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Archive for April, 2010

It’s that time again. . . time for Shed Night!

Shed Night III

Shed Night III

This Wednesday saw the most recent meeting of myself and GG (in his shed again) and, finally, some warmer weather!

For ages now I have been meaning to fix my old beer-bike (The Slammer), which for months and months has been sitting outside in the rain with a ruined back tire, a rusty chain and dodgy brakes. Good old GG, amongst his other talents (electronics whizz, cook extraordinaire, etc), is also a genius on the subject of bike repair so it seemed a perfect subject for Shed Night III.

As it happens he has been collecting old bikes for a while now from Freecycle, ‘doing them up’ and either giving them away or re-Freecycling them. So, when I arrived it transpired that he had  already nearly completed a fully functioning bike that would serve me much better than trying to restore the – by now – very knackered Slammer.

The thing that clinched the deal is in part due to my odd shape and size! Being 6ft 5 inches in height, with most of that length being in my legs, I’ve always found it a real struggle to find a bike that fits me (without spending hundreds of pounds on specially sized frames and wheels). With GG’s skills however, we realised we could cannibalize a few of his leftover bike components and hence weld together an extra-long handle bar stem and fashion a similarly long saddle stem for the new bike, making it an ideal fit for my shape and size.

So, a few hours of hammering, welding and yet more hammering resulted in the following shots. Within a surprisingly short time, the new bike (which has been christened Supreme Eric, or ‘Errk’ for short) took shape. Here are a few shots in progress – explanations under the photos:

Welding the handle bar supports

Welding the handle bar supports

Smoking!

Smoking!

Prepared for painting

Prepared for painting

Neat!

Neat!

Macular Thingamajigs

Macular Thingamajigs

Nearly completed Errk on his posh stand

Nearly completed Errk on his posh stand

GG looks worried by the pre-flight checks?

GG looks worried by the pre-flight checks?

Errk - in all his splendour!

Errk - in all his splendour!

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Last year, for the first time ever, I tried growing some vegetables in my little garden. Here is the singular result – I’ve no idea what it is, and am not proud to display it:

Unknown Alien root vegetable

Unknown Alien root vegetable

Undeterred, this year I have decided to try again, but to limit myself to the simplest of plants, the humble Spud. Here is my little plot, with one row of Mayan potatoes, and seven rows of Charlotte’s. I am hoping for great things, and will keep you all informed of my progress!!??

Eight rows of Spuds!

Eight rows of Spuds!

Many thanks to both Mr Abbott and PB for the chitted stock!

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A while ago, I posted the following re an old brass lantern I’d found in a friend’s skip, that I was hoping to restore and add next to my newly painted front door. . .

Several months on (as usual!) I’ve just about got round to finishing it. Here it is in place – it’s not wired up as yet and it needs a few things adding to round off the general look and feel (I think it needs a rounded finial at the very top, for example), but hopefully the shots below give the general idea:

New lantern in place

New lantern in place

Close up

Close up

Ignore the rusty hinged-thingy thing just above/behind it – that’s an ugly hangover from the adjoining shop that is long since redundant and luckily has sheared off at its base so I’m to remove it as soon as possible!

I don’t live in the most salubrious of areas unfortunately, so have already seen several passers-by eyeing my shiny new lantern suspiciously. Hopefully it will still be there whan I come home at night!?

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It’s that time of year again. .  .

I’ve just been tasked with updating the website I created to support the St Albans Folk Festival last year. I can’t say the site has evolved  as much as I was initially hoping, but then I guess it only gets one update a year!

St-Albans-Folk-at-the-Festival-2010

St-Albans-Folk-at-the-Festival-2010

Anyway, there are some good acts booked for the two week period – check it out here >>

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Last week The Cakes went all the way to Banbury to do a small slot at the excellent Ride a Cock Horse Folk Club.

Run by the very nice Derek and Mary, we were made to feel extremely welcome. It wasn’t the best gig of our lives – we have played and sounded much better in the past, but the environment was very pleasant indeed.

What particularly caught my eye in the upstairs room of The Mill Arts Centre that serves as the venue for the club were the following items of hand-made furniture. Made entirely from welded bits of scrap with dark wooden tops, it’s very much the sort of thing that I like and similar in style to a lot of the stuff I produce (albeit mine being on a much smaller scale so far!):

Bench 1

Bench 1

Bench 2

Bench 2

Bench 3

Bench 3

Bench 4

Bench 4

I’ve no idea who made these great pieces of furniture, but would love to find out if anyone out there knows. . . drop me a line/comment.

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Skull!

My friend CL brought me this at the weekend! It’s not often I get that kind of gift. . . It’s a deer skull (not sure of the exact type?) but in lovely condition:

Skull!

Skull!

I was wondering how best to display it, when I promptly came across the following architectural shelf in my local charity shop for £1.50! I think I might need to fashion a small stand for the skull to hold it at the optimal angle on top of the shelf, but hopefully this won’t pose too many problems:

Stand and Skull

Stand and Skull

When I’ve gone through the agonising decision of exactly where to them place them in my house, I’ll post up an updated/completed shot

(For those that are concerned, CL works in the ecological field so the skull is just one of many such ‘finds’ and a natural product of the local environment!)

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