Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Oh ... {S}hell!!!

Pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago carry a shell with them .  The shell is associated with Saint James.  There are many stories explaining the connection of the scalloped shell with Saint James but no one really knows which of the stories is true.  Today you can easily identify a pilgrim's backpack as it often has a shell hanging from it.

I received my shell in St Jean Pied de Port.  There was a large bowl of shells at the pilgrim's office and you could pick one out for yourself for a donation.  As soon as my bag arrived I attached the shell to the back of pack and it stayed there all across Spain.  You can see my shell hanging of my backpack in this picture (my bag is on the left - the shell is white).  I cut it off my bag in Fisterra when I reached the end of the Camino.  I didn't want the shell to be damaged in the bus on the way back to Santiago de Compostela.

My Santiago shell is now being put in a shadow box with my Compostela and a few souvenirs.

While I was in Fisterra I marveled at all the shells on Langosteira beach.  I picked up several to bring back home.  I have two small ones, a medium one, and a larger one about two-thirds the size of my Santiago shell.  One of the small ones is also going in the shadowbox.

Looking at the larger of the Fisterra shells I had this great idea of using it as my shell for my 2013 Camino.  All I needed to do was drill a hole for the cord to go through.  I went into my basement workshop, put a towel in the vise to cushion the jaws, and carefully put the shell into the vise.  Taking a small masonry bit I drilled a hole in the end of the shell.  I took the shell out of the vise and examined my masterwork.  The hole was a little off center but it was a nice clean hole.  It was also a little too small to thread the cord through.  No problem, I just needed to ream the hole out a bit.  I put the shell back in the vise and gave it a gentle squeeze ...

*CRACK*
... well, you can see what happened.  Almost brought a tear to my eye.  I was so disappointed ... majorly bummed.  Combined with the dreary overcast day outside (This happened a week ago), I was totally Blah for the rest of the day.  *sigh*

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