Step Four – Going Home and Showing Off Your Battle Scars
For once, I did not get waylaid by anything today. Instead, I had to check out and haul the massive wheelie suitcase with me to the blacksmithing course, which was a fair old slog and and took forever. Me and the Manager wished each other well, and off I set. Did I dare nick loads of rowan berries from the trees where the horses grazed, on my way past? Yes. Wow, they will be in awesome nick after a day of sweltering in the forge!
Ach, they’re only going in wine, it will be Grand. Honest.
I was greeted by the gigantic assistant, who by this time seemed to have decided I was a good sort after all, and was being very Kind. ‘Don’t worry, you’re doing really well,’ he said. ‘I mean… you came back. Some people don’t’.
Oh, just shoot me now.
He had, however, mysteriously ‘repaired’ the broken leg off my bracket during the night. And the curl I’d put in it; that was distinctly less wonky this morning. Dammit, I was quite prepared for coming home with Wonky things, as long as they were Mine, All Mine, but now they aren’t, and I feel a bit cheated. I do hope he never finds out, for he was very helpful all day, coming up behind me and cooing in a broad Yorkshire accent, ‘Oi’ve poot the kettle on, doll, go and have a coopa while oi finish yer hot set for yer’. Bless, what’s not to love? (Except that I really obviously SUCK).
The wee guy at the next anvil to me (who I have to admit, was pretty cute, for someone half my age, augh, when did that happen) had been lovely all weekend as well. He also had a habit of sidling up behind me (oh alright, I’m deaf) and handing me tools I needed when I needed them. Dammit people, I’ll start crying and have someone’s eye out with red hot metal cos I can’t see either, then you’ll be sorry!
Well, it was still torridly hot and hard going and every time I started to think I was getting somewhere and got a killer good mood on, it all fell apart and I was back in the trough of despair, but at least nothing snapped off anything today. Was I monumentally relieved when it was all over? HELL YES. Would I do it again? HELL YES, for I am nothing if not an idiot. I bought the book, I said my goodbyes, I mentioned the possibility of anyone in Scotland teaching this, and I was told that a guy near Edinburgh does that. ‘Are you near Edinburgh?’ said Peat. ‘No, but my boyfriend is!’ I said cheerfully.
At which point the wee guy from the next anvil, who had been cheerful and carefree in a way I could only envy, all weekend, packed his bag without a word, and marched straight past us and out the door, looking folorn. The hell?
(Oh surely not. I am old enough to be his mother, (how the hell did that happen.)
I do hope that was unrelated, cos I felt awful.)
These things need more chicks.
But it was time to catch the early train home, woo! And I had a boyfriend waiting for me (touchwood) and everything! So I quenched all my new-made possessions, flung them in the wheelie suitcase, and raced into the sunshine.
It was not until I got to the station that I noticed my suitcase seemed to be having a wee.
Corks. The train lager! And the really sharp pointy ram’s head toasting fork! They have met! All over my clothes and my study materials!
And all the way through Newcastle station and everything. Jesus, the shame. I didn’t even get a chance to check on what was going on until I was bundled onto the second train, and we had set off, and as I rummaged hastily to find the damage, we went over some points (haha!) and the really sharp pointy ram’s head toasting fork met the ball of my thumb. Rather spectacularly. Deepest puncture I’ve had for a while, and it totally failed to bleed. Crap, I remember reading somewhere that that’s really bad.
I was not in the best frame of mind for the rest of the journey, and that’s saying a lot for this weekend.
But! At the station, me boyfriend was waiting for me on the platform, woo, and he gave me a big hug and took me home and I was all AWARGHARGHBARGLE it’s been quite an emotional rollercoaster, in a way that you’re not meant to do when in a very new relationship, and he took the next day off work and took me to the zoo. And I bought him a massive Mongolian barbecue dinner and bankrupted myself, ha, the irony, I had been living off free fruit and Speedynoodle all weekend, and now this.
And I did not need a tetanus shot, allegedly. Although I had a really embarrassing time of it, trying to explain over the phone to my GP what had gone on (‘and how old was this piece of metal?’. ‘About twenty minutes’. ‘Hang on, I’m getting everyone else in to hear this, explain again what you were up to? really? – No, you’re probably good. No germs on that‘. ‘But it was covered in train lager and it had been in all my stinky blacksmithing clothes!’ ‘Covered in what?’ ‘Um. Ribena?’)
In conclusion: that was fab, and I would do it again. Hopefully next time I WON’T SUCK quite so much though. Although, given the time it will take me to accrue funds…
Balls, left all the rowan berries to swelter for an extra day, there. Fail!