Heroes of Clockpersonkind #1: A Brave Clock Goes to Sea

Hello readers, this is Mr Daffodil’s friend, MX Clocktummy here. Usually Mr Daffodil shares some of his favourite music with you on Friday. However, today is a very special Friday, and Mr Daffodil agreed to let me write a post today about a special human: Mr John Harrison.

Today is definitely the anniversary of John Harrison’s death and possibly also the anniversary of his birth.

One of the problems people had in the seventeenth century was that the calendar was wrong, so although Mr John Harrison was born on 24 March 1693, it was later decided that he was really born on 3 April 1693. He lived a long time and died on 24 March 1776.

Another big problem at that time in history was that people couldn’t tell the time very well, because my relatives who lived then were not very accurate. This was especially bad for sailors, who would really have liked to have good clocks so that they could calculate where their ships were. Unfortunately, the best clocks were too big for the ships, and the little clocks were did not keep good time because they got seasick, and also because we clocks generally do not like getting wet.

Mr John Harrison was a clever man who worked for many years to create a “marine chronometer” that would be portable and precise. Many people thought that he would never succeed, because this was very difficult to do, but he made it.

His Sea Watch No.1 was also called H4 (because her older sisters H1, H2 and H3 were not really ready to go sailing). H4 was a true hero. She had many adventures sailing to Jamaica and back. Some twin copies of H4 even went to explore the Pacific Ocean.

These Clocks are real heroes, I think, and today we should be thankful for the hard work and patience of their maker, Mr John Harrison.

You can read all about Mr John Harrison and his awesome clockchildren in a little book called Longitude by Dava Sobel. I would love to meet Ms Sobel and tell her how much I liked her book. As soon as I had read it, I ordered some copies of it for the History of Time section of the Cowentry University Library where I work as the Chief Librarian’s Timepiece.

Mr John Harrison (24th of March 1693?-24th of March 1776) with one of his adoptive clockchildren

Leaf 9: A Little Yellow Person in a Big Busy Library

Last week in Leaf 8 we saw Mr Daffodil arriving to the Cowentry University Campus.

Mr Daffodil bathed in the rain drops and admired the fascinating colourful buildings, wondering what amazing scientific adventures were happening inside.

But he could not understand why everyone seemed in such a rush, and why everyone looked sad. Maybe they just did not like the rain?

He went into the Library. It was dry, warm and full of interesting books!

But everybody there was looking just as unhappy…

Perplexed, Mr Daffodil walked around the Library, trying to avoid being stepped on by busy students and lecturers.

He really wanted to talk to someone and find out why everyone was in such a terrible mood.

But the large human figures towering above our little yellow friend were all just rushing about and nobody noticed him.


To Be Continued next Monday…

Leaf 7: Mr Daffodil Catches a Ride

<<< Leaf 6: Clocktummy, MX Clocktummy

Do you remember where we left our little yellow friend, Mr Daffodil?

After his brief encounter with Daisy, the Enormous Friendly Cow, Mr Daffodil continued his adventures.

He walked and walked, until he reached the top of a hill.

A magnificent view opened before him: a large valley flooded with sunshine and full of pretty white buildings.

This was the University of Cowentry!

This is where we left Mr Daffodil last time we saw him.

Mr Daffodil became curious.

“I wish I could fly!,” he exclaimed. He wanted to go and have look around the beautiful white University straight away!

He ran along the footpath down the hill and saw another sign: “Cowentry Train Station.” That is exactly what he needed!

Mr Daffodil had never been to a train station before, but he knew that trains were fast, helpful vehicles who like to travel and could take you almost anywhere.

But how to find the right train?

The station was such a big, noisy place.

A crowd of people were going in and out of the station building. Many carried wet umbrellas, heavy suitcases and big bags. Everyone was in a hurry.

“They must be going to the University!,” Mr Daffodil thought.

“Everyone is so BIG!,” Mr Daffodil noticed.

Leaf 7: 27-Feb-2017 Mr Daffodil jumped away from under the black shoe and said “Ouch!” This was a lucky escape!

These folk were not as enormous as Daisy, but much bigger than him. And most of them weren’t yellow.

He followed the crowd and soon got lost amidst huge, heavy shoes.

“Ouch!,” he shouted, as a big shoe almost crushed him.

He sneaked up behind a smaller big person. She stood quietly, looking around, and was in no rush.

And best of all, she wore yellow sneakers!

Mr Daffodil caught a ride on her right foot. He looked up and politely shouted:

“Excuse me! Are you going to the Train to Cowentry University?”

The little big person smiled down at him, completely unsurprised, and said “Yes! I am going to meet my mum. She works in the Library.”

“That’s great! May I travel on your shoe?”

Leaf 7: 27-Feb-2017 Mr Daffodil catches a ride on a yellow sneaker

“Of course! Hold on tight,” she said and started walking.

“Thh-aa-nn-kk yy-oouu!,” Mr Daffodil shouted back, while trying to hold on tight to the shoe. The girl was busy walking and didn’t hear him.

Mr Daffodil soon found himself in the train. He climbed off the shoe and glued himself to the window.

Mr Daffodil was all yellow in excitement. This was his first ever train journey. He liked everything: the sounds of the train, the smell of the train seats, and the scenery outside.

But as the train approached the University, the sun disappeared behind thick clouds and it  was pouring down with rain.

Leaf 8: Mr Daffodil Finds Cowentry University Wet >>>

Leaf 5: The Next Adventure Begins!

<<< Leaf 4: Big and Small Things       Leaf 6: Clocktummy, MX Clocktummy >>>

So finally let me tell you what happened after I met Daisy the Cow.

I walked on a bit…

and tried to catch a few sun’s rays in the forest…

I also met a loud group of sky-blue forget-me-nots who were having a lot of fun celebrating somebody’s birthday…

I climbed a steep hill, at the end of which I saw a magnificent view. There was a blue sign saying “WELCOME TO COWENTRY UNIVERSITY”. 

<<< Leaf 4: Big and Small Things           Leaf 6: Clocktummy, MX Clocktummy >>>

Leaf 4: Big and Small Things

<<< Leaf 3: Late!                          Leaf 5: The next adventure begins! >>>

So, remember how I was telling you about how I woke up in the Daffodil Field on the day I was born?

It was all yellow! The field was so beautiful. I wanted to see more of it.

I peeked out of my flower a bit more.

Beyond the yellow sea of daffodils there was a sea of green. In front of me was a sign saying “Farm“. And a pathway!

The Daffodil Farm

I walked on the pathway for a while, until I got to a crossroads.

The road to Cowentry

There I saw a helpful green arrow which said “Cowentry way“. This sounded exciting. Maybe it was a village or a town!

I followed the arrow and there, in the sun, on the new mown grass, I saw something standing…


Or, rather, someONE huge.

Someone HUGE!

She didn’t see me at first.


I got closer and said:


She looked up, stopped chewing and said:


This means “Hello” in Cowish. How do I know this? I am not quite sure. I guess all Daffodilfolk are born with the knowledge of other languages!

Distant bells, new mown grass …Smells so sweet

My name is Mr Daffodil! And who are you?“, I asked.


This was Cowish for “Daisy”.

“Nice to meet you, Daisy! You also have a flower name!”


At that point I got slightly scared because what she had said translated loosely as “Yeah… You look tasty!” in Cowish. I noticed that Daisy was in the middle of eating lunch, and that her lunch consisted of some of my relatives, Grasses and Clovers.

But I decided I wouldn’t be a coward. Besides, Daisy seemed quite friendly.

“Daffodils are yellow and friendly, but we are not tasty at all,” I pointed out.

Moo? Mooo-o. Moo,” Daisy said with some disappointment.

What a relief! This meant “Oh, I see. Well, actually, I wasn’t going to eat you anyway, I have a field full of tasty clover pie.”

I’m really glad to hear that! I was only born today!

Moomoo-moomoo-moo-moooo![* Happy birthday, little Daffodil!]

“Happy birthday, little Daffodil!,” said Daisy

Thank you! I’m off to find some adventures now. Goodbye, hope you have a nice day, Daisy!” I said.

M-oo.” I am not entirely sure, but I think she meant “You too, little tasty flower,” or maybe “We said good-bye before we said hello.” Either way, I decided that Daisy was indeed a friendly cow.

She was also very big. Or am I very small?

You only know you are little when you meet something (or someone) very big.

<<< Leaf 3: Late!                                        Leaf 5: The next adventure begins! >>>