The Dandelion Wristwatch


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The Dandelion Wristwatch

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  This project is of immense value to those individuals who like a little peace and quiet in their time keeping, who need their sleep without that threat of impending dawn and the raucous alarm of your neighbour’s cock projecting itself onto your delicate ears at the “crack of dawn” – where no noisy cockerels are allowed in fact cockerels should be banned from anywhere but a farm-yard setting. The thing is the “crack of dawn” is at different times at different times of the year, so in the summer for instance, this could be at as silly an hour as four o’clock in the morning. It’s not the cockerel’s fault I’m sure but inevitably he gets the blame put fair and square on his magnificent feathery shoulders and that’s not quite fair is it?

What this little project allows you to do is unshackle yourself from our filthy feathered friend’s frightful frantic early morning song forthwith and their very random approach to time keeping, and with this little project you’ll get a full allowance of shut-eye without any sudden cockerel projecting his raucous crowing at unearthly hours in the morning.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t suffer from a chronic fear of cockerels or Alektorophobia as it is called; this is far from the case. Indeed I wouldn’t mind if the cockerel were to take a more subtle approach, you know – perhaps he gently opens the bedroom door (with unusual coordination to be found in a cockerel) where he lines up the doorknob with his penetrating beady eye and gets a vice like grip on the same with his huge cutthroat talons and razor sharp spurs as he slowly and deliberately almost with astute cunning opens the bedroom door. He then creeps stealthily across the floor (difficult for a cockerel if you have linoleum because his unkempt dagger like claws tend to clatter somewhat) in this he takes a similar approach when he’s about to shag a few chickens. He reaches the bedside at last and gently nibbles your ear with a tenderness that’s almost touching with a beak so dangerous and sharp, till you gradually awaken from your peaceful slumbers fully afresh to start a new day and he then lets forth with the following heart wrenching poem “Dandelions” by Sir Henry Cobham Aardvark.

Clearing his feathery throat he recites the following in a soft (for a cockerel that is) voice:-


Oh dandelions, dandelions, dandelions, dandelion head,

You are a wonder, a mysterious plant of nature’s thread,

Your stalk is slender your head fluffy and white,

You silently sway during the dead of night,

Your slender body is quite sublime,

Dispersal of your snowball like seeds seems almost a crime,

But, can you tell me the day – month – year and time?

This then is the basis of our “Dandelion Wristwatch”, this little project will amaze your friends with its simplicity, first gather a score of full seeded dandelion heads complete with their stalks attached, remove the leaves and I command you to eat them. They’re very nutritious. Of course you can only use this dandelion wristwatch once, whereupon you have to replace it with another, but nature is quite up to the task of providing plenty more where that came from.

After digesting the leaves, try to restrain your goodly self from eating the fluffy white flower head. The temptation I know is enormous. I advise you not to lick the fluffy appetising head or even sniff it too deeply as it may disintegrate before your disbelieving eyes. Treat it as if you were disarming an unexploded bomb or creeping past a ferocious dandelion’s cage, because the dandelion wristwatch is liable to go off at the slightest breeze and the seeds will disperse tout suite. I suggest you stop breathing altogether at this stage, it’s a luxury we can do without.

At this stage you should now have the following as depicted below:-

You will need a slightly larger than dandelion-sized-sheet of paper and a suitable dandelion drawing implement. It doesn’t have to be a jumbo sized red wax crayon, but it shows up rather well on a white back ground. Carefully and stealthily draw around your dandelion to obtain a useful dandelion-clock-template that can be used many, many times over.

Some people are inclined to think it okay to use strong hairspray on the dandelion seed-head to stop the seeds prematurely blowing away but sadly I don’t subscribe to this technique at all because you render the dandelion clock unusable as an accurate timepiece. When the moment comes to check the time before an important engagement such as a Knighthood from the Queen or an invitation to witness a Coronation or something the dandelion clock will inevitably fail and will be erroneous in the extreme its mechanism frozen in limbo for ever.

A possible alternative would be to use a liquid nitrogen spray and although I have never tried it. This seems the right path to follow if you have shaky hands, or have been drinking heavily the night before. Or you may have recently given up smoking and just lacking in concentration.

A word of caution!

I’m not a big stickler on health and safety but for heavens sake if you’re doing this little project in the nude and after all it’s your business how you complete this project and nothing to do with me how it’s done. After all if you want to let it all hang out and parade around in the nude in full glare of the neighbours while the curtains are wide open making a Dandelion Wristwatch then don’t let me stop you. Just watch where you’re spraying that liquid nitrogen. Remember these three important sentences:-

Health and Safety!

Health and Safety!

Health and Safety!

There’s nothing worse than being rushed to Accident and Emergency with a frozen dandelion in one hand and a bag full of your shattered frozen body parts in the other.

Obviously you can see that the dandelion wristwatch is a temperamental time-keeping methodology and accuracy has to be lost a little in favour of aesthetics and its low carbon footprint.

I am working on a rapid method of renewing the dandelion heads with a spring loaded rotating magazine, not at all dissimilar to the Gatling gun principle of yesteryear but more portable and conveniently wristwatch sized. It would work at approximately six heads per second and would be fast enough in theory to be utilised as an accurate stop-watch. I see it as a “green” alternative to a nuclear-clock with a very low carbon footprint and dandelion seed count.


(1)   You need to place your dandelion template onto a piece of thin plywood, and I hope your wrists and arms are not allergic to mahogany-faced plywood such that they suffer a horrendous nettle type rash. Three millimetre plywood is okay I suppose, but I prefer to use glorious one eighth of an inch plywood from our not too distant imperial past, if I get the chance.


(2)   Carefully cut around your red wax crayoned line with a suitable tool of choice:-Personally I would use a coping or fret saw as the tool of choice, but as ever it is up to the individual what they think is a suitable tool to use.



(3)   The dandelion has to have its head covered with a protective open and closing cover in case of strong winds or particularly if you suffer from flatulence. I used some clear Perspex so that I can keep a regular check on the condition of the dandelion headed time-piece, I’m not particularly a vehement clock watcher, but this nature’s clock is worth looking at.


A coat of varnish or two is all that is required to finish the job and you have in your possession a valuable heirloom that will be admired by generations to come.