Across the Pond

By Grace Maselli

Cheerio. “Grab your brolly, it’s drizzling outside.” Okay, so the timebankers from England who recently visited—Annie and Jennie—didn’t actually use this phrase. But it did drizzle on the ride to the Spring Hill monthly meeting they attended this May, where the two of them chip-chipped in their fantastic British accentstheir groovy, regional UK patois.

They joined TBT members at the home of Spring Hill coordinator Andy LePage’s house, where the monthly orientation meeting for new members and review of regular goings-on was held.

At the gathering (that also involved some timebank transportation “gymnastics” to get the travelers from downtown Tampa to Spring Hill), the lovely Brits talked about all the fun stuff and people they’ve met in their homespun Southern England timebank. One of their stories about a coordinated UK timebank event stood out: The gals’ participation in a collective “yarn bombing,” which this humble blogger had never hoid of before. Here’s what the dictionary has to say about yarn bombing, “The action or activity of covering objects or structures in public places with decorative knitted or crocheted material, as a form of street art.” Specifically, Annie and Jennie and their crew yarn bombed an English bus shelter, festooning it with knitted spring flowers, bubble bees, and all-around fiber energy! Totally inspired.

Zigzagging from Here to There

The pond-hopping got its get-up-and-go with 70-year-old Annie who came to Florida to swim with dolphins. Jennie, a world traveler and professional nurse when she’s not visiting places like Kuala Lumpur, joined Annie for the fun. The pair stayed overnight in Andy’s guest bedroom and the next morning, after a yummy porridge breakfast, yet another Spring Hill timebanker got his exchange motor running and drove the Brits to Orlando where they carried on in the tropical sun. Sooo, TBTers, the story line is timebanking and its ethos crosses continents and oceans, connecting the human spirit wired for contact with other caring peeps.