Today was the day and it was quite a chilly one. I packed some sandwiches and some of my special hot chocolate and off we set. And we had a great time.
|Explaining the different types of ...pointy ends....|
|One with a very point end!|
|Manuel had the group of children and he was a great teacher|
|Marking the distance to the target|
|Ruy - the left-hander - receiving his first instructions|
|Mateo the archer|
|Not bad for a first attempt|
|Getting the hang|
|and looking the part|
|Who scored the bull's eye?|
As my feet had turned to absolute stone after four hours being supportive and appreciative - which I was, the time absolutely flew by (no pun intended) - and the session drew to an end, I had to insist that we left. I couldn't believe how much my children had enjoyed the morning. I had a go and fired three arrows, after which my fingers hurt so much I couldn't have done more. Obviously I hadn't captured the technique but all three of mine absolutely looked the part. Ruy was exceptional and Manuel, the teacher, has given me his number to see if Ruy could join the club that meets in Priego de Cordoba on Sunday mornings. It's a long way to go so we'll have to see... But one of the other tutors on the course had been the Spanish champion for two years running, so he would get some excellent support if he went. Some of the other tutors on the day used their archery skills for hunting and they demonstrated some scarily accurate and lethal weapons for this purpose.
When we got home, we had a delicious roast dinner awaiting us and we were absolutely ravenous. And, of course, the keys to our new home. That story will commence shortly.
For now, we're just addressing that target, finding the nocking point and setting the right trajectory. Archery - and its Zen qualities - is an excellent metaphor for starting out in a new home. And I do so like to think I could take the following approach to moving....
“Don't think of what you have to do, don't consider how to carry it out!" he exclaimed.
"The shot will only go smoothly when it takes the archer himself by surprise".
from 'Zen in the Art of Archery' by Eugen Herrigel
(but somehow, I'm not sure...)