There were at least twenty of us sitting round tables in the Rectory this morning awaiting instruction into the Making of Palm Crosses. We had an hour and a half to turn a stack of palm fronds into 300 crosses to be given
out to the congregation at the forthcoming Palm Sunday services.
Some of us were experts; some were returnees from previous years who just needed a bit of
revision; others, like me, were complete novices but willing all the same. I’d been forewarned to bring a pair of scissors with me – I hid them in my handbag so Mr B couldn’t see that I was removing one of our two precious pairs of
scissors from the house – one of the only two pairs remaining since I managed somehow to lose his favourite pair which he had owned for years. Etc etc.
I thought about it, I might have carried out a little research beforehand. Searching “making a palm cross” on YouTube this afternoon I came up with 7,920 results. Would you believe it? I didn’t have the time or the inclination to check
them all out but it did appear that they all used the same methodology as that we were taught this morning. There’s obviously only so many ways you can fashion a palm cross.
I’m not sure whether I can count myself among the nimble-fingered. I’m pretty good at knitting (even when it involves picking up stitches dropped by my young pupils) but ask me to sew a fine seam and I’ll be
all cack-handed. Oh, but now I think I shall have to take that back because I just looked up “cack-handed” and find that it is derogatory to left-handed people. On the basis that a percentage of my readers may well be left-handed (I know
at least one, for sure) I can only apologise for any offence caused.
This is the thing with writing a blog, you have to be so careful not to upset people.
Especially since the new press regulatory powers announced this week will apparently hit bloggers hard, enabling them to be sued for something called “exemplary damages.” I think I am probably on safe ground, being as the only person I write about
whom I could imagine might justifiably claim exemplary damages is Mr B. And what would be the point in that when what’s mine is his and vice versa? Though he might just want to make a point...
Anyway, talking of points, back to the making of the palm crosses. It took me about four “tries” to get the hang of it, after which I was well away. I even felt myself suitably equipped to offer helpful advice
to the sweet lady sitting next to me who said she was afraid she would never be able to turn out a perfect cross. But of course that was not a problem because we were using real palm fronds, all shapes and sizes, so every palm cross we made
inevitably looked slightly different from the one before. Apparently that was fine so long as we remembered not to snip off the pointy bit at the end. My friend Eleanor made lots of tiny crosses out of the pointy bits that we were able to snip off –
how ingenious was that? I made one, too, to bring home with me as a kind of souvenir from the morning and to show Mr B so that he would be able to see for himself that I had put our scissors to good use.
For our hard work we were rewarded with tea or coffee and perfectly delicious hot cross buns which we all agreed were the tastiest we had sampled so far this year. Or perhaps it was just the company that made them taste so
good? As I left the Rectory, looking forward to a brisk walk home checking out the daffodils in everyone else’s garden to see if they are as beautiful as the ones in my garden, our palm crosses were being packed into baskets ready for Sunday. Someone
mentioned “quality control” but I couldn’t see any discarded ones which hadn’t made the mark. I was glad about that. Just in case any of mine might not have made it into the baskets.
On Sunday at Church I shall receive my palm cross along with everyone else. I won’t mind if it’s a bit smaller than some of the others, a little squashed-looking, a trifle battered, perhaps. I shall know that,
whatever, it was made with love. Quite possibly by me...