Oh, I know it’s silly… but then again, is it? I remember a friend, a keen cyclist, getting a new bike and being every bit as excited. And I’m sure it’s the same for any other enthusiast – a new timetable for a trainspotter, a new flavour for a chocaholic…
Where was I? Ahem.
Anyway, daft or not, I tracked the progress of my new spinning wheel as it made its way towards me…
|10-07-2012||00:31||Deeside Depot||Loaded to vehicle for delivery|
|09-07-2012||09:13||National Hub||Received and processed|
|06-07-2012||16:31||Gloucester Depot||Tracked out of Local Hub|
|06-07-2012||15:06||Gloucester Depot||Collected from customer|
The timing couldn’t have been better. I’d a deadline for Monday, the 9th, and then I was moving on to another project on the 11th. The wheel was due slap in between.
But I resisted the urge to rip the box apart with cries of glee. Well, I resisted in as much as I didn’t actually haul it out of the rather splendid box (complete with carrying handle), because I had a plan.
Now I like bikes, and I enjoyed looking at my friend’s new bike when it arrived, but I am very much aware that not everyone might feel the same about a spinning wheel.
(Though why not escapes me… )
So I called one local spinning friend when the wheel arrived – ‘come on over’ – and then we decided to ring another mad spinner, who has recently had a massive op and is temporarily hors de combat as a result. In the end, I put the box – unfiddled-with – in the car, picked up Spinner 1, and drove up to Spinner 2, who had previously refused to speak to me until I ordered a new wheel (she’s not just an enabler; I’d been driving her mad with my havering).
So there were four of us – me, Spinner 1, Spinner 2, Spinner 2’s husband (also a spinner, now referred to as Spinner 3) – plus a large box, plus three other spinning wheels, plus two Miniature Schnauzers, all in the relatively small front room of a Welsh cottage. There was much over-excited squealing – human, not canine, and not really Spinner 3 who is far too sensible for that – as the box was finally unpacked. At this point I forgot to take photographs. Probably just as well. They’d undoubtedly have included cardboard, inconvenient body parts – elbows, feet, ears – and dogs’ noses.
But this is what I got, after a lot of assistance from Spinners 1, 2, and 3, and dogs 1 and 2:
She’s a beauty, and I said so. And then Spinner 3 asked why everyone was making the assumption that she was female.
My old wheel – which I will probably use more for fleece now – was definitely female because of her previous owner. Also she had lovely woodcarving, incorporating a ‘B’ for Betty. I can’t go on referring to this one as ‘my new wheel’ and there are many, many Louet Julias out there, so ‘Julia’ is a bit of a cop-out.
I must add that I do not normally name inanimate objects. Well, I did once have a bad-tempered Mini who was called Ermengarde for no apparent reason, but I am not seized with a general tendency to call the fridge Frank or my laptop Lavinia. (Sound of laptop breathing sigh of relief.)
My new wheel – MNW – has some lovely features, by the way. First, the kit came complete with everything, and I mean everything; it even included a beautiful screwdriver. Then the Lazy Kate is a masterpiece of simple, elegant design, with an easily adjustable angle giving different levels of resistance. The orofice is also adjustable (no sniggering at the back):
You can make it bigger by removing the central part (I said no sniggering).
And it spins magnificently. I don’t, but I’m working on that.
Hmm, back to the name issue, because I really don’t feel comfortable calling MNW ‘it’. It – ugh – so obviously has a personality, rather like a bicycle or a ship. In French, a spinning wheel is un rouet – masculine – so maybe Spinner 3 had a point.
I was always rather intrigued by a quirk in French, and I remember my father laughing about it when he tried to explain (he did also say that the worst phrases uttered by small children began with the word ‘Papa…‘ uttered in a high and rising tone, were usually anatomical and/or delivered on public transport, or fiendishly difficult and deeply philosophical). By plane, by ambulance, by car, are en avion, en ambulance, en voiture – they’re inanimate objects. By horse, though, is à cheval, and it’s that for other animate objects. But a bike, ah, a bike can be either – animate or inanimate, who knows? The point of all this reminiscent drivel is that I evidently feel like that about MNW, so ‘it’ needs a name.
It should really be Dutch; the wheel is from Holland, after all. But I have quite a few Dutch clients and friends, and I’m not entirely happy about any possible confusion. So how about French, following on from le rouet? Jules. Il est mon Jules. Mon mec. And that dates me, just as slang always does. Maybe I’ll stick to MNW.
Maybe I’ll just work on the spinning, instead of the wittering. Heaven only knows, I’ve enough fluff…
Um. And work.