The Pocket Sundial

September 7th, 2008

I was talking recently with some friends about the pointlessness of owning a watch these days, especially when you have a cell phone. It is a completely useless status symbol, but not as much as if I was sporting this fruitless purchase from my travels in Europe.

Our final day involved walking down to the water and poking through flea markets for useless souvenirs. I was in the market for a watch that might catch my fancy, even though I have no real need for a watch, and Ain perused for an antique lighter. I found a massive watch that I learned was designed for someone losing their sight and I thankfully came to my senses and declined the hilariously large instrument. Either motivated through this momentary clarity of judgment or driven by a deeper purchasing irrationalities, I moved on to something wholly useless. A sundial. Specifically, a portable sundial from 1850. It is a laughable pursuit now, but at the time it seemed the perfectly irregular accompaniment to the plethora of time keeping devices that are detailed and are useful when there is a lack of direct sunlight. No matter, I found what I wanted and it was better than others I had seen, so it was on to haggling. My pathetic attempts to barter with the man proved hopeless and I paid too much for something severely outdated. At least it’s a souvenir from Barcelona…made in London.

[via Semester in Edinburgh]

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