String and it's uses
String is a very useful commodity to have, it has many practical uses, a great platform for amusement, and a never ending source of entertainment.
String is a product that everyone uses and somewhere within their household they have it. String comes in various colours and sold in several forms, be it in cones, balls or just a metre or two in a bag.
Just in case, there are some of you reading this article, and thinking to yourselves, "Where can I get this?" there are a number of outlets for string so please try your stationers, hardware store, garden centre or even your local corner shop and I am sure that they will be able to help you.
When I was a child , string held a fascination, with none other than the cats cradle. I never seemed to get it right, though my brothers and sister were good at it.
We, kids [there were four of us] had a favourite pastime , much to the annoyance of our parents. Spider webs! We were brought up in a three storey house and the ballistra was open and allowed us to wind string from top to bottom of the house, to and fro the landings, tying the door handles and make it a near impossibility to manouvre without falling over. We, would do this and go out, thus avoiding the inevitable destruction of our handiwork.
As we got older, we had the privilege of being allowed to put our finger on the knot when parcels were being tied. Did I say privilege, think it was sadistic, the number of times by finger was tied to the parcel was nobodies business .Ouch!
When, I left home I discovered more practical uses for string. The first was as a plumbline for when I was decorating. Adding a weight to a length of string and positioning up against a wall gave me a perfect straight line for hanging wallpaper.
I found that string gave me a perfect guide for laying blocks in a straight line, when I attempted to build a retaining wall to keep the garden from coming into my kitchen.
With the garden in place and the plants maturing , the use of string extended, to tying back unruly plants.
I have three boys, when they were younger ,they decided to go fishing. Ok , up the garden they went, lifting stones and flower pots to capture the elusive worm for their bait, storing them I might add in one of their lunch boxes. " Be back for tea" they shouted, "Will you cook our fish?" Assuring them that I would, they set off.
A few hours later , they returned, no fish , and with the youngest crying his eyes out. Getting to the bottom of the distress, I discovered that they had baited their hooks , thrown them into the water and watched as the fish took their hook and swam away. Trying hard not to laugh, I explained,
"to tie string to the hook before you throw it, and to attach the string to a piece of wood, like a broken branch from a tree, and that would have helped to solve the problem,
Realizing that they were really keen, we headed along to our local fishing tackle shop, purchased three fishing rods and reels, asked the keeper for the correct poundage of nylon fishing line for the type of fishing they wanted to do. Happiness was restored, and the whole summer was enjoyed by all.
The following year, the new craze was kite flying and several days were spent in designing and building their kites. However, after building the kite, decorating it, and walking up on the downs, their fun was short-lived. Holding the kite up in the air, running and releasing it, and they were gone forever. The kites flew away or bounced along the ground and were destroyed.
I am not sure what my kids were thinking, but decided to help with a few little pointers ensuring that the kites would not exceed the flying height of 50' from ground level.
Depending on the size of their kites, we decided whether they would need one or two connections from the kite. For each connection they needed:
52' of string, a piece of cylindrical wood, about 8" in length, to which one end of the string should be attached securely , with maybe a clove hitch type knot [ for added security, I would seal this knot with melted candle wax]
Then wound the string around the length of wood , and ensured that enough was left, with to attach the string, and seal, to their kites.
This summer also proved to be a great success, with both their fishing and kite flying.
Mozart - String Serenade no 13
Now I am older!
With the fun and games of childhood over, and my home and garden in a manageable state , I have the time to turn to my real passion regarding string, where emotion , thoughts and dreams are made - Music.
Schubert sends me into a melancholy state, where thoughts, tears and dreams become reality, wheras, Mozart is uplifting and leaves no room for sentiment other than good feeling, dance and fills me with total energy and life.