I bought a new clock for my bedside table last week.
I have been rather vexed by bedside table clocks for some time now - I can never quite find one that satisfies me. I had for some time had one of those clock-radio-CD players there, but had always disliked it. As a CD player it left much to be desired - it vibrated alarmingly when played at even the most moderate volumes, and after about track 7 any CD would start to go crazy and become unlistenable. A friend told me that electronic items close to one's head in a bedroom do untold damage, and this baby was right next to my ear, about 60 centimetres from my head. Lately it had begun to wheeze and whir at strange times, making all kinds of noises that interfered with my sleep, so I finally threw it away. Never buy a clock-radio-CD player.
I was delighted to find the clock pictured at the chemist across the road from Cabramatta Railway station. I love big, bulky retro-clocks with old-fashioned bells on top. My darling old Aunt had dozens of these clocks all over her house, and I used to love them. The sound they made going off could almost deafen you. I remember a particularly beautiful one with a green face featuring panda bears balancing on the clock's hands.
Now, my new clock was only $15.95, and I didn't expect top quality, but once I had unpacked it I discovered that it was only plastic made to look like shiny metal, and so the retro bells on top were purely decorative, and that the alarm is the merest electronic beep, with no nostalgic charm at all. But I am cheered by its glitter face.
My partner has pointed out that it cannot be read at night, making it quite useless. One almost always needs to read a bedside clock in the dark.
And yet I love it.