It started with a coaster….

October 15th 2020

By Alison, musing back to earlier in the year!

Some presents were needed.

First there was the need for an engagement present, and then the need for a leaving home for a first flat present.

The shops that had been shut except for essentials, were now open again. But if you’re vulnerable to covid then it was still not sensible to go browsing !

Any way, both these celebrations required more….. much more…. than just a quick dash to the shops bedecked in uncomfortable masks and so not giving proper thought or attention to the task in hand.

So the thinking caps had to come out.

They were a bit rusty and stank of lack of use as the earlier months of lockdown seemed to have caused some mental petrification. Did you find that too?

Nothing was giving inspiration, not even a whisper from those useless out of practise thinking caps.

Eventually, on a daily walk something changed…..

Coffee one day at the Harbour!

….and yes it was August! But that’s definitely the start of autumn up here on the Island ! So hats are allowed to come out……

But back to the story….

Having been doing some tidying of boxes earlier that day, and stumbling upon a stash of brightly coloured nylon cords from dinghy racing days long gone, the old thinking caps had noted the fact, but failed to come up with anything.

It took a daily exercise trip to the harbour to finally wake them up a bit.

So, sitting surrounded by thick ropes, drinking coffee to stay warm, those metaphorical thinking caps ground slowly into action. Perhaps the caffeine and the ozone from the sea helped….

‘What about a celtic eternal knot something or other? It would be very ‘Holy Island’ and also very suitable for an engagement?’

Some vague memories surfacing, of buying rope……. too much rope….. at the boatshow one year. When it was a place of annual pilgrimage and dreams. That rope hadn’t been in the box…

‘Oooo! Didn’t we make some knotwork coasters for some friends after we’d taken them sailing, years ago? ‘ Pat’s thinking cap had started warming up now!

‘Can you remember which knot?’, me, thinking of Turk’s Head woggles of old Guiding adventures.

Pat, however was adamant it was something else so, when we got home, we started flicking through the ‘ Handbook of Knots’ which graces everyone’s bookshelves doesn’t it? OK, perhaps it doesn’t, but we’ve got quite an odd book collection between us and exactly the right volume was just sitting there.

At last, Pat’s thinking cap powered into action recalling exactly what it was !

‘A Carrick Bend!’

Dinner was late that night as Pat got engrossed in something for the first time in ages ! Much swearing and cursing ensued and some nasty bright green and bright yellow nylon ‘ slippy and easier to practise knots with’ cords came out of the box. Those cords were knotted and unknotted for quite some time until there was eventually a cry of, ‘Got it!’

There, pinned to a cork tile to hold its shape, was a beautiful, but bright yellow flat knot. It was about 2 inches diameter… so only any good as a coaster for a shot glass! That might be fine for the ‘leaving home for flat’ present, but we didn’t want to encourage bad habits! So another medium had to be found.

Happily, whilst Pat had been swearing and cursing I’d left her to it and gone back to tidying boxes that had been piled in the hallway just waiting to be sorted since we’d moved in.

Miraculously the missing, barely remembered jute rope came to light in another totally unrelated box further down the pile! Perhaps my thinking cap was providing some inspiration after all…..

It was perfect…. just the right thickness….

It was eventually knotted and worked into the lovely coaster pictured on the left.

Dinner was eventually cooked and eaten!

Over the next few days there were more and more coasters… and they kept getting neater and quicker each time.

Eventually they were good enough to not be pulled apart again, but to be finished and made ready to gift. The intended recipients were all delighted.

The mother of the young chap leaving home for his first flat sowed a small seed.

‘Wow, these are fab! So much thought and time! You should make these to sell !’

The seed fell, as they say, on stony ground…but luckily it didn’t actually die, just lay there until the time was right!

End of page v2