Decisions were made, to misquote Ronald Reagan.
The workshop at WH was cancelled. I rescheduled our ferry reservations for an earlier date and we will be heading to Newfoundland very, very soon.
No problem, to quote Alf.
Instead I zipped up to Zen Mountain Monastery for an intensive retreat titled Embracing Reality, led by the two teachers there. It was run nearly like sesshin - early morning zazen and oryoki breakfast. With the exception of the workshop session, most of the day was spent in silence. This was a lovely surprise and one I deeply appreciated since I won't be spending time there until late spring, at the earliest.
After the activities of the weekend were over, one of the monastics pulled me aside and showed me a little bag she had been given containing a homemade spindle and some rather rough wool fleece. She saw the Spindle 7 video and remembered having this bag waiting for her attention - she wanted a spinning lesson. Naturally, she had to really convince me to drop everything and teach her because, if its one thing I hate, it is getting people to take up spinning. I know some people might suggest that my attitude towards sharing a love of spinning is closer to how a tobacco industry executive would feel if he were let loose in an elementary school classroom to discuss the merits of nicotine. But it isn't so. I let her finish her sentence and everything before agreeing.
We were a little frustrated by the equipment and the wool, which had become a bit felted during storage. Never one to jump the gun, I waited until this afternoon to send her a better spindle (my dear Kundert!) and some nice BFL fleece from Capistrano Fiber Arts. I mean, if you're gonna play, play.
Meanwhile, this other object was in the bag with the wool and spindle. This, she gave to me. What is it? Is it a spindle too? Do you know?
UPDATE: Finnian came up with answer! Somehow he knew that it was a Mexican chocolate whisk called a molinillo. But can you spin wool with it?