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My handbag, a Welsh petrol station and things that show up when you need them

Updated: Apr 5, 2020

I’ve been carrying around this black electrical tape in my handbag for around a year. Not because I may need to use if for some sort of electric job (hilarious) but for another reason entirely. It is a reminder for me about something important.

Last year I ran an event with a children’s outdoor experience team based in London. One of the activities was to climb a mountain in Wales. The outcomes were to learn along the way about team, leadership and how to get more from working well together.

I designed an exercise that required the team to put together a paper map of the world. I tore it apart, wrote on it, scrubbed out parts of countries with a marker and then mixed all the bits up into separate envelopes for the team to work out how to put it together:

  • with tape

  • while climbing a mountain in wales

  • in early spring (it was very cold and windy)

As I travelled to Wales early evening before the event, I was going through my logistics and checking mentally that I had everything. Oh No! I had forgotten the tape. The whole exercise was going to fail.

For 2 or more hours, whilst travelling I was trying to come up with a solution. Where can I buy tape from, at this time of night in mid Wales. It wasn’t looking good. I pretty much understood that I would have to come up with an alternative unless I could find somewhere that sold tape.

As I pulled into the small town where we were based for the event I decided to try and find a petrol station. ‘Hey’ I thought ‘you never know, they might sell tape’?!

I drove around for a while and eventually found a petrol station. It was dark, wet and cold and I was desperate for a solution. As I drove onto the forecourt, a little black something caught my eye. I stopped the car and got out. On the floor, was a role of black tape. I couldn’t believe it, there - on the floor, in a petrol station in the middle of Wales was exactly what I needed. I picked it up, held onto it and said thank you.

Thank you to whatever law it is that shows up and provides what you need, when you need it.

It sounds so trite ‘the universe provides just what you need when you need it’ especially when you are in need. And I am not saying you can find what you need from wishing or magic but I am saying that sometimes when you need it the most the solution is right in front of you, or on a cold and wet garage forecourt in Wales.

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