In the spirit of Bullseye, I had a lovely day which got off to a very bad start. No start at all actually as once again my Poxhall refused to start. No matter how I pleaded with the piece of shite it wouldn’t have it, leaving me with a one mile walk to Aldridge Airport and ten minutes to do it in. I did allow myself a swift kick as I walked past, my karma slipping for a moment but this really is the most annoying car I can remember owning. It will go, hopefully very soon and I will no longer be shedding a tear over it. I think it is the starter motor that is failing this time, if it isn’t it is bound to go at some point soon as the rest of the car begins to dissolve around me. Anyway I can catch the bus to work tomorrow so it doesn’t really matter but it did kibosh any distant hopes of visiting Kayleigh for her birthday.
Anyway, with the constant frustrations of owning this car out the way, the remainder of the blog will be dedicated to my basketry course. Now I won’t mind admitting I wasn’t totally revved up for learning to weave, out of the really cool things to learn about green woodwork, this probably ranked near the bottom but the sight of sharp knives and stabby bodkin type things piqued my interest. The course was put on by Walsall Countryside services and the wonderful Morgan Bowers was the course tutor, there were seven of us in the class and that seemed a perfect balance for tutoring, self help and peer support. There were a number of completed baskets on display as we entered and I was impressed and just a little daunted at the prospect of failing to grasp the concept of weaving. As it turned out, the process is relatively simple when broken down into the component parts and the second I got hold of my first withy I was hooked and determined to do the the best I could. The difficulty is knowing what is acceptable and how something should feel. The experience I have gained from my own workshop is that wood isn’t an exact science and trying to make it so is a sure way to madness. The way the basket formed was almost instinctive and very therapeutic, time flew by as I got a feel for the rhythm and the tension of the weave and it really was all too soon that I realised the basket was finished. I was quite disappointed as I wanted to carry on but I was very pleased with the finished item, ecstatic actually. It was far beyond my expectations and I keep looking at the construction pictures to convince me that I actually made it and I am about to order some raw materials to continue learning the art. I would heartily recommend to anyone to give it a go. So much of the traditional ways have been forgotten, cast aside by mass production and machines and I can’t wait to keep learning new old ways to do things.