Saturday, 21 January 2017

Friday 20/1/17 & Saturday 21/1/17 - Happy Birthday, Mr Grant, Reversing Wheels & This Week's Wristwatches.

                                 Man, I'm tired tonight. Had a lousy night's sleep last night as it rained for hours. 
Meanwhile, at work today, I had about fifteen repairs to write quotes for. Between answering e-mails and phone calls, I managed to get three of them written by the time the whistle blew. 
No matter. I'm sure it'll all be waiting for me on Monday morning. 
I slipped the Omega Speedmaster Professional onto my wrist last weekend;

I couldn't find the name of the photographer who took the photos of A.A.Gill that I used in my post a few weeks ago. However, after I finished reading Gill's biography, Pour Me; A Life, I now knew that it was a fellow named Tom Craig.

So, let me give proper attribution to Mr Craig for the photos that I used in that post, along with this picture here, which I found in an article that I read a few weeks ago, but couldn't recall the title of; | Tom Craig Remembers AA Gill in Pictures

It was a nice article. Gill had a penchant for wearing different hats when on assignment with Craig.  I can understand that. 
While fedoras have gone out of fashion in recent years, I still see guys wearing them occasionally. And of course, y'all know that I wear my ones whenever it looks like rain's a' gonna come. 
Except this morning. I didn't take my hat. And my head got drenched as I walked from my car to the train station, only to learn that the trains would be delayed due to overnight rains.

And, speaking of guys who look cool in hats, it was Cary Grant's birthday this week (18th). He and Bogart are my two favourite actors of the Old Hollywood era because they both epitomised the notion of what movie stars were all about back then. 
I've written about Grant before. Born in 1904, he had a smooth physical grace, honed from his early years traveling with an acrobatic troupe as Archie Leach from Bristol, before later heading over to the US and re-inventing himself as Cary Grant at the age of twenty-six. His film career in the late 1930s and early '40s produced a string of movies that were very successful and a great number of them are considered classics


Grant retired from making movies in 1966, at the age of 62, after co-starring in Walk, Don't Run. His then-wife, actress Dyan Cannon, gave birth to their only child, a daughter that same year and he took great pleasure in being a doting father.
Hollywood continued to try to lure him out of retirement throughout the '60s and '70s, but he was content to remain out of the spotlight. He took up a position on the board of directors at Faberge and regularly attended meetings and traveled around the world on company business.
In his final years, he would travel the country, putting on a show called A Conversation with Cary Grant, where clips from his films would be screened and he would answer audience questions. I'd have killed to have sat in one of those audiences.
Cary Grant suffered a major stroke one afternoon in late 1986, while rehearsing for one of these Q & A evenings. He was rushed to hospital after slipping into a coma and died later that night. He was 82.
For my money, there has never been another actor like him. Not Pierce Brosnan in The Thomas Crown Affair, not Robert Redford in Indecent Proposal, and not George Clooney in the Ocean's Eleven trilogy.
Grant was smooth, sharp, funny and intelligent, but he never looked as though he was working it. And therein lay the difference.

I switched over to the Omega Planet Ocean on Tuesday;

Got home from work, threw my shirt into the wash, changed into more casual duds, then mixed up a slightly exotic gin & tonic;
- 90ml of Bombay Sapphire, over ice.
- a dash of lemon juice
- a dash (or three) of Angostura Bitters
-  three slices of cucumber
- topped up with Capi Tonic Water.

A couple of months ago, I took my Omega Seamaster Professional in to work. The watchmaker told me that he'd service it when he got the chance.
He popped it open not long ago and told me that the reversing wheel had worn out, similar to this part on the right (Picture courtesy of Archer Watches);

I purchased the Seamaster back in 1999 and have never had it serviced. Shame on me.
I, of all people, should practice what I preach. Any mechanical wristwatch ought to get serviced every three to five years. You can sometimes stretch this out to six or seven years, but generally, five year service intervals will ensure that you don't cause unnecessary wear to certain parts of the movement. At five years, you're having preventative surgery performed on your watch. Maintenance rather than repair. Of course, oils will dry out and some cogs will wear down and these require replacement in order to keep a watch running smoothly for another five or six years.

Anyway, the watchmaker gave it a complete service and told me not to let it go so long before its next service.
This watch is perhaps the most significant one in my collection. Not because of its Bond connection, but because it's the watch I had on when both of my children were born. When my son took his first breath of air in December 2000, the nurse looked up at the clock on the wall and stated; "Time of birth, 10:55am."
I looked at the dial of this Omega Seamaster Professional 300m clipped around my wrist and thought to myself; "Ten fifty-SIX am."

Okay, time to call it a day. I'm still slowly writing the post about our trip to Europe last September. It's taking longer than I thought it would, but I'll get there.

Thanks for reading, gang, and have a good rest-of-the-weekend!

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