The Cockroach: Made from waste

Usually at Grand Designs there’s something a bit left field, and often I find myself wandering around trying to work out where and what it is. Often though, it’s something you’re really not expecting, which was definitely true at last year’s show. I mean, even if you’d seen The Cockroach in the programme, without a further explanation you’d have been none the wiser, and may even have given it a wide berth, just in case it really was cockroaches.

I don’t expect you’d have been expecting, this I certainly wasn’t - and just in case - approached with care.

The cockroach at Grand Designs Live

And while it was colourful, and fascinating, I didn’t need to worry.

It’s a solar powered, pedal powered vehicle for two which the board says is “capable of transporting two people in comfort over large distances” which I’m less sure about. It doesn’t scream comfort, or even something for long journeys to me, even if i wasn’t pedalling.

Taking a look inside the Cockroach

It’s very inventive though, and shocking too. Or perhaps less shocking really, which is shocking in itself isn’t it?

It’s made from waste collected across London including old bikes, for sale signs, mobility scooter batteries, pipes and leftovers from last year’s show. There’s even somewhere to store your provisions.

Plenty of storage available

And with provisions, of course you need a kitchen…

The kitchen I presume

There was a loo too, but it was mostly a pipe to a bucket, so definitely not one for the Loo Series.

While I’m not sure it will catch on as a vehicle, it’s clear what should catch on is how we deal with our waste responsibly.


A She Shed - yes please!

She Sheds, garden pods, home offices, or whatever you want to call them - they’ve become a big thing haven’t they? It’s easy to see why, the idea of having somewhere dedicated for a specific activity, work or fun, definitely appeals. Having that outside the house appeals too, unless it’s the worst (or best) kind of snow day which means being cut off from your crafting, I guess.

They’ve come so far, that at the Ideal Home Show last year, this quadrant pod, was alongside the infamous ‘houses’ - and I think it’s definitely a She Shed in the making.

Quadrant contemporary workspace at the Ideal Home Show

As its name suggests, it’s quadrant shaped so cue curved walls which almost cocoon you from the elements, but yet provides a window on it too.

Looking out across the Show

Yes, those lights - aren’t they great? In fact the whole space is full of great lights and fantastically furnished. It’s definitely the type of space you’d be happy to work in and which should provide just the inspiration you need.

Living the curve at the ideal home show
A spot to relax in - what every she shed needs

I’d love my own space like this, but know it’s not practical for us. The thought of getting it into our garden, where it might go and even just getting electricity to it and the disruption and redecorating this will most likely bring with it, rules it out. But never say never, it’s something that in the right space could really work all round.

And everyone needs an escape space, right?

Reflecting on my week #69

The snow did arrive. Sort of. But like for many in London it fell overnight and had turned to slush by the next morning, which made for a wet walk to work Friday morning. Saturday morning there was some more but by the time we arrived home on Sunday, this was all that was left.


Saturday turned into a morning of post-Christmas admin; a couple of the presents I’d ordered hadn’t arrived and so I’d asked for a refund. What could have been troublesome turned out to be pretty straightforward in the end, with two refunds already paid. One is easy to replace, it’s a monthly gin subscription so they’ll be another bottle along next month; the other less so, it was hard enough to find this in the first place!

But in the meantime there’s crochet. Both my t-shirt yarn basket and the Vintage Hearts blanket have had an airing this week. It’s the former that has me captivated though and has grown since I last shared it here. It’s fascinating to see how the t-shirt yarn, which I’m cutting up old t-shirts to make, turns out.


The latest creamy yellow stripe is actually from a bright yellow t-shirt with daisies on. It looks much more mellow here, but it’s working well I think. The pink you can see on the navy stripe is the interlocked seams. Everything I’ve seen on the internet says to use seamless t-shirts, which would have been much more useful to know many years ago when these were bought, to make your own yarn. I don’t have these and as these baskets are destined for practical storage, I’m using what I’ve got, and it seems to be going ok, although I’m not convinced it will stand up on its own.

We’ll see, or actually maybe we won’t as I’ve got quite a bit earmarked for these so I think they’re going to be pretty full so most likley won’t have the opportunity to stand up on their own in any case.

I did get that massage, and it seems to have done the trick as I’ve a lot more mobility in my lower back. It was one of those massages that’s painful, and you’re never sure when you should breathe or if moving is considering wimpish behaviour. By the end of it I was completely zonked, and dehydrated too so spent the afternoon taking it easy and drinking water.

The therapist said my back was quite knotty - not a surprise to me - and that at times she’d needed to use her elbows - yikes! No wonder at times I was wondering what was going on. Apparently I need some more, and despite the pain, I think I’ll book with the same girl again.

What it has highlighted though is that I don’t drink enough water, so I’m trying to make amends for that. I’ve discovered a new-to-me app -HabitShare - which is likely to appeal to my list keeping self, and I hope help in the longer term too.

USA 50+2?

Conversations here have turned to holidays, and I know I’ve said it before, but this year we could finally be heading off for our big States trip. And I’ve a month in mind too. There’s still a lot more planning to do, but our big holiday to celebrate our big birthday could turn into a big birthday +2 holiday, but better late than never, hey?

More homework, and planning - and perhaps even a nice new notebook - is definitely needed.