I am a firm believe in life having a way of working out – and this last week has just reinforced that. Somehow the right people and places will appear in your life at just the right time to help you along the way.
When I started sailing it was because my hubby and I had a random conversation and decided it was something we would really like to have a go at. But having visited a few sailing clubs we didn’t really feel like we fitted in anywhere. Over a few drinks with friends we discussed this, and identified two other couples who would be keen to start as well. So without much of a plan we now had a group of us. Because of this we could then afford to buy a boat.
So we started looking at boats instead of sailing clubs – figuring that one would naturally follow the other. The boat we eventually went to look at was at a fairly remote club – but that was OK – our intention was to see if it was alright, buy it, bring it home and sort it from there – it wasn’t as if we would need to go back to the club, one of the closer ones would work out sooner or later. Once we got there however that all changed. We were immediately approached by members keen to say hello, cups of tea and general chat was provided along with some tyre kicking on the boat (turns out we should have spent more time on the boat, but at the time we understood more about tyres). By the time we left that day we had bought a boat (an Enterprise. Hot tip DON’T buy an Ent as your first boat. Especially not a wooden one. There’s a reason there are so many for sale so cheaply), joined the club, got on a waiting list for training and had already capsized the boat once. My husband is now the commodore and we are firmly committed to this remote club up in the wilds of Northumberland.
When I moved company some years back I was fairly apprehensive – I had been with the previous company for nearly ten years, so leaving felt like a huge leap of faith. But on starting my new job I found a welcoming environment and a friend. It turned out this friend knitted. It all started with a pair of fingerless mittens (Fetching – I think everyone in the world knit them) that she wore throughout the winter. And when I admired them for the 47th time she suggested I knit some – remember this is an experienced knitter and was never going to fall into the trap of knitting some FOR me – oh no, knitting my own had to be the answer. So I bought some needles and wool and after a few lunchtimes of wondering how you were meant to knit with five needles in a circle, I had knitted nine of them. This might seem an odd number, but it took me this many to get two roughly the same size. Knitting is now really important to me and although I go through fits and starts, I have made new friends and created beautiful things by persevering… but I needed that help to get me started.
Which brings me to Spinning. Spinning and I weren’t getting on. I was kind of managing. I knew that I had to set myself a goal or else I was not going to keep going for long enough to get any level of proficiency. But it was all feeling a little like hard work. Until i popped into the Knit Studio. As my favourite yarn shop it’s always a treat – but it was also a surprise to find everyone there spinning with a drop spindle! This had never happened before – mostly you find people knitting or browsing – but I had never been there when spinning was going on. In a further stroke of luck – I had my spinning with me! What followed was 45 minutes of intense teaching and coaching from a new friend. No wonder I was struggling – I hadn’t understood enough of the basics to make a go of it – I was working against the fibre rather than with it. By the end of my lunch hour I felt like I had made a bit of progress, and over the weekend I have been spinning my heart out. In fact it looks a bit like this.
I know – still a bit lumpy, but definitely better! And now I have someone to take all of my spinning woes too. (she has no idea what she’s let herself in for by giving me here Ravelry name!)
So it turns out that if you smile, are pleasant and just ask, it’s amazing how you can find the help you need – and make a friend or two along the way.
I think getting a boat is like knitting mittens – although I’ve never tried to knit anything.
But the first one you try is never a good fit.
We got better since then… we bought lots of boats off ebay after wine. The boats were generally fine. the locations frequently weren’t – I still remember waking up on a Saturday morning and realising I had bought a boat 370 miles away….