“It’s not failure if you enjoy the process”

This quote from Oprah Winfey popped into my timeline the afternoon in which a group of us had failed to score a quarter peal in the morning. We had met with the intention of going for a quarter peal of Yorkshire Surprise Major on the understanding that as it was one person’s first attempt at a quarter of a Surprise Major method, if it came a cropper, it would be no big deal.  It also happened to be the conductor’s birthday so it would have been a nice thing to attempt as a compliment.

We had been virtually #bellringing for nearly 45 minutes and we were only two leads away from the end when the conductor’s technology failed, therefore bringing our attempt round to a premature end. Whenever I ring in a quarter peal, as I’m sure most people do, I ring with the absolute intent of scoring it, and although the one ringer was less experienced at ringing Surprise Major methods, they had been given advice on which bell to ring and what would happen and equipped themselves very well.  We were all of the mind that we would go for it and see how far we got.

It does seem sometimes happen that if quarters or peals are lost there needs to be a post-mortem and an attempt at determining what or who was at fault.  Most people feel quite down if they don’t score it, and if you were the person who went wrong and caused the pile up, you’d probably feel really bad for the rest of the band. It tends to be more irksome if ringing in a real tower and people had to travel a distance to ring with, what some might consider, nothing to show for it.

Disappointing though it was not to have scored the quarter to mark the conductor’s birthday, there was no bad feeling afterwards at all.  Everyone was congratulated for getting that far, especially the person with less experience.  There was a feeling of “well that was jolly good practice” and “it proved you can do it”. There were also calls for rearranging it soon so that we could score it and get that first quarter of Surprise Major in the bag.

It makes a real difference when you ring with people who are non-judgemental and who appreciate just ringing together for the pleasure of ringing and helping someone less experienced along the way.   We decided not to resume ringing for the rest of the duration of the practice time but had a good chat about everything else instead.  It was a pleasure just to have everyone’s company.

We may have failed to score the quarter but we enjoyed the attempt and the process of how we got to even attempt it.


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