So, holidaying in Switzerland, I bought a cuckoo clock.
I’m not sure why. I went out saying it was the last thing I wanted to buy and as we went into the cuckoo clock shop, I forbade P from buying one.
We went to a shop in Montreux that boasted “the only cuckoo cave in the world” – it turned out to be a room in the back of the shop decked out to look like a cave with anything up to 200 clocks in it, all of them just a few minutes away from 12noon on their dials.
There was a huge variety, in varying degrees of tastefulness, from ‘almost’ to ‘OHMYGODMYEYES!’ in prices from just over 100CHF to nearly 4000, real mechanical ones and battery operated ones. There were even some that played tunes every hour, had dancing mannequins and turned themselves off at night.
The lady in the shop gave us a very detailed demonstration of lots of different types, and how they worked, and how much space you need. They need to be over 6′ off the ground to have enough drop for the pine-cone shaped weights that keep the mechanism going.
Here was my out! I could have said – there’s nowhere in my house with a six foot drop. Or even – the cats will play with the chains and pull the clock off the wall. Or even indeed, no, actually, I don’t want a cuckoo clock.
But somehow, I got suckered into buying one of them. The cheapest mechanical one, which came in three versions, tat, bling and BLING. We got the least bling one with tasteful birds etc around it. It cuckoos on the hour and the half hour, and also has a gong noise it makes at the same time:
So far, every time it sounds the hour, it makes P laugh. We haven’t forgotten to wind it and it actually keeps reasonably good time.
And the cats have been good, and not chased the chains. But I think they’re biding their time, and one day, the cuckoo will be catfood: