My new clock is staring at me, its ‘silent sweep’ second hand gesturing sarcastically like an impatient companion tapping their wrist. It’s 0133.
Without stopping at each individual notch on its circuit, the seconds seem to pass faster than on an ordinary ticking clock. It is sitting there, passive aggressively waiting for me to give in to sleep.
It’s one of those classic, retro, vintage alarm clocks with a spun copper body and a tiny hammer between two bells. Memories of Cogsworth coming alive, singing and dancing his way around the room with Lumière…
I suspect it is among the mechanical artefacts and archaic practices which have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as part of the analogue renaissance. Think record players; think film cameras; think letter writing… I’d like to say I’m not one to leap on the back of the wagon, but honestly, I am among the droves rekindling a passion for analogue. One of the reasons – in fact, probably the main reason – I put ‘alarm clock’ on my birthday list was that I wanted to be able to turn off my phone.
I’ve got out of the habit recently, but for several months last year, I got into the practice of avoiding mobile use until past midday on a daily basis. It was how I managed to buy back some of the time that is oh-so precious to us and which we lament the passing of. This is not the time when I want to discuss my relationship with technology, but night time and the beginning of each day are vitally important to the productivity and enjoyment of everything else, so they must be treated right. This emphatically does not mean interacting with my mobile phone – the leach sucking on my attention; tether to mindless distraction; manifestation of loneliness.
The perfect day (rare, I’ll grant you) begins with myself and myself alone. I drip fine-ground coffee through a paper V60 filter and drink it black with whichever book I’m reading at the moment. I will then get dressed and resume the work of the day, whatever it may be. Crucially, I will not turn on my phone until the clock shows midday at the earliest. However, like so many others, I have come to rely on my phone waking me up with its abrasive “musac”. And I’m afraid I am just not disciplined enough to leave it on airplane mode on the other side of my room. (Although it is almost always on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode; I hate to be disturbed when I’m in the middle of something and would rather touch base on my own terms.)
But now that I have my own analogue alarm clock, my phone will be put to bed hours before me which I’m sure (I hope) will improve not only my sleep quality but my productivity and positivity come the morning.
Here’s to many more perfect days now that alarm clock duties are handed over to the ‘silent sweep’.