Yesterday my sister Susan flew into London for a visit and a week of sewing together. She arrived at 8am and by noon, after breakfast and a walk in the neighbourhood, we'd found ourselves a sewing machine. It was on the pavement, with a couple of boxes of other stuff. Someone was looking out for us. It was clearly left out to be taken. But at first I had that strange worry: Can this really be free? Has somebody just left this on the pavement for us?
I know all that, but my experience tells me that we find good fortune all the time in the places we live. Especially in a city, where we're crammed together on tight spaces, in our flats and on the tube, we help each other out, we put up with each other's smells and noise, we make space. It doesn't always happen that way - we snap and snipe at each other too - but most of daily life as it's lived on the street shows the good in us, not the bad.
When I moved back to the city I had to give away my antique sewing machine; it was a lovely thing but I had no space so I gave it to a local charity shop. The manager was pleased to have it, both for the window and as a piece to sell. My regret at giving it away was assuaged by the thought that it might make someone else very happy.
I like to think the person who gave this machine away also has that satisfaction. What I'd say to that person is, "Thank you for this wonderful machine, which means that my sister and I can sew together while she's here." And I'd like to point out what a fabulous sewing machine it is - fittingly called 'New Home', it's probably from the 1970s, metal, with a motor and fan belt. It weighs a ton and is a workhorse, able to handle very thick fabrics without whining. We've already put it to work on Bledsoe items. Here's a picture of it on the deck: