and other foods into non-commercial containers. I got this idea years ago from a blog called Like Merchant Ships. This lady stopped blogging abruptly, but posts occasionally on Tumblr. I thought she'd taken down her blog - I grieved it for months - and now I've found it again! The links don't work and some of the photos are gone, but the basic ideas are still there. She calls this decanting idea part of 'living on less'; I call it 'living better'. Beats the heck out of any fast food breakfast experience I know.

Anyhow, because of setting a fancy breakfast table - it looks great on the days when the sun streams in the window - with silver items, Bill decided the brass candle holder we bought years ago in a Whitby thrift shop didn't look right any more.

We went shopping to see if we could find any silver (glass, ceramic?) candle holders. We were also looking for a sugar bowl with a lid to hold coffee granules. Bill drinks tea at breakfast and I drink instant coffee. We both love improvising (a fancy word for 'making do'). He came up with putting my instant coffee in a short cocktail glass I bought at a brocante in Bourdeaux about five years ago. He provided me with an Apostle Spoon to dish out the small amount of coffee required for a proper cup instead of my usual mug. I always think of Mom when using a cup and saucer; mugs weren't something she ever had. I think they must have taken over after she was gone.

Never heard of Apostle Spoons? Me neither. I still forget and call them Pilgrim Spoons for some reason. Apparently the idea of a set in a nice little case has been around for hundreds of years and these sets are very rare. We seem to only have two...  You can read about Apostle Spoons here, if you wish. [I donated to Wikipedia when they last had out their hat, did you?]

Anyhow, the cocktail glass was only amusing for a few uses and with our damp climate coffee left in it absorbed moisture and hardened. The to-ing and fro-in of coffee between coffee jar and cocktail glass became tedious. So a sugar bowl with a lid was on the shopping list; the one we have actually contains sugar...

I was also looking for a small clock to put on the landing, where we watch TV. I don't own a functioning watch anymore, but we are trying to stop watching the telly and start getting ready for bed at 10 pm sharp. I may be slightly more determined than Bill but it was a nuisance to keep asking him the time. So I wanted a clock.

We found no suitable lidded dish or candle sticks on Saturday, but I did find a clock I loved. It is a French 8-day, Art Deco clock that actually requires winding, possibly the only 'real' clock in the station that day. The website below recommended winding it once a week, on the same day of the week. I let my clock wind down and then re-set it on a Sunday. It was odd, winding it up, as there was increasing resistance with each turn of the key. It was a bit scary! One thing I did notice, it is a solid lump of wood, with space for the clock works carved out and the marquetry added to the front. 

It needs a bit of cleaning, the inside looks a bit grubby and the back plate might look better if polished up (or perhaps that's just worn, I'll find out). Not sure what I might do with the wood, but this amazing website recommends beeswax polish, which we likely have (according to Bill).  If this horologist wasn't all the way down by London I'd be calling in with Mom's old clock.

I'm guessing this is brass, no idea if it will polish up... or not; I'm not fussed. Love the shape of the clock!

Writing this led me Google clock repair near Newcastle and I found a couple of possibilities - who says blogging is a waste of time?

Bill wants to put the clock in the living room, as since Mom's clock quit working we have no time piece in there. I follow his logic, but I'm enjoying the clock where it is now, on the book case. I'd rather have Mom's chiming clock repaired and replaced downstairs. I'll let you know if that happens in my lifetime.

Needs a bit of cleaning, but NO BATTERIES in sight! Only something about '2 jewels'.

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