Thursday, 22 January 2015

Broken Spoke Bike Co-op, Oxford

 When I took the kiddies to The Story Museum a while ago, I was delighted to stumble upon the Oxford Bike Co-op, The Broken Spoke, nestled in the courtyard. Being nosy; I had to sneak down for a look.

It looked awesome, and I had been trying to think of excuses to return.

Lucky for me, they held an open craft night just before Christmas, inviting anyone to come and make stuff from bike parts.

My bike wheel chandelier
I was in. I had only just put together my bike wheel chandelier at home and it had set my wheels turning (har,har) thinking about the endless possibilities of a single wheel.

Also, it gave me another opportunity to snoop, chat and have a nice evening out.

But I want more.

I want to hang out there more. And not just because they served waffles.

Everyone was friendly, helpful and non-judgmental. I like to ride, but I don't know a lot about all the technical stuff and sometimes feel intimidated by all the jargon and comparison of speeds, equipment, blablabla. This kind of thing puts me off, but I get the impression that it wouldn't be an issue here.

So I'm itching to do one of their courses. Particularly learning how to build a bike from scratch. Knowing myself and how I learn, I think it may be the only way for me to really understand how a bike works and then be able to maintain and fix my own wheels.

Scheming, and dreaming...

In the end, I was too busy snooping and chatting so that I only just managed to make a pair of earrings with bits of bike chain.
And they are pretty ugly so I won't share them with you.

Meanwhile, the feather-esque earrings made from inner tubes turned out well!

To see more of what they do, and the courses offered, check them out here.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Dog, Kids, Field

They don't call them Springer Spaniels for nothing.

My eldest boy is somewhere there in the distance; running a lap around the field is something he likes to do whenever we come here.

The finishing line.

There are lots of places to explore when they are "let off the lead".

And places for me to snoop around in, at a respectable distance through the fence. I spied with my little eye, a hoard of treasures. 

A perfect spot to set up camp.

Homeward bound again for hot chocolates, dog baths and de-mudding. Simple ingredients that made for a good weekend.

                                                                    Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Oh! What's Occurring?

While pottering about the garden, doing that glamorous chore that dog owners everywhere do, A dash of colour amongst the damp, drabness caught my eye.
"Oh! What's occurring?" as I brush away the leaves to find out.
Turns out, the garden has been busy when I haven't been paying attention.

The twisted Willow reigns in it's contorted position, 

the moss is growing lush and vibrant bullying away the grass,

and a lot is going on in the flower bed. I don't know what. Maybe it's a snow drop? Hyacinth? I'll find out soon! I don't even know what all the other stuff is but it's where the Poppies, Nigella and the Marigolds normally bloom.

And look! Papaver Checkerboard? establishing itself. 
It's so nice to have things to look forward to;

even if it is a spot of weeding or sprucing things up a bit.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Hand Throwing in the Holidays

The statue of Brabo, cutting off the hand of the giant Druon Antigoon, and throwing it into the river: Hand werpen=Antwerpen. In a super gory/awesome way, water spews from the severed hand and limb of the fallen giant during the warmer months. Like blood.