Grandma’s Clock Part Two

Collecting the clock from after its refurbishment before Christmas the Clockmaker declared it “fully wound, you should rewind it every week”. The clock has three wind mechanisms – the clock, the hourly signals and the fifteen minute chimes. I don’t usually have the latter two wound, preferring not to be woken every fifteen minutes. Somehow Grandma could sleep through it though!

So I’ve been removing the weight, the thing that keeps the “tick tock” going, a lovely soothing sound, during the evening. Sometimes I’m too busy or don’t remember to put the weight back in so it’s taking quite a few weeks to wind down the offending chimes.

It’s a long weekend for the top half of the North Island and another one for the whole country next week, thanks to Waitangi Day being on the Monday. Having been back at work for two weeks there’s a lingering sense of holding on to the holidays with two long weekends in a row. And hoping that we might get more than a few summer days in a row!

Leadership is always on show – I’ve blogged about that many times. You know, if you run into a leader you admire in the weekend, will you find the same person you know or know of if it’s a public leader? You should do I reckon. If they’re an authentic leader.

But leadership is also about taking the weight off when you can and when you need to. Some people like Grandma never seemed to need to – she was a hardworking woman who was doing the accounts for a local business well into her seventies – and later, yes later, Patron of the local Bridge club.

I’m nursing some soreness which is meaning a bit of a stand-down from long runs at the moment, so that combined with the long weekends means taking the weight off for a bit. Even though it’s the start of the year, it’s still a good time to build resilience. In fact it’s always a good time to build resilience so take the weight off when you can, whatever time of the year it is.

Maybe just overnight, like the clock!

You’ll be a better leader for it.


Grandma’s Clock Part One

Visiting Grandma (and Grandad till he died in 1967) in Auckland in the 1960s and 70s were great times.  The memories are not complete without reference to the sound of the mantle piece clock sounding every 15 minutes. After Grandma died in 1990 I took over the clock which after 50 odd years of service had stopped functioning. It wasn’t until this century that I had it restored to it’s former glory though somehow I don’t have the same ability to sleep through the chimes every 15 minutes that Grandma seemed to, so I don’t wind up the chimes or on-the-hour bells.

It’s incredible how the sound of the clock can bring back so many memories, both in time and space and when the dear old clock stopped working a few weeks ago it was off to the Polish watchmaker in Queen Street who restored it originally for me.  Grandma was a no nonsense person who said what she thought when she thought it and didn’t go for ceremony or emotion. Watching the celebrated New Zealand pianist Michael Houston in full flight on the TV once she remarked: “Why doesn’t he keep his head still – he’s only hitting the keys, all that moving around is quite unnecessary!”

The message from the watchmaker was one Grandma would have appreciated. Listen to it here: Watchmaker message. Priceless. Just what you’d expect. It’s a full service required – $400 – but that’s a small price to pay for keeping all those memories alive.

We should look forward and live in the present. But we are made up from the past too.