It was shortly before my 50th birthday, while undergoing the rigours of a routine prostate check, performed by a much too happy and joking doctor, that I made the remark to him about the fact that I should supposedly get used to more invasive 'health procedures', now that I was getting a little older. Still with his rubber gloves on, he laughingly told me that once men hit fifty years of age, things usually start to rapidly fall off or block up. He was right. On my fiftieth birthday, having had a painful leg for some weeks, and finally attempting to climb a hill to a restaurant for a celebratory meal, the pain was too severe, and I headed straight to the doctors, whereupon within two hours I was in the emergency ward being diagnosed with a DVT in the leg.
I recently suffered the seizure as we know, and in between the two incidents there have been numerous new things going wrong, but thankfully none of them too bad, and of course the obligatory bloated belly that seems to be impossible to get rid of at the moment, but wasn't there at 49 years of age.
The clock is quite obviously ticking, just like the clock that is pretty much the only thing left from a life long ago. I have mentioned a few bits before, so please forgive me if I repeat anything.
I was born here, in the family hotel in Boscombe.
The dining room was in the ballroom during the busy periods.
But moved to the front room during quieter spells.
The Clock can be seen on the mantelpiece. Something brought from her family farm when mum married dad.
I was sent to private school at five years old, and then at seven became very familiar with The Clock indeed.
When not used as the small dining room, which was most of the year, the room was my parents living room/bedroom, as they were on call all of the time for guests or staff. It was when I was seven that I became friends with a severe staphylococcus infection, and as a result contracted rheumatic fever, before finally getting scarlet fever to round the whole thing off. I was very ill indeed, and was off school for several months, with some of the terms works being delivered for me to try and keep up.
I would sleep in my own room upstairs during the night, but be brought down to my parents room for the day, where they could keep an eye on me as they worked hard to keep a busy hotel running. I was entertained by a few of the family pets, would draw a lot, read, but mostly just lay in bed staring around me, and at The Clock on the mantelpiece opposite.
It was familiar, and soothing, with it's gentle tick tocking, and every hour would give off a wonderfully soft Westminster chime. There was no television to watch in those days, apart from my allowance of 'Watch with Mother'. Mostly I watched The Clock.
At the age of ten, life changed dramatically. Mum and dad split, and went their separate ways. The hotel and all of it's contents were no more, except for a few trinkets, and The Clock, which my mum took with her.
Both parents eventually passed away some years ago now, and various step family members and relatives closed in for the kill on the remainders of two lives and their new partners possessions.
The Clock remained though, but had sadly been so badly tampered with that it no longer worked, and had then spent the next twenty years or so lifeless on another family members mantelpiece, and then another several years in a damp loft.
The loft was cleared, and The Clock offered to me, as it was taking up unwanted space, and had become too expensive to fix. We were re-united, The Clock and me.
It spent it's own several months of illness and recovery at a clock restorers, and cost a small fortune to put right, but it now has it's own safe, warm and quiet place in my home, where we can grow older together. It's funny though. It was there when I came into this world, and now it will probably be there when I head to pastures new.
I'm glad I grew out of those blue nylon pyjamas though.