Always the Hard Way



When I was young, very young, I always thought things would be opposite to my own expectations and if there was an easy way to do something it would always be the wrong way.
From my own limited experience this was how life had been so far.
For instance.
Everyone was supposed to be right handed. Even my brother who was left handed had to write with his right hand at school.
It would then follow that traffic on the road would keep to the right but no they drove on the left.
I remember actually figuring that if I wanted to turn left I would probably have to put my right hand out but this time I was wrong and they were going with logic instead.
This long lost memory came to me when I saw the photo above taken about the end of WW11.
My brother and I had just joined the Sea Cub Scouts.
I was told I was too young but for some reason they let me join because I was there with my brother.
I am the shortest one in the photo and we didn't have our uniforms yet so we are missing the cap with the gold braid sewn on it, the pale blue neckerchief and, of course, the woggle (the ring that goes around the neckerchief).
The building where we had our meetings was the old lighthouse now situated in a back street although when it was built it was only 30 feet from the shore. I am not sure what was behind those large doors on the ground floor. It would not have been a garage in 1788.....maybe where they kept a lifeboat....or a horse and carriage.
Our meeting room was one floor up reached by climbing the stone staircase on the side of the building.
I don't remember a lot about our meetings except that we played games and learned all the things that Boy Scouts should do. Sea Scouts are the same as regular Boy Scouts but with more emphasis on water based activities.
The memory that came to me was learning my knots, the reef knot in particular.
Arkayla, our Scout leader, went through the basics with her own two pieces of rope and I watched as the other kids seemed to know what she was talking about. I do remember that the rabbit had to go down a hole and come up another one but for the life of me I had no idea where the rabbit might be.
This is what I mean by doing things the hard way.
First I had to figure out what on earth she was talking about and then try to transfer that image, somehow, to what we were actually doing. It had to be because I was not as smart as the others, because they were older, but I never did figure out the code. Everyone tried it out and most of them ended up with granny knots because 'the rabbit had gone down the wrong hole or come up the wrong one'.
Arkayla tried again and this time I ignored what she was saying and just watched what she did and how the finished knot looked.
I got it right first time and have always been able to tie a reef knot since.
I realise now that teachers think that children must relate to bunny rabbits, kitty cats and puppy dogs to keep their interest (or something like that) but I suppose I have always had a logical mind. Give me the rope, show me how to tie the knot, and I'll remember but don't deliberately try to confuse me with bunny rabbits.
That day was a breakthrough for me with teachers.
I learned to watch for the important stuff and ignore the rest.
I finished up easily passing all the tests in the Cubs even though I was 'too young' but I never did figure out that darned rabbit.



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