So then i ordered in some more willow to try and have another go. That didn't go as well....the failed result is currently in the garden waiting to be burnt. But by then I just wanted to make a basket that day come what may, and we had been out earlier foraging for basket weaving materials of which there are many in the area (none of which I know what they are...)
Here's a lesson that probably goes for most crafting: DO NOT attempt to make something in anger and frustration. This is what you will be left with:
The hideous wonky basket of doom
I am trying to learn from my mistakes though, and have some different materials on the way now, hopefully I will get on better with those.