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From where I sit at my loom with a view

We are all living in the hope…..

that 2021 will allow our lives to go back to some semblance of normality, but that really doesn’t look very likely – at least not in the foreseeable future. Let’s face it, 2020 was, apart from ridiculously challenging, also very interesting. It rocketed the human race out of an apathetic and destructive comfort zone, and made us think. Indeed it made me think on many levels, and I’m not sure that I have reached any conclusions yet either.

I think that the most important lesson I can take away from 2020 is that we all need to learn to adapt. I read a fascinating little book once called ” Good-bye Tiger, Hello Rat” by a man called Jan Bader, who, at the time was resident on a game farm just outside Hoedspruit. His premise was that the Tiger will go extinct in years to come and the Rat will thrive, and all because, if you take the Tiger out of its habitat it cannot survive. In other words, it lacks the ability to adapt, whereas the opportunistic Rat can adapt to pretty much everything apart from an overdose of Warfarin.

For me, 2020 was about trying to adapt what I love to do to a situation in which society closed down and social contact was all but taken away from us. At first the impact on my tiny little business was inestimable. A certain friend, who, if she reads this piece will know exactly who i am talking about, had been nagging ( yes nagging) me to become more visible on social media, and to think about putting some of my teaching on-line. I had been resisting her advice for ages, with all the excuses in the world. Everything I could think of to convince myself that it was not the way for me to go…… and then suddenly, if I wanted to carry on doing what I love, it was the ONLY way to go! This tiger suddenly became a Rat.

From the Facebook pages to the ZOOM calls, to the Patreon page (www.patreon.com/weaveatbrooklands) , right down to this little blog ( in which I seldom mention textiles or weaving (- perhaps that also needs to change?), it was all terrifyingly out of my comfort zone, but as a the year progressed I realized that this type of communication, and on-line teaching and sharing of information is now, and most probably will be for years to come an integral part of our lives.

Most importantly, I think I learned that adaptability is a life skill, with which too few of us are familiar. Sure it’s scary, but also exciting, as learning something new must always be. I always thought that to call someone a ‘Rat’ was an insult – perhaps not so much anymore!

One thing that hasn’t changed though is the way my brain buzzes with new ideas and things to try, and techniques that need to be explored, so stay with me and watch this space to see where the journey takes me over the next few months, and meanwhile, all of you, take care and stay safe