Up and down, and spinning round….


Thought we might bring another old childhood game to the table.
Snakes and Ladders.
The analogy to life is obvious. We cruise along, or plod…depending on how the ole biorhythm cards have fallen on any one particular day…and inevitably, eventually we hit a snake or a ladder. A bonus or a bump in the road.
Occasionally it’s an opportunity presenting itself, a lovely boost up, lifting us up to loftier heights. Dadaah!
And sometimes it’s one of those killer pythons …… not the chewy,  bursting in artificial flavours and colours kind….but real brutes that take us back a few paces with a thud.
It applies to the important stuff like health and friendships, careers and the like.
And the less so ….
Whichever, the next step is the same. Get the dice back out, a kiss for luck and start over.

I met a snake on my way to a spinning class. Let’s call him Frank.

Just an aside here ….. when you google ‘spinning class’, you get fit happy people on bicycles. This is not me.
In my defence my life is not without excercise.
In the world of knitters, there are two kinds of people, the throwers and the pickers, depending on whether you are more English or Continentally bent. I am a thrower. Definitely sounds more energetic.

Also, I engage in stash diving…..a practice where you go through all the fantastic yarn you have already bought searching for the perfect stuff to begin a new project …..this inevitably is followed by a expensive but exhilarating trip to the LYS ( local yarn shop)

And by now you would have noticed that when I write I also indulge in all sorts of grammatical acrobatics. i split infinitives. I let prepositions dangle…. it’s a veritable gymnastics session.
Enough excercise, surely.
Back to the spinning. And to my original quest for getting reacquainted with ancient and simple pastimes. Like this …..


But younger.
Maybe more boho …..
a little edgy and arty, dare I think even a little primal and sexy….


Maybe not.

In Rumpelstiltskin, the beautiful princess has to spin straw into gold. I was just aiming for a 2ply, with lumps and bumps for character…they came without even trying …..and with half a prayer of staying together.

I had come, armed with my own bag of alpaca fleece, spinning wheel under one arm, photo of Nero for moral support under the other. Awash with optimism.
For the uninitiated, spinning involves one foot peddling the wheel, one hand drawing the fleece out in a steady fashion and the other keeping the twist that the spinning process is generating, under control

Cue Frank….(the snake)

I didn’t think my coordination was that abysmal. But the wheel had it in for me from the start. The foot peddling thing looked almost therapeutic . Peddle, peddle, peddle. Rhythmic. Relaxing.

Hard to start
Hard to stop
Start…. going backwards….stop! ..starting, starting….going forwards…..add the fingers, concentrate on the fibre,…..forget about the foot….. stop….. going backwards…..stop…..lose the twist….break the fibre. ……..shit!

Getting stressed …… bring in the hot flushes …


Now we have sweaty fingers, sticky fibre……. rethread …..again and again  and
Start…..going backward…stop!….starting, starting ……going forward, ….

Are we having fun yet!

Now the wheel senses weakness….. realises it has a klutz in charge of it…….it starts to retreat backward. …….slowly edging itself away

I look around….everybody else is serene.

I’m getting the knack….maybe. The foot is working, ….the wheel is spinning…..the fingers struggle to keep the fibre up. The twist is twisting….and twisting…….. panic sets in and in reaction the foot peddles faster. Wheel spinning, sweat flying, the whole contraption bouncing backward. Outa control ladies and gentlemen. The twist keeps advancing up the fibre, tighter and tighter. Closer and closer to the fingers
Come in spinner!
The mind boggles… if hair or clothing get caught, I’m gone!
Tomorrow’s newspaper headlines. ” Woman consumed by own spinning wheel”

😄oh dear …..

Remember the beautiful princess in Rumpelstiltskin?
More like damp damsel in distress.
End result….I’m still around to spin a good yarn. Or make a terrible pun.

And my spinning, I’m sure will get there with practice.
Like wine, a good curry, a great relationship, it comes together with time.

For every snake, there’s always a ladder…..even a little step ladder…to restore equilibrium.
Here’s one.
I found the perfect aid for my blogging endeavours…..it’s a notebook.


Now I’m set 😄

2 Thoughts

  1. Reading this again I think maybe you need to start from the bottom, like the base of a ladder. Start with a glass or two of wine, then try the spinning?


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