If I only had time for Ailsa’s theme.

Ailsa of ‘Where’s my back pack’ fame, has given us a new travel theme.Β  Time is something I’m seriously short of at the moment. Since I got back to my home in South Africa, after six months away, I seem to have been rushing madly to get things done. One of the most important things was driving up to see my dear mom and have lunch with her yesterday. She was overjoyed to see me of course, and we had a lot of hugs, kisses and news to catch up on. πŸ™‚

Some of you may know that I play the piano, and I phoned the local mall to say that I was back. The pianist who was standing in for me, hasn’t played for quite a while and they have no-one at the moment, so off I go in a few minutes to entertain the Sunday shoppers for two hours. This necessitated a bit of practice time this morning, which went quite well. It’s a bit like riding a bicycle; you never forget, and as I sat down, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it sounded not too bad, so I’m quite confident to go and practise some more on the general public.Β  πŸ˜‰

I thought I’d show you our ancient clock which was presented to hubby’s grandfather in 1894. It was for his service as a Methodist minister at a church in Birmingham, England. The case is made of slate, and a clock maker told us that the mechanism is much older than 1894, so we have a real antique. It has a lovely chime too, and keeps very good time.


Here is a close-up of the metal plaque on the front. The family has no idea where the ‘pair of bronzes’ went to, but my father-in-law thought that they were maybe made of pewter, not bronze, and just fell apart over the years.


So this is our family heirloom, which weighs about 20 kgs, and was brought over from Ireland in our hand luggage. I well remember hubby carrying this and trying to make out that it weighed almost nothing, so that it wouldn’t have to go as checked baggage. πŸ˜‰

Now I’m rushing off to do my piano stint. I think I’ll include those lovely old songs, Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” andΒ  “As Time Goes By,” from Casablanca, in keeping with the theme.

To see more interpretations of Ailsa’s theme, just click here.

97 comments on “If I only had time for Ailsa’s theme.

  1. It’s nice to know you can sit down and play the piano after a long time with hardly any practice, like riding a bike! Love that clock! Can’t believe your husband got away with carrying it on board, trying to pretend it weighed nothing! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Cathy. Yes, playing piano is something I can always do even after weeks of not playing. I sometimes wonder how good I’d be if I practised every day, but then it would seem like a chore and not a pleasure. πŸ™‚

  2. thank you so much for ‘liking’ my blog…with all the followers that you have you will not even notice one more so I clicked the follow button…seemed like a good idea….Happy Piano Playing and I loved the clock! A real beauty and probably quite valuable so look after it!

    • You’re welcome. I did like your post. Tilly sent me, so I obediently came across to read. I’ll be playing piano again tomorrow. Any requests? πŸ™‚

  3. So wonderful to have those stories, and that heirloom. I love the image of you playing piano, and especially your playlist! Best wishes for a smooth landing and a warm welcome home.

  4. It is so cool that you play piano in the mall while people shop. I was at a hospital lately after my mom had surgery and they had a volunteer who played piano in the lobby. It was wonderful! Such a nice treat. We all congregated out there every day when he played. What a nice gift to share with people.

  5. AD what a fantastic thing to do surely some one somewhere has a clip on you tube of you entertaining the crowds πŸ˜‰ >>>>>> anyone ???
    Just imagine in the real old days you would have had to have been a very prim Miss tinkling the ivories for stuffy rellies in dark drawing rooms … now you can let rip πŸ™‚
    Wish I’d kept up playing myself sometimes but it’s been soooo long I’d have a job to sort my minims from my crochets !
    What a lovely heirloom AD , one impressive Minister to warrant such a presentation I would think after only two years !
    πŸ™‚ those dear little cherubs playing with no idea of time passing by …

    • Yes, that clock is really special, and I sometimes wonder about all the family members who have looked at it and heard that chime down the years. It gives me a strange but warm feeling. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad I kept up with my piano playing, although I didn’t really enjoy it when I was young, because I was made to play for “stuffy rellies,” and I was soooo nervous.

  6. Love “If I Had Time in a Bottle!” You are full of amazing talents. No wonder you don’t have time. It takes so much time to develop all those talents, and to keep them going. You may not forget them, but time flys while you practice them.

  7. 20 kg? Wow .. that’s a lot of clock! Meanwhile, I imagine you enjoyed your time playing at the mall. Cheers to your effort, so here’s one for you.

  8. What a wonderful clock…. and that you took the TIME to post amidst your hectic settling-in flurry! You are truly amazing!

  9. What a beautiful clock! I remember carrying my great grandmother’s heavy crystal decanter on a plane trip many years ago when we moved house. I totally understand how your hubby felt pretending it wasn’t too heavy for your trip because I did the same πŸ˜‰

    I bet its good to get back to the mall – I hope those Sunday shoppers appreciate your time πŸ˜€

    • Yes, I don’t think we’d get away with the heavy carry-on baggage these days, Dianne. The shoppers do show their appreciation by their smiles and waves, and the occasional embarrassing round of applause. πŸ™‚

  10. You’ve got me singing “If I only had time, only time”… and wondering who the heck recorded that. How did you come to start doing that, Sylvia? Entertaining the shoppers, I mean?
    Lovely old clock.

    • Thanks, Jo. That was the song in my head when i wrote my title. I remember John Rowles had a hit with this in 1968, but I think it was Gene Pitney who first sang it. Love the words. I first started playing piano in restaurants in Johannesburg about 20 years ago, and when we moved down here, I saw there was a grand piano at our mall, so I offered my services.:)

  11. What a beautiful family heirloom! I am sure that you have loads of things to do and of course number one is always family. Your Mom must have been very happy to see you after 6 months!!

  12. Wonderful! I just love any atmosphere where there is live piano music! It always adds such a special vibe. Have fun!

  13. What a beautiful clock, AD, and to think it keeps good time too. Wonderful piece of work, and in those days of hand-crafts things were made to last. πŸ™‚

  14. Wonderful heirloom. Glad to hear you are playing again. Hope you record it sometime and include it on a post.


    • Thanks, Francine. It ahd crossed my mind, but I’m not sure how I would do the recording. I’m technically challenged in such things. πŸ™‚

  15. wow.. that’s more than a century old clock.. and the good thing is that its still working good and accurate.. love it.

  16. Looking at that clock reminds of a facade I built for a house we used to live in πŸ˜€

  17. The shopping mall management and the shoppers will be so pleased to welcome you back. I think music makes such a difference and gives a a soothing atmosphere to the malls. One of our malls has a baby grand piano and I love to go there when the pianist is on duty and sit and have a coffee.It is usually classical music she plays

  18. One day soon I’m going to walk in on you playing the piano… I will be going to Natal for a sales pitch in the area… so look out for the Bulldog, that might just sneak up on you…

  19. I know that rushed feeling having just returned to Spain after 4 months in Australia and New Zealand. You sound like you are settling back in nicely, Sylvia πŸ™‚

    Welcome back.

  20. An heirloom with more than one story, and one that still works!!
    I have a few old clocks here, but they don’t work anymore, just there for show.
    enjoy your playing AD πŸ˜‰

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