Will you share my dry space?

It’s been a glorious sunny day again today… not the perfect time to receive an umbrella, or rather a chumbrella:

This one is mine

This one is mine

The fine weather meant I couldn’t immediately rush out and offer to share my dry space with anyone, but I do have plans.

The chumbrella is the idea of an artist called Sarah Nadin. Last year, she attended one of my Introduction to Permaculture courses. At the time she was just getting started with the chumbrella project and didn’t have one to show us, but things have moved on and she’s now asking people (like me) to trial the idea and give some feedback.

Here is what it says on the chumbrella website:



#chumbrella is a social art project that aims to make our streets happier, friendly and healthier places to be. Designed in Stoke-on-Trent by Artist Sarah Nadin, the concept was developed in response to a noticeable lack of social interaction on our streets and in our towns. Sarah realised that the humble umbrella could help address this unsocial behaviour by breaking down the barriers to interaction and encouraging small acts of kindness…

… A #chumbrella is a distinctive yellow and white umbrella that promotes small acts of kindness and friendliness, by connecting people who seek a shelter or just wish to say hello!

So, now I have my #chumbrella, I will be taking it out and getting some reaction and sharing my experiences. There are three specific events that I plan to take it to: an open day at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre (20 June), my next Introduction to Permaculture course at Karuna (10-12 July) and the 2015 International Permaculture Convergence in London (10-16 September). Each of these is a rather different situation and will attract different sorts of people, so it will be interesting to see the responses. Plus, I’ll take it out on the streets whenever I think it might get some use.

Really it’s the convergence that I’m most looking forward to using it at, as it could provide a way to get to know all sorts of interesting people from around the world… at least if it rains! It could act as a parasol (let’s hope so!), but I will be disappointed if the weather is just dull all week.

The idea is that #chumbrella owners make use of social media to let people know what they are up to, so if you have a twitter account, check out the hash tag and follow @mychumbrella to see what’s going on. You see… I knew that Twitter account of mine (@thesnailofhappy) would come in useful!

So, what do you think? Would you come and share my dry space?


Hand-decorated packaging





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  1. Well, of course! I’ve been known to offer what inadequate shelter a much smaller brolly provided to total strangers before, so doing it ‘officially’, as it were, would be much more enjoyable.

  2. But of course 😊

  3. What a wonderful idea to encourage some social interaction on the streets at a time when many people will have the miseries.I hope it catches on in a big way.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  4. It’s such a great initiative! I shall look forward to hearing all about your interactions with it. And I shall keep my eyes peeled in case I see them making their happy way around these parts!

  5. I’ve shared more than my share of umbrella space over the years, so that wouldn’t be a stretch for me. 🙂 However, here in the Pacific Northwest of the USA (where I recently relocated) they have the attitude of, “Umbrellas are for [insert insult here] and tourists.” so not a lot of people use them. And really with the misty rain we get, umbrellas aren’t very useful… However! I also use umbrellas in the summer because I burn so easily in the sun, so you could also share your shady space as well if you wanted. 🙂

  6. Love this idea! Also like the look of the umbrella itself. I look forward to your stories and will follow on Twitter….

  7. Oh my, wscottling beat me to it. My son moved here to the Pacific Northwest in late January and couldn’t understand why no one used raincoats, hats or umbrellas. I personally think we grow kinder in the rain. I only carry an umbrella to make the rain go away. It works every time. But I love the idea of the chumbrella. Might have to get on and just give it a whirl.

  8. Since I “know” you, I’d be happy to share your umbrella! But, I have to admit, I’m enough of an introvert that I probably would be pretty uncomfortable sharing with a stranger. They might expect me to talk to them or something!!

  9. I would love to share your chumbrella! I am uplifted by the whole idea and very glad you posted about it. I don’t have the social media much so I am pleased to hear of it from you. XX


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