Meditation on Thimbles


For me, ‘thimble’ is a funny word. If I say it over and over it sounds funnier and funnier. Do other people do that? I mean, find a word that is vaguely amusing and then keep repeating it until it becomes total nonsense or hysterically funny? Anyway, it is a good way to smile. However, I don’t recommend doing this activity in public.


I use a thimble when I sew. My thimble is not a fancy one like the ones pictured, rather, it is a utilitarian thimble. I’ve had it for years. Recently, I was putting up the hem on my oldest grand daughter’s school uniform, closely watched by my youngest grand daughter. Lily hadn’t seen a thimble before and was quizzing me about it. “What is it, Gran?” “What does it do?” “Why do you have to wear it on your finger?” and so on and so forth.

This is what my run-of-the-mill thimble looks like.


My on-line dictionary defines thimble thus, thimble |ˈθɪmb(ə)l|
noun: a small metal or plastic cap with a closed end, worn to protect the finger and push the needle in sewing. That just about sums it up! Wiki goes into a lot more detail, mostly superfluous, “This article is about the protective shield worn on the finger or thumb …”

I can remember playing Hunt the Thimble when I was a child. The rules went something like this: All the children would leave the room bar one. The child who stayed in the room would hide the thimble. Once the others returned the hider would say “hot” when someone was near to finding it and “cold” as they moved away. I don’t suppose children play that much anymore? Maybe, Hide the iPhone has replaced it? It would be easier to find an iPhone – unless it was turned off.

I did have a plastic thimble once but it wore out. A thimble with a hole in the top is useless as the needle will always find the hole and pierce your finger.

Meditation on Thimbles

Whatever next?

An entry on Allison’s blog – That elusive pair of jeans reminded me of an incident in my own childhood. Allison writes about a boxing match where she knocked a boy out-for-the-count! My recollection isn’t quite so violent although the outcome was similar.

My father would often let recent immigrants to Southern Rhodesia live in one of the cottages on the farm. I would have been about six-years-old at the time that Bert and Ethel, and their two children, Julie and Tristan lived in the cottage nearest the Big House. Julie, who was a little younger than me, and I became friends. I have a tangled mop of curly hair and I was deeply envious of her long, thick plaits. One day I suggested we play ‘hairdressers’. In her English innocence she agreed. I can’t say I planned the actual deed but, in retrospect, it certainly seems like it. I should imagine the conversation went something like this:

Eleanor “Here, you cut my hair (with these exceedingly blunt scissors)”.

Julie “Oh no, I’ll get in trouble!”

Eleanor “No you won’t. My mum won’t mind.” … and so on and so forth.

So after some persuasion Julie attacked my hair with the scissors. Of course, having such curly hair there was little or no evidence of the ‘haircut’.

Then it was my turn. I carefully held one of her thick, brown plaits and hacked it off right up near her scalp. The plait came free in my hands just as her mother walked into the room. Oh my! Consternation! With no hesitation I dodged past Ethel and made my escape – through the window – and ran all the way home.

Not long after, I was dragged from my hiding place (under my parent’s bed) and the physical punishment was duly administered. Luckily for me the rest of the story is lost to memory.

me speaking

Whatever next?