Putting the world to rights over hopscotch

Yesterday – which was, so far, the hottest day of the year – my friend and I went out for coffee.

We visited Origins, a community cafe in Thornbury, which I can highly recommend.  It’s fresh and bright and lovely – and the food is excellent!  We found ourselves a shady spot in the garden, and proceeded to put the world to rights.

I pulled out my knitting, in the hope that some stories would come my way as we chatted.  At the moment, I am in the process of knitting heritage blankets for my two grown-up children.  Last year, their paternal grandmother died, and my ex-husband gave me a number of squares she had knitted.  She had intended to incorporate them into the knitted blankets that are often donated to relief agencies.  As was usual with her, the quality of the knitting was superb, and I was determined that her efforts wouldn’t be wasted.

However, although I do knit items for charity, I am not currently in touch with anyone who needs blankets.  So I decided instead to incorporate them into heirlooms for the next generation.  And this works so well.  My former mother-in-law began knitting with needles given to her by my mum when the latter’s fingers became too swollen with arthritis to continue.  And the yarn I am using for my own squares was purchased with a gift voucher that Mum gave me for my birthday.  So, a real family affair.

Anyhow, I had just completed my first row, when our tea cakes arrived.  Huge tea cakes, soaked with butter and served with a pot of raspberry jam.  So it was time to down tools and eat.

And afterwards, my fingers were buttery…and I needed to chase the chocolate on the top of my cappuccino…and…well, no more knitting happened.

But as we ate and drank, we did sort out not only most of the major problems facing the world today and in the foreseeable future, but also a sizeable chunk of the troubles in the known universe as well.  Give a girl a break.  I really cannot multitask like I used to, and when there are issues in Alpha Centauri that need resolving – well, you have to get your priorities right, don’t you?

After this erudite discussion, we moved on to the beautiful community garden at the back of the building.  There, we once more sat in the shade and continued to discuss matters of deep importance.  Then, at the end of our intense debate, my friend said, “Is that a hopscotch court set out over there?”

It was.  We then realised that neither of us could remember how to play hopscotch.  “It’s something to do with chucking a stone and then hopping about”, my friend volunteered, so that’s what we set about doing.

So there we were, ladies of A Certain Age, trying to remember what we had last attempted to do several decades ago.  My friend looked pretty impressive, but when I tried hopping and jumping about, I was aware that my frame was creaking like the mast of a ship in a high wind.  And other parts of me wobbled in a dangerous fashion.  So perhaps this is not an activity I will be personally taking to Olympic level.

So by the end of the morning, what had we achieved?  Well…one row of knitting.  And lots of answers to the world’s problems…except that we have now forgotten what those answers are (in fact, we’ve even forgotten the questions).  But we DID  (sort of..) rediscover hopscotch…and by doing so, we at least gave the birds in the garden a good laugh.

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