Thursday 26 January 2012


Today I became a citizen of Nowhereisland
This is part of a public art project which will form part of the Cultural Olympiad this summer.  There are 12 art projects running across the UK and this one is based in South West England.  In fact it will be floating round the coast.

This is what the website says “Nowhereisland has already come to represent the possibilities for thinking about our values and beliefs as citizens. 52 Resident Thinkers from around the world are contributing to a year-long programme of Letters to Nowhereisland. Over 4000 people have already signed up to become citizens of Nowhereisland and will begin collectively writing the island’s constitution from January 2012 […] in a time of global crisis, it opens up an opportunity to debate and consider important global questions that affect us all.
Two of those resident thinkers are people I really admire – Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall and Keri Smith and they are giving the citizens the chance to write letters too.

So if you had the chance to start again from scratch what would you do?
I’d like a place of community.  Somewhere where I know my neighbours.  Where I can buy all my food from a farm just down the road.  Where I can buy all my clothing from someone else down the road, or even make my own.  Where people respect each other and their skills.
The best example I can give of this is an episode of Grand Designs that I watched last year.  A stonemason was renovating an old stone pump house in Cornwall.  If he needed help with plumbing he got his mate round and then paid him back by spending the equivalent time building him a shed for his tools or what ever he needed.  He did this over and over again with all the trades that he couldn’t do himself.  I would love to have the skills to be able to exchange in this way.
What I think we really need to work on is greed and this consumer culture that we currently exist in.  Why do I need this new product of yours – phone, computer, car, etc – the one I have works fine or, even, why do I need it in the first place?

Owning things doesn’t make me happy.  Doing things makes me happy.  Helping others makes me happy.  Creating things makes me happy.”

Saturday 14 January 2012

Fluttering model butterfly

With a membership to the Rob Ives paper animation website for Christmas, I couldn't resist this butterfly.  You have to see it move to understand what is so special about it - check out Rob's video to see it move.

Sunday 8 January 2012

An apple pie a day...

I really like baking.  So much that I have an album of all my cakes etc on my facebook page.  Recently a friend was looking at this album and said that it all looked so nice, I should write about my cooking.  I thought about it a bit then created the 'An apple pie a day...' blog.  I'm not sure it works as well as a screen of cake photos, but I thought it might be fun.
The above is a double cheese and chive loaf from Dan Lepard's book 'Short and Sweet' a gratefully received Christmas present.  It is my first really successful bread.  I look forward to trying out the rest of the book.

Sunday 1 January 2012

Junk Mail Origami

For Christmas I received ‘Junk Mail Origami’.   A little book full of projects to use up the junk mail that gets shoved through our door.  Once I’d worked out how to read the instructions they were quite simple to follow.  So far my favourite it the Viking’s Helmet that you can see being modelled by Bertie Badger.  I shall have to try it with bigger paper.  The only problem with the book is the part that says what size paper I should be using.  Apparently the projects have been ‘specially formulated to work with paper in the approximate size of 6 1/8 by 2 5/8’, which I thought would be normal junk mail size but it isn’t.  I had to ask ‘im outdoors to work out what that was in millimetres.  So now I just need some more junk mail to work with.