The shop windows are all lit up with sparkling lights and wherever you look, behind the plate glass windows, Christmas trees and white wicker deer abound. I always stop to look, I can’t help myself. Maybe it’s the glitter attracting the magpie in me, a watching magpie waiting for his chance.
I seem spend a lot of time looking in from the outside. I always have done, not in a Peeping Tom kind of way you understand, but I am fascinated by the interior of things. When I was a child I was constantly taking things to bits – my toys, scalectrix cars, torches, my Uncle Mick's new indicator light, clocks, I even pulled the stuffing out of my teddy bear once to see what made him tick.
I kidded myself that I was trying to find out how things worked and that I’d be able to put them back together again. In reality though, once I’d broken into a thing it stayed broken. It got me into all sorts of trouble.
It remains a problem to this day and I’ve lost count of the number of watches and clocks I’ve broken after first prising off the back just to check. What I am checking for I have no idea, but there always seems to be a spring or a cog that ejects itself a la James Bond the minute I gain entry. It’s almost as if they are waiting to escape. Springing the spring one might say.
Anyway, a fixer I am not. I’m that man who went in search of a tiny leak in the bathroom and ended up destroying it so badly that it had to be replaced. I’m that chap who tried to get the boiler working and practically blew us all up. I can make things, but don’t ask me to unmake them. If I take them apart I never know how to put them back together again and usually I don’t want to. Time is not always the healer people pretend it to be you see. Particularly when the guts of the clock are hanging out for all to see.
Sometimes it’s best to leave broken things broken.