There I was in the wilds of Owaka on a sunny morning, doing a bit of hand washing in my pink bucket, when one of the other campers approached me. This dark haired young man was a Swiss backpacker (with the most gorgeous dark eyes), and he had a problem. It seemed that he had ripped the stitching along the zipper of his sleeping bag. The wife of the camp owner had loaned him her sewing box, but he was at a loss to what to do next. I had a look and saw what the problem was. “Mmm”, I said, “this really needs to be repaired on a sewing machine, as there were several layers involved. Perhaps when you move on you can find someone in a town who does repairs?”
“Can I do it myself with this?”, he asked, holding up a needle threaded with white cotton. White thread on a black sleeping bag, that wouldn’t do at all. Before I could stop the words coming out of my mouth I found myself offering to stitch it for him, using black thread, of course. I explained that it was only a temporary repair, and he would still need to get it fixed properly. He was such a nice young man, how could I refuse? I must have reminded him of his granny back home, I think.