Old bike spanner


Funny what you find in the drawer when you are looking for something else. Hubbies bike spanner for tightening up his nuts. It’s a little rusty but still useful. If you turn it nintey degrees it looks like a shocked face! Maybe even like the painting the scream! The other end of the spanner has a curve at the end. I think it is meant to be a tyre leaver to leaver off a bike tyre when changing a tube or repairing it.

I love the old worn look of this spanner, I guess it’s at least forty years old. Sometimes things get put away then turn up when you least expect it.



This was today’s Urban sketchers challenge. Vintage.

My vintage Viking Queen mixtie bike.

Drawing this quickly it makes me realise how hard it is to draw accurate ellipses. This was the bike I bought a few pounds a week from Swinnerton cycles in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, forty years ago. I used it till I was knocked off and fractured my skull. I carried on riding it for a year, but it collapsed because the headset had been damaged in the crash. I took it to be mended and the shop lost the frame. I bought a new bike, but it was the wrong size for me. (my legs are slightly short). I ended up giving the new bike to a friend and learnt to drive. Big mistake. I got my old bike back rebraised about a year after I took it in to the shop. From then on I put on weight. I carried on cycling occasionally, but mainly used the car. The last time I rode my bike was about ten years ago. I’m scared to get back on it as my balance is not good. But I keep it, thinking one day I will have another go….


Motors on bikes


In the 1940’s and 50’s people started to motorise bicycles, This is an Auto cycle. Similar to how electrobikes are becoming popular today. The motor on this bike is mounted above the front wheel and runs on the tyre. There seems to be a hub brake at the centre of the wheel and what looks like a light that is running off the dynamo effect of the motor. Apparently it was a 50cc engine and ran on a 26:1 ratio of petrol to oil. I didn’t find out much more as I was looking at this picture upside down and couldn’t see the writing about it. These motorised bicycles then turned into mopeds in later years. The book isn’t my hubby’s. I think it’s called the History of Motorcycles, and also had details of many motorbikes including ones such as the Vincent Blackshadow and the Brough Superior which T E Laurence (Laurence of Arabia) was riding when he died in a motorbike accident.



One of my favourite artists is Escher. His endless staircase and morphing fish into birds always intrigued me.

There is his self portrait which shows a hand holding a mirrored metallic globe. In it you see a bearded man. The image looks like a fisheye lens, the room around him is curved as the reflection follows the shape of the sphere. I think there are bookcases and stairs and windows reflected in it.

I only posted this because my drawing in homage to his came up on my Facebook memories today. It’s a digital drawing done on my Wacom tablet before my computer stopped working. That reminds me I must get it fixed……

Bread in common

Went to Bread in Common in Hartshill today for lunch and to deliver an old bike that my hubby has done up for a friend. The sharing platter was great, it was sweet pepper, courgette, aubergine and a beef tomato all stuffed or covered with Mediterranean style brown rice. Also ciabatta bread with an olive oil and herb dip. Afters was a baked nectarine with yoghurt and fresh vanilla. It was delicious.

The friend was pleased with the bike despite my hubby forgetting the number to the combination lock, (he eventually remembered it). Im hoping all this nice food will help me get over my cold.

Canal bike (discarded)


We walked past this tonight at the canal workshops on the Trent and Mersey canal. Mostly rust, I was amazed that there was any paint left on it! The spokes have been cut off although the front wheel is still in place in its forks. One side of the handlebars has broken off completely. I wonder how it got in the canal? Was it stolen, was it thrown in because it could not be repaired? And was it dredged out of the canal or did a fisherman catch it by accident?

We will never know. Its not restorable so no doubt it will end up down the tip. Perhaps it will be melted down and turned into another bike frame.

Tour de France


This time if year my hubby is glued to the TV for the tour. He watches it every year. For the last few years British riders have won but there is nothing to say it will happen this year. Chris Froome is out with a broken thigh and Geraint Thomas had a fall just before it started but he’s in the race.

The tour travels around France but often starts in different countries. They travel for three weeks. Climbing mountains and doing sprints, time trials and trying to win various jerseys. There is a polkadot Jersey for the best mountain rider, a green jersey for the fastest sprinter and the yellow Jersey is for the best overall rider and ultimately the winner. Who ever it is, as long as he is in the lead when the tour reaches Paris he is the winner. It is exciting to watch.

The Waiting Room, longport


Called in at the waiting room gallery in Longport to have a chat and look at the new work in there. I was interested in the memories of Longport exhibition, which was asking for people to write about things that they remember from there. I remembered taking my bike which had damage to the headset to a bike mechanic called Lance. I took the bike in, he lost it from his shop in trubshaw cross. I went back a few times, sorry no bike. I visited again, after a year he found the bike frame but no wheels! I ended up buying another bike, which was too large for me so I sold it and bought a second hand car! After a few more months the wheels were replaced, but too late, I was so unfit I never really cycled again. Apparently the repair man didn’t really think women mattered, so the bike was not important. Now I’m unfit and sad this happened about thirty years ago. I could have stayed well… But that’s life x

The waiting room is an interesting place, they have some good art in there, they are also working along with Longport Station, I’m looking forward to working with them x

Bicycle on the wall


I remember this cafe in Burslem. Its called the market place cafe. We sometimes visit it when we are in the town. They do nice food. What I really liked was this bike displayed on the wall. Painted gold, it was high up and shining in the sunlight.  I took the photo in 2016. Another taken on my old phone.

It seems bikes can be used as art works. We have just got  a multi coloured bike from the Art Stop in Stoke  It’s going to be restored to a working bike but I want to keep the colours it’s been painted (mostly pink and blue) so I will varnish the frame.