Reel Time

2011, By JMW

One of the glories of the English language - and a bane to foreigners learning the lingo - is the idiosyncratic spelling and pronunciation of certain words. The classic example is between bough (a large tree branch) and bow (bending a body in obeisance, among other meanings) which are identically pronounced but have vastly different meanings.  Then there is a secondary popular meaning for bow (the stringed weapon of Robin Hood and the piece of equipment a violinist uses to caress the strings), with a slightly different emphasis in the pronunciation. Indeed you could use the sentence "The violinist took her bow and left the hall", which, according to how the word "bow" is pronounced has vastly different meanings, yet on the printed page is ambiguous. So it is with "Reel time" which is a pun on real time. This small relief has reels not of cotton (too expensive these days) but of polyester thread (Korbond brand purchased at Tesco) at the cardinal points of the clockface, the other hour marks being drawing pins (Woolworths, purchased long ago), together with knitting needles (too old to recall where bought) serving as the clock hands. All this is placed on a 60.7 x 30.2cm MDF board (B&Q) painted in household gloss paint (Wilkinson). And of course, because the hands are static and have no motor attached and thus do not tock and tick, they tell the correct time twice a day, just like the defective church or town hall clocks.