Wednesday, 10 February 2016

the mystery of the ring

I have managed to do the most bizarre thing while gardening, and I have no idea how or when it happened.  Just now, as I rubbed my left thumb over the base of my fourth finger, wondering what to type, my wedding ring felt odd against my hand.  Investigating, I found it had been squashed out of true into more of a wedding oval.  My finger and hand were completely undamaged.

I removed the ring with considerable difficulty as it stuck over the second joint, and looked at it in complete bafflement.  I know that gold is a soft metal, which is why you should never let anybody change the battery on a gold watch who has not been trained to do so, in case they bend the back trying to get it off.  It isn't that soft, though.  I squeezed the oval hopefully along its long axis, and it didn't give any signs of bending back.

I showed the damage to the Systems Administrator, but the SA didn't want to risk trying to repair it.  I see the SA's point.  With no finger sized former and no tools beyond a monkey wrench or pliers the result could be to make things a great deal worse.  With great apologies and assurances that the SA should not take it personally I put the ring in a pot on my desk so that I wouldn't lose it, until I can find a jeweller to mend it.  Most annoyingly my go-to jewellers for repairs in Colchester have closed, the shop turned into a vaping store, and I'm not immediately sure where to go instead.  I don't know whether the chains like H Samuel tackle repairs.

In the meantime my left hand feels naked, with an edge of subconscious anxiety in case I have lost the ring, even though I know it is in a pot on my desk.  And I am utterly baffled how I came to bend it.  I dug up some roots with a pickaxe and pulled at others, I sawed through a small branch, I dug over the places where the climbing roses are going to go, picked out stones and dug in mushroom compost.  I hung onto the edge of the deck as I slid around on the earth bank beneath it while trying to dig.  I pulled and pushed the trailer of brambles to the bonfire heap, emptied it and pulled it back again.  At some point in all this I applied enough pressure to my left hand to distort the gold ring I was wearing, without feeling a thing or leaving any mark on my hand.

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