Surprises that lift your spirits!

The last two and half weeks have been a bit bleak to say the least. Eventually got the van back from our (local) garage late Monday  afternoon with a large bill but at least the job has been done properly now. Will be contacting garage we got van from originally to complain but …water under the bridge, at least we feel safer now!  Then Tuesday regrettably had to take Billy to vets for the final time which was heart wrenching for both of us. Then on Thursday morning, woke up 3.30am eventually got up 4.30am and by 6am Clive and I were at Emerson Green hospital in Bristol ready for Clive’s hip operation. (at least we missed the morning rush hour!!!!!!! ) Then the bombshell hit!!! Because of all the stress we have both been under this last fortnight or so, Clive’s Psoriasis had flared (and got worse even overnight) and the Consultant was called and had to call off the operation. I think the Consultant & nurses were as upset as we were!! Came out the hospital keeping calm and using my iPad managed to go online (amazed I remembered website, id and password) with our Doctors and managed to get an appointment for 12 noon for Doctor to sort out Clive’s medication. Visited Doctor (one at the practice that Clive hadn’t seen before) explained the frustrating situation,  Doctor was wonderful calm and methodical: He deliberated for quite some time and then changed Clive’s medication and also prescribed antibiotics (as Clive never normally has antibiotics) to kill any infection, we have to return to Doctors in two weeks and as soon as psoriasis has calmed down then hospital will try and fit Clive in for op as soon as possible. So the last two days we have tried to ‘chill-out’ a bit to relieve the pressure that we have both been under recently.

Any way yesterday postman arrived and amongst the mail was a white A5 envelope addressed to us. I opened it, lovely hand printed photo card inside showing a lady (one of our customers) by her spinning wheel.  Inside was a wonderful poem she had written about us repairing her wheel and thanking us. She wishes to remain anonymous but has given permission for me to share her poem. She lives on one of the Scottish Islands and it took her and her Husband from November through to January to managed to get back across to the mainland to collect her wheel once it was done, due to the storms we have had meant that no ferries were running to the Island. I gave up counting how many times they phoned and said they are suppose to be running the ferry tomorrow only to get the message it didn’t run. In the end we said don’t worry when you eventually get to the mainland phone and say you have landed. Which is what they did and they happily collected the wheel whilst we were in Northern England visiting our Daughter and family.

I have had to consolidate each verse into a paragraph as it is very long but well worth the read… Enjoy!! We did and we are still giggling about it. Certainly lifted our spirits! Thank you to the Lady from the Isles – Happy Spinning!


By Trad

My origin I do not know, Now I live on an island of wind and snow. Just an ornament, not often used, My spinning owner quite confused, About the skills of drafting yarn, That eventually consigned me to the barn.

The Council tip was my destiny  Whereupon a gentlemen spotted me, Who then raced home to tell his wife You have to save threatened life! A wheel in danger of great harm, That needs your help and loving arms. A spinning wheel you’ll want to see, So hurry up and come with me!

To a brand new home I was then taken, A bumpy ride that left me shaken. Relieved of my impending doom, My place is now a sitting room Of cosy warmth and lovely view Of sheep and lochs and mountains too.

A door left open – “oh yes!” I cried An Ashford Traveller I espied! Quite dowdy and rundown I feel In the presence of this good looking wheel, Who later told me “do not fret, your new spinning owner While not expert yet, Is learning fast, and you will find, She is gentle, loving and very kind.”

Over time, my owner saw My general condition was getting poor. My wood was pale, lacked lustre too, My owner knew not what to do.

I creaked and groaned and gently squeaked And things got much worse, week by week. My owner certainly could tell The spinning was not going well. Things were wrong and really sad, Sometimes her words became quite bad!!

My owner goes to sheepy shows And many people she now knows. One introduction – a lady called Joan Said she could cure my creaks and groans.

Returning home, my owner, inspired Said a trip the mainland was now required.

To Joan’s, a long way south we had to go While avoiding all the hail and snow. To get to the mainland, past islands and skerries We had to embark on a very big ferry!

Through Scotland and England was quite a trip Down something called the **!*!! M6. We spent the time with thousands of cars Just parked in lines for hours and hours.

We sang, heard radio and tales before arriving in South Wales – A place that I had never seen And of such beauty I could not dream. It really was a long, long drive Before we got to Joan and Clive.

They treated me with such great care, And then, alarmed, I became aware of plans to dis-assemble me Oh heavens! What was my fate to be?! The next thing I knew, my drive wheel was off And Clive was telling me to cough!! Then, examined, inspected, and thoroughly cleaned I felt myself begin to gleam.

Joan with much love, long did she toil To rub me all over with Danish Oil. She smoothed and stroked and sometimes she’d tickle To such an extent, that I just had to giggle!

Then in a spare room I was put to lie Until the Oil had time to dry. With me were wheels from ceiling to floor! It’s the sort of place you would just adore. With a peek, I saw in other rooms, Collections of bobbins and weaving looms. Us wheels made friends, I was told great tales Of what went on in deep South Wales!!

Joan then inspected, pronounced she was pleased Especially as all my squeaks had eased. To perk me up further, she now desired To give me some colour that would be admired. A selection of shades was then applied, Thank heavens not pink! Or I would have died!!

To my relief, a choice was made, Of a warm and mellow chestnut shade That had a depth of golden glow For a wheel you would be proud to know.

So, polished and dustered and no longer pale A photo was sent to my owner, Email. “Oh wow!” she shrieked, “it was well worth the trip. Is this really my Trad that we saved from the tip?”

To go home, arrangements were made, Then cancelled again Because of bad weather and such heavy rain. Then, so much water, the flooding increased So that plans to go home, just had to cease.

Autumn was past and snow was now falling. The weather by now was really appalling. The ferries were docked, they just could not sail Because of the dangers of wind, rain and gales

“Do not worry” said Joan, “to the north we are travelling, So to save the plans from further unravelling We will take you with us, you handsome Trad, It really won’t matter if the weather is bad.”

I was put in the van, all wrapped up and snug In a burgundy cover as warm as a rug. “You’ll be quite secure” Joan whispered to me, “Not damaged or scratched – you just wait and see! It will take some time, it’s a long, long drive But you will be fine with me and Clive”.

When seeing me, my owner squealed “You handsome thing you’re truly healed! You’re really smooth and great to use We can spin in long evenings and chat and snooze.

The other wheels said “oh look at you! You’re bronzed and chestnut, look brand new! Not squeaky but with secure tight pegs You really do have a great pair of legs!”

Now, my owner, Traveller and me Make lovely yarns that people see Then knit for warmth against Atlantic weather And winter walks across the heather.

So now I’m settled back at home, I’d like to thank both Clive and Joan For all their kindness, craft and skill, Who cared for me when I was ill. So pale and wan with groans and squeaks They put me right within a week. To both of them I’d like to say


All my love


Before and after photos




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