There was a tradition in our family that we got our first watch after passing the Intermediate Certificate.
The Inter, as it was known, was taken two years before the Leaving, which meant we would be around 15. That was in the days where we valued things and were prepared to wait for them and didn’t demand them as a right as soon as we could talk. Nowadays kids would laugh in your face if you suggested they were 15 before getting their first watch. For fuck’s sake, by fifteen they have their watches, their mobile phones, their own computers and would have a fucking car if they could get away with it.
I was fired off to boarding school at the tender age of eleven, and as a special concession [hah!] I was given a watch as consolation.
It was a damned good watch. It kept excellent time and I was proud of it. It was a straightforward windey-up thing with no fancy extras like depth-gauges or the time in Tokyo or any of that shit. Three hands and that was your lot. It didn’t even have numerals.
Over the course of the years that watch went through the wars. It survived fights, motorbike crashes, being dunked in the sea and the general wear and tear of a teenage life and beyond. It had a couple of new winders and a couple of new springs but that was it. The strap was the only thing that needed regular replacement.
One year. herself decided to buy me a new watch. It was one of those with analogue hands and a wee digital display that gave the time or the day and date. It was strange not having to wind it. It didn’t last as long as the original, but I replaced it with an identical model. I’m on the third incarnation now. I always go for the same watch [Q&Q?] as it is remarkably accurate, usually to a couple of seconds a month.
I noticed a couple of days ago that the digital display is fading. That’s a sure sign that the battery is on its last legs. It’s two years since I replaced it so that’s not too bad. Today I hope to replace it, and there’s the rub. Watch batteries of the right size are hard to find.
The only shop I know sells the right size is in the heart of Skobieville.
I hate Skobieville.