A Voyage Behind the Radiator and Other Stories


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The day began with a drama and a tragedy narrowly averted. Everyone here has become full of the joys of spring and hell bent on escape, so while the tortoise has grown big enough to climb out of his pen and fall flat on his face on the windowsill, the newest chicks have discovered their wings and this morning the little black one dived headfirst down the back of the radiator. Well thank goodness for austerity measures and my decision to stop having the heating on in the mornings! Jake and Beth were able to fashion a chick lasso out of bailer twine and scoop him out of his prison and so a horrible and distressing disaster was avoided.

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This has been such a fast week, is it really Friday again tomorrow? Am I speeding down hill towards my birthday next month? A week ago we collected a pile of bent aluminium, glass sheets and a bag of random nuts and bolts with no instructions other than a photo of when it had once been a greenhouse. Less than a week later and thanks to Freecycle and my son’s genius with things like Meccano and Lego ( never underestimate the power of learning through play!) I have a greenhouse! This has been possibly the top of my wish list for years….along with a job designing things. So THANK YOU Jake, Rupert, Stewart and the man who didn’t want a greenhouse anymore!

Now… back to the design dream…

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I entered a competition at OhhDeer who are a company specialising in products featuring illustration and quirky designs. You only get three goes and it was hard to choose, Jake wanted me to use the wolf but I’d already uploaded my 3 choices. Anyway the idea is that while the competition is in progress the designs are FOR SALE and you can see what they would look like on a variety of garments. I’d love to be able to buy one of each just to put in a portfolio but …. Catch22….unless I start selling some of my designs I won’t be getting any new clothes anytime soon!

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So, the thing is to get as many people as possible to visit your product page and like, share, favourite or better still buy your design and I think the winner gets to work with the company on new designs in the future based on the fact that their popularity has been tested… well you know what I’m going to ask… please take a look and I’d love to know what you think, good or bad. You should be able to click on the images to reach the appropriate page.

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Also this week I visited the wonderful SkyBlueRed Studio in the nearby town of Guisborough. It’s a rare kind of place for around here:independent, crafty, full of vintage charm and really really friendly. They run workshops everyday so when I arrived the cafe was full of people painting and decorating wooden boxes while the studio area was being prepared for a felting class.  The cakes were yummy and the shop was full of treasures…ALL handmade by local designer makers (so refreshing after my recent experiences in retail). A small selection of my framed work is on display now and I’m looking forward to my next visit and a coffee with the charming Nicholas who is responsible for the eclectic interior design style. It’s so important that places like this continue to exist, at the moment most of the staff are voluntary and I couldn’t help thinking that if it were in Bristol or London it would be thriving but Guisborough is a small town in the North East, trapped between Middlesbrough and the North York Moors. If you get a chance pop in or say hello on Facebook, ( may I recommend the caramel shortbread)…

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Maybe I should book myself in for Mother’s Day…

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2 responses to “A Voyage Behind the Radiator and Other Stories

  1. So happy the near disaster was just that, only near. Good luck with the designs on shirts etc., They are good designs so I hope that works for you. We have a cute little coffee shop cum gallery here in my town and I’ve been there for tea and cake and to look at all the cute things………so I’m a fan of this type of place. SkyBlueRed Studio looks like a really nice place to visit and I hope you do well with your things there. I would really like to take part in that Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea, it sounds just great and yes, you should definitely go.

  2. I would so gladly come back to Guisborough and have a caramel shortbread, and your previous mention of Osmotherly also warmed me. My grandfather’s favourite place on earth.

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