This week… pumpkins, previews and Philadelphia

If you are one of many who feel dismay at turning the clocks back to give us an extra hour of annus horribilis 2020, just bear in mind that it will take Horological Conservators over 40 hours to adjust Her Majesty’s mechanical clocks this weekend.

This includes 450 of the finest historic timepieces, musical clocks, astronomical clocks, miniature clocks and turret clocks, at Windsor Castle, 600 at Buckingham Palace and 50 at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. I’ll never complain again about faffing with the kitchen clock, the digital bedside piece and the clock in the car, the latter often left rebeliously one hour behind for months.

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This week… tea, tunnels and Turner

The first thing I check out, when I check-in to a hotel room, is the bathroom. Not the view, the hairdryer or even the mini-bar. Whether I will be enjoying my stay begins not only by checking out the shower, the fluffy towels and guest robes, but also the layout and design, the lighting and the flooring. I imagine it’s very shallow of me but I simply can’t help myself. This week, I confess, I’m obssessed with the beautiful bathrooms at Nobu! There’s no hope for me, I have bathrom viewing compulsive disorder. Is that even a thing?

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This week… balance

I think it’s safe to say that by now I’m totally confused. This number has gone down, that one has gone up. Wear a mask here, but not there. Travel to this country but not that one. Quarantine, no quarantine, and, yes, hello quarantine, again. Some people are back at work, some are simply refusing to give up working from home and many are losing their jobs (including a family member this week). It’s a mad house. I watch reruns of the Bourne film series and take myself off to the beach (safely, of course).

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This week… adjusting

This week my mind has been decidedly on food. I grew up eating fruit and vegetables my dad grew in the garden, supplemented by produce shared by the community. One person in the neighbourhood might have an abundance of Victoria plums and another a plentiful supply of rhubarb, and as children we were encouraged to fill our baskets. We gathered nuts and berries from hedgerows, collected windfall apples (while watching out for dozy wasps, drunk on fermented apple juice) and went scrumping for cherries (keeping an eye out for the irate farmer). I cannot recall where that last scavenge took place but in the spirit of making amends, I apologise. What can I say, I was only around seven or eight and the luscious, ruby red, low-hanging cherries were too much of a temptation.

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This week… adjusting

Although we’re no longer officially under national lockdown in the UK, life remains uncertain and unsettled, and it shows. One thing I’ve learnt from the past four months or so is that a routine is essential. If you let the days slide into personal anarchy you risk getting lost down the rabbit hole.

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