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





Snail in the mail

I have recently come across Claudia, who posts a snail-a-day on various social media sites,  and now has a blog called Creative Shell.

Anyway, Claudia is putting together a collection of snails. She writes…

Click on the picture to find out how to send a snail in the mail to Claudia

I want 365 people to send me a snail in the mail and I want to exhibit them all.

So in the spirit of sharing is caring, snail mail is the best, slow and steady wins the race, why not JOIN THE SPIRAL and send a SNAIL IN THE MAIL.

It’s your snail, it can be painted, doodled, moulded, a photograph, on a postcard, anything you want.

How could I resist? And, indeed, there has been a lonely knitted snail sitting on my bookshelf for a while now, just waiting for someone to adopt it. So, I contacted Claudia and yesterday I sent my spare snail off to join her collection.

I’m not posting a picture of it, because she won’t have received it yet and I want it to be a surprise. But, all you creative folks out there, why not send Claudia a snail for her exhibition… go on, you know you want to!


P.S. Claudia is also responsible for Random Acts of Dryness, at which point I should, perhaps, mention my friend Sarah who has invented the Cumbrella… do check out these two lovely initiatives – the world needs more people like this.

(c) Chumbrella.org

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