Thursday, February 18, 2010


I had a hairdresser's appointment yesterday. They were running late, so I was sitting, waiting, happily spinning on my drop spindle and enjoying the sense of community in the room--the two clients are old friends, the staff, Anna and Soula, mother and daughter--lots of chatter; a phone call to the hospital to check on the wellbeing of another client and friend--it's a real family business. It later turned out that Anna had quietly synchronised these two appointments as a surprise to her clients.
Then another client came in. She sat next to me on the couch and exploded into excited Greek. Anna and Soula responded in kind. From the intent focus on my spinning and various gestures I figured it was about me and my drop spindle. Eventually Soula managed to send some translation my way, though both the older women seemed to hardly stop for breath. Soula was at the other end of the salon, and her explanations kept colliding with more comments and questions from my new neighbour. Then she rushed out the back door and came back with a bent stick--it was from a rose bush and covered in thorns, but that didn't seem to bother her any. Anna pulled out a reel of sewing cotton and I soon realised I was seeing a demonstration of making a butterfly skein--like the ones I'm used to making on my hand, but bigger.
As things started to calm down just a little, I gathered that this woman had come to Australia from a farm in the Greek mountains. They kept sheep, and spun their own wool. She was terribly excited to see someone spinning and wanted to pass on her tips and experiences. Then she showed me her crocheted handbag, which she had made herself.
I tried to invite her to one of the local spinning groups, so more people could share her experience and excitement, but her lack of English made her suddenly shy. She brightened up when I pulled out my camera and asked her name: Glykeria. Thank you Glykeria, it was a thrill to meet you.

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