Urban living has many challenges! One of those is how to go from A to B if there is more just yourself to transport….
For example, how do you travel with young children and shopping or with bulky items like a surf board?
The website Inhabit features the Madsen Bucket bike as a solution.
I imagine this solution has its limitations in terms of how far you are likely to want to pedal, what to do in wet or cold weather, terrain and speed. On weekends recreation places different transport demands on the commuter than weekday commuting. Also needing to take two children to different schooling destinations could present quite a predicament for the modern parent – especially if they also needs to be on their way to work in Monday morning peak hour!
How to make Britain's best loved car even better loved: say it with flowers
Birmingham invented the Mini and it is appropriate that this city should teach us two important lessons about cars and garden design (1) small cars are better than large cars (2) small flowery cars are better than small flowerless cars.
Note: Bloom1 was on display in Birmingham in 2009
Great to see ideas in sustainable design tackled with an artistic sensibility! This solar forest charging system for parking lots could equally well be located on a roof as on a ground site enabling cars to charge-up as well as remain cool in warm conditions.
Most of us I suppose are more familiar with the car as a way of getting from A to B than we are the camel…
…and this has consequences for the environment. Camels are quite adaptable to arid, stony, sandy etc places with not terribly much water available.
Cars on the other hand, despite the advantage of sleek appearances, have a few drawbacks. They don’t seem to be so economical on fuel, are not great company and don’t substitute for food in an emergency.
Camels can be found in gardens…cars are yet (unless Tom can correct me here) to inspire their own brand of garden…
Warwick Castle Garden
I drove from Kenilworth Castle, managed by po-faced English Heritage, to Warwick Castle, managed by fun-loving Madam Tussauds, who also run a little waxworks museum in London. The poster, below, gave me cold shivers, and I would not want many historic properties to be run like this. But the actual treatment of the grounds seemed tasteful and enjoyable. And medieval castles were exceedingly busy, so the crowds are like ‘props’ in recreating the bustle of the middle ages. The big problem with management by English Heritage and the National Trust is that they both own far too many properties and want to develop a ‘brand’ in property management. Diversity is better. The comparison with Sissinghurst Castle Garden is instructive.
Warwick Castle Garden
The Sissinghurst White Garden (right)
In the interests of conservation, please do not visit Sissinghurst Castle Garden. Unless of course, you are a garden designer, owner-designer or historian: in which case you have no alternative and should see our page on Sissinghurst garden visits.
Sissinghurst Garden should never have been marketed as a destination for coach parties, not even for the good ladies of the Gateshead Woman’s Rural Institute. I reached this elitist conclusion in the course of a visit to Sissinghurst Garden on 10th July 2009. At 10.55 am there was a traffic jam in Sissinghurst Village and it then took 15 minutes to negotiate the single-track road from the ‘turn-off’ (double entendre intended) to the Alton Towers-ish car parks. Luckily, an electric float was available for transfers to the Sissinghurst Ticket Office. We had to join a long queue for timed tickets to enter the garden and were given a ticket with a 30 minute wait for the 12 noon entry. Then we spent 20 of those 30 minutes queuing for coffee. There was no timed ticket system for the toilets but it was necessary to queue again, even for the urinals. It was not quite like visiting Bluewater Shopping Centre on the last Saturday before Christmas, but there were similarities.
Inside at last, poor old Sissinghurst Garden looked over-crowded and rather tired. The main show of white in the famous White Garden was sweaty T-shirts and some tasteless muts were dressed in reds, yellows, blues and other colours too. I asked an employee if it was often as busy as this. She said we were lucky to be here on a quiet day.
Remembering Adam Nicholson’s plea for Sissinghurst, to change and to become the World Lesbian Capital. I remarked to my wife that if she encountered any hot lesbian action in the undergrowth, my blog would benefit from a few good nipple shots. Escaping from the crush, we went to see Adam Nicholson’s new vegetable garden. It is no re-creation of Young Adam’s boyhood rural idyll, or his teenage fantasies. It is a high-tech production facility for the restaurant. We ‘invested’ in 2 coffees and 2 slices of cake, paying £10.80 for them and remembering the bargain eats we have so often enjoyed in motorway service stations.
It all makes me wonder if Sissinghurst should become a Theme Park, managed, like Warwick Castle, by Madame Tussaud’s. Phases 11 and 12 of the Sissinghurst International Development Programme (SIDP) are going to involve cows and pigs. Why not have tended by yokels in smocks with pretty milkmaids in Tess of the d’Urbervilles outfits? Just think of the merchandising opportunities. Later phases of the SIDP are expected to include:
13. The Sissinghurst Blue Garden (over-18s only)
14. The Sissinghurst Trump Hotel
15. The Sissinghurst Resort Spa and Conference Centre
16. The Sissinghurst Golf Course
17. The Sissinghurst International Airport
18. Sissinghurst Eurostar Station
19. The M2-Sissinghurst Link Road
20. The Sissinghurst range of Gay and Lesbian Sex Toys