Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tick Tock

This isn't a particularly Canadian blog post, except that many of us will share similar histories. Most of us have come to Canada from somewhere else in the world, some recently and some a long time ago. Mr. Math's family arrived after WWII, and like many new arrivals, brought very little. They still have family in Europe, though, and occasionally, stuff follows them to Canada. This is about some of that stuff - an old clock.

The clock came to us when a relative of Mr. Math's passed away in Europe. The gentleman's wife had passed away before him and so their residence had to be cleared out. Mr. Math went with his parents to the funeral and to do the big sort-and-clean. Among the items in the apartment was an old clock that no one wanted. The clock didn't work, but Mr. Math knew a clock repair guy who specialized in old clocks, and figured we could get it fixed. Mr. Math thought I would like it (I do) so said he would take it. It was tucked into the shipment that came to his parents.

This is the clock. (Hung on the horrible striped wall, with the crooked stripes, which I still have to repaint.) Sure enough, it didn't run when it got here either, so off it went to the clock repair guy. He and Mr. Math had a good discussion about the clock, which is a Viennese regulator, and has the clock maker's mark and date it was made inscribed inside. My picture is a bit dark, but the wood is lovely. It's not perfect, as it's been through a few wars and is a bit bashed up. It's probably not worth that much - especially when it's not working.

The clock was in the shop for a good six months, while the clock guy took it apart and cleaned it, and replaced a few worn parts. He likes to let the clocks run after they're reassembled, to make sure they're fixed, and this one was running well. (It was losing a minute every couple of days, as I recall, which irked the clock guy.) So, back it came to the house. Mr. Math and the clock guy hung it in the foyer, leveled it, started it up and watched with satisfaction as it ran. The clock guy gave precise instructions on how to wind it and when, and Mr. Math did as instructed. The clock chimes the hour and the half, and the sound of it echoes through the house in a lovely way. Tick tock.

The clock ran for about two years, then it stopped. Mr. Math consulted with the clock guy and they tinkered with it, but it wouldn't run for more than a day. Back it went to the repair shop. Mr. Math said "this is why no one wanted it." The clock had a longer visit with the clock repair guy on this occasion. He took it apart and cleaned it and couldn't find a reason why it wouldn't work. He pondered the problem. Mr. Math stopped in and they discussed it. (It struck me as a transaction from another era.) Finally, the clock guy replaced a few parts that had very minor wear, and let it run again. It did run, and so the clock came home again. It ran beautifully, filling the house with its lovely chimes, and all was good. Tick tock.

Then several years ago, it stopped again. This time, it had run for five or six years, and Mr. Math was far less amused that it needed to be fixed again. He refused to take it back for another repair. It was completely clear to him why no one wanted this clock! I really like the clock, and think it is beautiful even if it doesn't work, but Mr. Math is very practical. William Morris suggested having nothing in one's house that was not beautiful or useful - Mr. Math is of the view that things should be both. He talked about getting rid of the clock. I wouldn't let him give it away, so it hung there, silent.

About two weeks ago, I heard him fiddling with the clock. Apparently the clock was having its last chance - and maybe it knew it, because this time, when he started it up, it ran. It's still running. I'm so glad! I wake up in the night and hear it chiming the hour and I smile.

Tick tock. Listen to the clock. :-)

And now it's time (ha) to tell you about my current book sales. I have two new samplers that are free for download. One, Knight & Rogues of Medieval Romance, includes the first three chapters from five different medieval romances of mine, each of which is first in a series. You can download it free at all major online portals. The other, The 2016 Sampler, contains excerpts from my five 2016 releases - knights, a hero and a dragon shifter. You can download this one for free as well, but only from my online store.

My contemporary romance, Double Trouble, is free at most online portals this week, (for a limited time!) so if you haven't read my Coxwell Series of contemporary romances and romantic comedies, here's a good opportunity to give them a try!

The Coxwell Series Boxed Set, which includes all four books in the series, is half price at my online store. (You can read the series at one time!) This boxed set is only available in my store, and from iBooks or KOBO. If you want it for your Kindle, you need to get it from me, and what better time to do so as when it's half price! Here's the MOBI and here's the EPUB.

Kinfairlie Knights is also discounted in my online store for a limited time: it includes three medieval Scottish romances, each one of which is first in a series, and is discounted to $1 US through the end of the month. Here's the MOBI and here's the EPUB.

I also have a new release - my medieval romance, The Crusader's Kiss, which is book #3 in my Champions of Saint Euphemia series, was published at the end of January. This is a story inspired by Robin Hood, in which Bartholomew returns to his family's holding to right the wrongs of the past. (More about time, you see!) Also, The Crusader's Handfast: Part Three goes on sale later this week. You can read an excerpt from both stories in the 2016 Sampler, read them on my website or download the book samples individually from my store.

And that's all the news from me, this time. (Ha!)

So, tell me, do you have any old things that came to you or that proved to be mixed blessings?

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