You know that old saying, 'It's like riding a bike, you never forget.' well I am not at all sure about that.
My sister and I were never allowed to have a bike, cos my idiot brother wrapped his around a street pole and told the parentals that he had been hit by a car, so even though he got a new bike, they were deemed the work of the devil and way too dangerous for us wee girls.
By all modern standards I started out very late and I can remember clearly not being too confident. I didn't want to go fast and was not at all sure about going around corners, but I persisted and finally in 1989, yes I was 30! I really found my pedal feet and spent a great deal of my 'I left the husband' year hooning around the southern banks of the Brisbane River listening to my Sony Walkman, trying hard to get my shit together and deciding what I was gonna do as a single mother.
Anyway biking became part of our lives, and Bell and I would strap our bikes to the car with the biggest shifting spanner anyone has ever seen and we'd be off, parking up at odd places and taking a breezy view of the world from a different perspective. We did enjoy it.
But my confidence has since seized up like my old knees and now I am not at all sure about slinging a leg over.
However, the old adage definitely applies to putting the pedal to the metal on a sewing machine!!
All my life I have been a sewer - that looks like sewer so I mean one who sews, not a river of shit, though there would be some who would argue that that's true too.
I learnt to sew on the old woman's Singer machine that had a leg pedal thing not a foot pedal and I would just grab a bit of fabric and an idea and cut and sew until it was either fabulous or fucked. I learned a lot and my most memorable outfits were ones I made and designed myself. Yes some were a bit weird perhaps, like the over wide culottes a la Bay City Rollers, that I wore to a school excursion and nearly drowned when I jumped into a lake, cos they were heavy when dry and wet.. well let's just say I was lucky they didn't slip right off and leave me standing there in my knickers.
I have made clothes for me and Bell and made curtains bedspreads and patchwork stuff and for a while I designed and appliqued clothes until I worked out that the woman buying the stuff was just stealing the designs and sticking 'em on her own label. Ho hum.
A sewing machine has always been a part of my life, a very favourite part, until I left it behind and took off to the UK in 2001.
Since then I have chucked stuff out that could have been repaired with a machine and I have paid for trouser hemming or have just rolled em up like a kid. I have always hated hand sewing so there has not been much of that.
Until this birthday just gone. Steve presented me with this bloody ripping machine!! He did the research and ordered it online and got the cover lid thing delivered from the States. He went to a great deal of trouble and I am thrilled to bloody bits with it.
I took it for it's first outing today, read the manual until the long years of automatic pilot kicked in and I was off. It runs like a dream and goes like the clappers. Memory is an amazing thing. When I just stopped thinking too hard everything became automatic. Now I not saying that I could put in an invisible zipper on my first go, or make a fully lined suit, but I reckon I will be ok to knock up almost anything I fancy, and with some practice nothing should be out of the question.
So I may not be jumping on a bike anytime soon, but sitting in front of my new machine is comfortable and familiar and yes, like riding a bike, I have not forgotten.