Recently my watch stopped. Unfortunately, it wasn't the battery. My faithful (and handsome) watch 0f nearly ten years requires a service that would cost more than buying a new watch.
I've been a committed watch-wearer ever since I can remember, albeit with a couple of quirks. I wear my watch on my right hand, even though that's the hand I write with. And the watch is always set exactly ten minutes fast. I have set certain clocks ten minutes fast for as long as I can remember. I am fastidiously punctual and this has been due, in some part, to my alarm clock, my watch and mobile phone set ten minutes ahead of where I actually am.
I always found the tension this created to be rather productive. I was never actually fooled by the ten-minutes-ahead time, and continually deducted ten minutes to understand where I was in relation to where I was about to be. And, yes, it enabled me to press the snooze button on my alarm clock once or twice more before dragging myself out of bed (I've never been a morning person). But there was something quite comforting about living in relation to ten minutes in the future... perhaps it was knowing that I always had ten minutes to spare.
In recent years, the rhythm of may days has changed. Getting anywhere for a specific time requires a series of carefully planned and deftly executed manoeuvres, and some delicately negotiated teamwork. This will start from the night before and unfold over many many moments over the course of the day. Somehow is seems to bear little relation to the activity confined to the little timepiece on my wrist.
So I haven't taken the plunge and replaced the watch. I'm seeing what happens without it. My mobile phone is now set to present time. My alarm clock remains ten minutes fast, but I never set the alarm as my husband's early departure usually wakes me up. My motivation to get out of bed early is the promise of a hot shower without my little 'un roaming all over the bathroom.
When the above-pictured little beauty arrived in the mail today, somehow its purpose did not require a single moment's thought. It lives on my watch hand and reminds me that ten minutes' time is no longer relevant: where I am is now.