A guide to seasonal vegetables

I'm always a sucker for a natty tea towel, so here's one that's useful and attractive - a guide to seasonal vegetables by Stuart Gardiner. Found on the excellent To Dry For, for all your tea towel needs. They have a good sale on at the moment with Mr PS and People Will Always Need Plates tea towels going cheap. I just bagged me a Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral one - mighty fine.

Himlayan poppies by Dee Beale

Lovely Gocco prints from British printmaker Dee Beale. I love the Himalayan poppies above, and the fab Nordic hares below. Dee also has a blog with some nice finds on it.

Red hare by Dee Beale

Slow coast photos by Nick Hand

My new favourite website is Slow Coast, written by Nick Hand, a designer who is cycling round the coast of Britain. This must be an interesting (and tough) journey however you do it, but the great thing about Nick's approach is that he's going out of his way to meet and interview artisans who work around the coast.

He's blogging, Twittering, logging it all online (the website is really nicely put together with photos and route maps) and creating these great soundslides of the people he meets along the way. As he's a designer (for Howies) he's also taking great photos - lots of typography like the ones above.

He's trying to raise money for The Parkinson's Disease Society and you can sponsor him on the website. So far he's made it from Bristol to Skye and still has a long way to go, aiming to be back in Bristol for his annual cycling holiday (oy!) in October. I can't wait to see what else he finds. It's amazing seeing familiar places through someone else's eyes.

Apollo Pavilion refurbished

On this most auspicious day for space travel it seems fitting to note that Peterlee's Apollo Pavilion has been completely refurbished. Designed by Victor Pasmore and opened in 1969, it had fallen into disrepair, and plans to regenerate it were controversial to say the least.

We visited in 2006 and it was certainly a sight. From Nothing To See Here:

Today it is truly a depressing site - dingy and grey, concrete spalling all over, the murals barely visible with the lake emitting a repellent stench in the background. Public opposition has grown to the point where local councillor Joan Maslin, the Pavilion’s most outspoken critic, tried to enlist the Army, The Prince of Wales and even Jimmy Savile to get rid of it. In 1982 Pasmore himself became involved and faced the local community. He magnanimously commented that the graffiti had humanised his work and suggested, sensibly some might think, that perhaps the locals causing the damage should be removed instead. As a compromise, the steps were demolished, making it less accessible. Sadly this also rendered it fairly useless and even more imposing as walking under its great grey bulk is about as enjoyable as walking over it.

And I liked it. So now the steps have been reinstated, the murals repainted, the concrete repaired and the surroundings landscaped. It's looking mighty fine if these photos by farleychunks are anything to go by. It must have been a long, hard slog to get that done. Great to see it looking so good again.

Wooden spark plug USB stick

I said at the start of the year that at I'd like to do more freelance work, and I've got my wish as I'm now helping out at Folksy as (very) part-time Community Manager.

Folksy has just turned 1 and it's been really interesting to see it develop. I'm a big fan of it, as a buyer and a seller. There's a whole heap of great, original, affordable things on there and it's one of the few easy ways to get your produce out there if you're a budding designer/maker.

The idea is that I'm on board to help James and Rob develop the site so if you've used folksy, or are trying it out for the first time and have comments about what's good/bad do get in touch. I'm at anne@folksy.co.uk.

The picture at the top is my favourite find today, a handmade wooden spark plug USB stick from Tree Gems.

John o'Groats

Well, that was a lovely week off. We hired a motor home (adventure!) and drove up north, from Glasgow to John O'Groats, then down again, across to the west coast and over the sea to Skye and the Outer Hebrides. As usual we tried to pack a bit too much in but the motor home made it easy to drift about wherever the wind took us.

Ardmair Beach

We saw lots of islands and lochs and mountains, incredible beaches, and plenty of wildlife like seals, puffins and deer. Plus lots of RAF Tornados roaring up the glens.

scotland-rules.jpg

I didn't write that, but Scotland does indeed rule big time.

Northwards

It's holiday time again in the I like household. Back in a week or so. Happy holidays to the rest of you, whenever they come.

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