Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sometimes you need a clock

I haven't owned or worn a watch for more than a dozen years. I don't like em, I don't need em and I won't use em.

I find I can generally guess to within half an hour what the time is and I don't know how I do it. Can't be hunger; I don't eat by the clock. Can't be daylight, I can guess the time even after dark. I suppose I must have a watchdog timer inside my head .

Early in the second half of 1970 I was needed at the workshop at 6:00 AM - after all this time I can't even imagine why let alone remember. In those days I was neither licensed to drive a car nor did I have one. I took the train to work. The first train ran from St Albans at about 5:00 AM and if I caught that one I'd get to South Kensington station about 5:35 AM. From there it was about a 20 minute walk to the workshop. I could, of course, take the train to the next station, North Melbourne but the first train from North Melbourne to Kensington station after that would make me late.

So I went to bed very early that night. I'd set my alarm clock for about 4:15 AM. It was a 20 minute walk to St Albans station.

I awoke to the shrill of an engine whistle. Frantically I scrambled into my clothes and set off at a run for the station, convinced I'd missed the first train and would be late to work. I remember how cold it was; it would have been about 4C and that's plenty cold where I come from! .

Imagine my surprise when I discovered I'd run to catch the last train of the evening; it was about 12:45 AM. Of course I overslept the next day and was very late to work.

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