Flying with a sewing machine (Fliegen mit Nähmaschinen)

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Pfaff Expression 4.0 flying

Besides the shaky arms (a painful reminder of why I just bought gym membership), this process was entirely, almost disappointingly, uneventful. Given the amount of personal interaction I ended up having (which began with ‘I’m sorry, I’m travelling with a sewing machine’ and ended with a variety of comments ranging from a clueless ‘Oh. Have you removed the needle?’ (Yes, but what kind of havoc do you imagine I would wreak with a sewing machine needle?) to a ‘Mine cost a fortune – I understand completely’), the whole travelling experience was dramatically improved. From this, I can only conclude that being mildly unusual is the only way to extract emotion from otherwise Rottweiler-esque security staff. For those considering a similar undertaking, I was flying British Airways from London Heathrow to Germany with my new Pfaff Expression 4.0 (which is even bigger than the usual, at 46 cm wide, but just within the hand baggage limitations, and was neatly taped up in a sheet of double-walled cardboard, minus the cover. Update: Having boarded the plane, I have decided that all airline and airport staff live for a challenge and am now seriously considering travelling with a fake sewing machine/plant/baby in future in order to have such a repeat flying experience. Also, the machine looks tiny in the overhead bins – stress less!).

As such, I’m left stranded at the airport two hours early (having readied myself for a fight, which the other part of me secretly (read ‘quite openly’) craves) and am in danger of becoming a bar fly (two hours later, that totally happened, and I ended up meeting a lovely English girl and Brazilian guy and wondering whether that second pint was really necessary).

Luckily, this gave me time to process the good memories of the last two weeks at home with the parents – which were in danger of being overshadowed by the dreaded (physical and financial) root canal (having survived this procedure, I can confirm that the pain is significant but purely financial).

New machine at my feet, I flick through the photos and come straight to the lovely car boot sale bucket chair, which we stripped of its soft furnishings with childish enthusiasm in what was probably the last of the late-Autumn sunshine. I’ll look beyond the fact that extracting 200 odd tacks resulted in a cracked tooth and a severely diminished bank balance to reflect on how nice it was to work on something a bit larger than a scrap of fabric or a few loops of yarn from time to time. Wood is strong and forgiving enough to vent any frustration on as you tear out nails, hammer a few more in and sand it to within an inch of its life, freeing it from whatever ghastly paint or varnish the previous owner thought was a good idea.

Looking forward to seeing what mum makes of this chair, preferably in a ‘newly acquired French farmhouse’ setting … At the same time, I was working on a bargain wine rack that I’d found. Beautiful piece.

There is also an update to the knitting machine saga … Either it’s dead easy and I was just being a little slow when I tried it out for the first time or my machine is in need of some kind of mechanical intervention. Hoping it’s the former and I’ll be whizzing off jumpers in no time.

Re the sewing machine that’s now installed above 17C, I’m hoping a service is all in needs to make this charity shop bargain a dream to work with. I’ve already talked to her about it and explained how the last machine and I had fallen out, and I had a good feeling she was open to discussion. Watch this space.

For now, time to enjoy the flight, reflect on a fun day’s travelling, and plan the transport of my trusty old Singer … Oh, and have a good eavesdrop and decide whether or not the two people in the row behind are starting a budding romance…Update: no, sadly not as conversation was exhausted before take-off, but they did manage to jinx us with all their talk of turbulence and throwing up in handbags as it was the most roller coaster flight I’ve had in a while…

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