My watch has started doing something very odd indeed. Instead of doing what watches are traditionally supposed to do - the classic 'move the second hand once every second' routine that's been with us for so long - it instead has been waiting.
It hasn't stopped - in fact it still keeps perfect time. But the second hand just waits.
And counts to four.
Before moving on four seconds.
Then waiting again.
See how irritating that is?
At first I wondered whether this was some form of analogy for time speeding up. Well, for starters it would mean the long dark nights would fly by if they were cut by 75%. And a gentle retirement would be here in five and a half years instead of the depressing 22 I'm actually going to have to endure.
But no. A little research tells me that this is my watch informing me its battery is on its last legs. Or whatever batteries use for legs.
It's worth mentioning that this is actually quite a nice watch. Bought some years ago in a world where there were fewer bills, I splashed out on it, seduced by the fact that this particular brand was promoted by a Piers Brosnan-era James Bond. And who doesn't want some of that 007-ness to rub off on themselves? I like to think that Piers and I have many things in common. We both have Irish ancestry. And legs.
So off I went to the jewellers, to get the battery replaced. "I can quote you between four and six weeks," came the reply.
What? Do you have to send the bloody thing off to Switzerland where some aged artisan will work upon it in an arcane laboratory, using tools made of purest unobtainium?
Actually, that would appear to be the case.
"So, how much battery life has it got left when it starts doing this four-second thing?" I asked him.
"About six days, seven if you're lucky."
So it turns out I get a week's notice about something that'll take six weeks to fix. How Bond ever showed up on time for anything, I'll never know. Maybe Q gave him a Timex to fall back on.