Where to start?
For the third year running, my friend Barry and I had a wonderful week at Blind Veterans UK in Llandudno, teaching decorative knots.
We were reminded just how quickly some blind veterans learn – so much so, it’s becoming more difficult to stop them becoming bored with simple stuff! Everyone loves making dragonflies and zip pulls, but we moved onto bracelets and light pulls with some of them. By the way, a basket was filled with dragonflies and key fobs, ready to sell at the garden party on 28th June. This is something we’ve witnessed before, the members are very keen to help the charity by making things to sell – selfless, generous people throughout, with a real desire to give something back.
When we first tried decorative knotting in Llandudno three years ago, we had three at most at any one time, but word is getting round that knotting is good fun, and this time we had up to eight at a time! Some other veterans who were visiting the centre are now asking about workshops. In fact, we’ve been invited back later this year to hold another one.
A special buzz for me was teaching Kerry how to make a key fob using “crowing over two” with six strands. Most folks managed key fobs by “simple” crowning with four strands, and I really believed that crowning over two was extremely ambitious. There are many sighted people who struggle with this, but Kerry mastered it very quickly, supported by her lovely guide dog “Spirit”.
Not just decorative stuff this time, because Barry sorted out new rope and a new system for the three flag poles outside the main building
“What about fishing?”, I hear you ask. Well, Barry and I met some blind fishermen who were there for a week’s fishing. They needed to tie braided line to monofilament, so Barry taught them the “Improved Albright Knot”. Much fun was had trying to make the knot come apart, but it proved impossible (as fingers and pieces of furniture will testify!) I, for one, didn’t realise how technical fishing could be, and it evidently gives one quite a thirst! A very sociable crowd, and we thoroughly enjoyed their company and their stories (and I don’t mean fishy ones).
On Friday, after the workshop finished, even I taught someone a practical knot! Bill needed to learn the “trucker’s hitch” for fastening luggage to a trailer. Don’t worry, Bill assured me he wasn’t doing the driving!
Barry and I feel privileged to be involved with Blind Veterans UK, albeit in only a small way. The talents of members and staff never cease to amaze us. Find out more about the organisation here, they are an awe-inspiring bunch –
Thanks to everyone at BVUK Llandudno for a fantastic week!