spring roof

before the haircut

before the haircut

lots of dead stuff

All this lush weather has seen the brownfield roof on the container building at Hackney City Farm bust into life . Thought it was time for some maintanence so got the ladders out , pulled off all the dead stuff and threw some buckets off water over it .

nickin the water

Salvaged the water from an unused water butt collecting water off the strawbale building .

new growth

spring greens

The roof garden looks like it seeded well from last year and should go crazy this year .

golden pigs

bike park

Oi , You cant park that there .

This is the new monster boat . Broads cruiser built by Breydon Marine about 30 years ago .We got it off Ebay and drove it from Shepperton all the way down the Thames to the canal system . Her name is Karen Ann but should really be Popeye . More about her later , im sure .

popeye sparks

Been working on upgrading the domestic battery system on Olive Oils big brother , Popeye ( mine and Ellens new boat )

This is the battery bank we get our power from for the electrical stuff we use like bilge pumps , lighting , stere ereo , hair straighteners and the like . Sick of run down batteries and no leccy we decided to do a proper job on it . First we got some fat new deep cycle batteries . Found them on ebay . Used to be back up power for the landing lights at Manchester airport . Never used , but replaced routinely every few years , a bargain at £ 100 for 2 6v to make one 12v 185 ah . We got 4 giving us 370 ah . GGrrrr . Should do the job .

We had a Sterling battery to battery charger laying around from bike power generating project , so we stuck that in . Simply put , this changes the voltage coming from the alternator to one that the leisure batteries like a bit more . Charges them quicker and more efficiently . Was easy to put in with only three 3 wires to connect .

To make sense of whats going on with it all , I splashed out and bought a NASA battery monitor . Until now ive always used a multimeter across the battery terminals to check the voltage . This gives some kind of indication of the state of charge of the batteries , isnt too accurate . The new monitor tells the batteries voltage , amps being drawn , percentage of capacity and time left till the next charge . Hopefully all this accuracy will prolong the batteries life , keeping them working better for longer.

Hunting around on ebay for a decent , cheap solar panel to add in to the system . Free sunshine power when its there and engine / alternator back up when its not .

Olive Oil

Until recently Olive oil was my home for 3 years or so . She taught me alot about a simple and uncomplicated way to live , free from the drip fed constraints of living in a plugged in box . Me and me shipbuilding partner , El , have been giving her a spruce up ready for her new tenants. Away from the building site for a while has given me some time to spend getting carried away with tiling the galley . My first mosaic . Smash the tile and stick em on the wall . Easy

grand designs

Time to catch up with some serious blog writing , after a 4 month writers block . Spent most the winter settling into a new boat , home on the river , and working on a new super modern eco house which was a good 45 minute bike ride across the other side of London . The project is called the slip house , on account  of each floor slipping slightly forward of the one below . After working with straw bale , hemp concrete , timber frame and the like , it were interesting to be involved with such a contrasting style . Its mostly steel frame with cast concrete panels dropped in to make the floors and ceilings and insulated wooden infill panels for the walls and loads of triple glazed glass front and back. Its been designed by Carl Turner Architects who ive worked for on and off for ten years . The ecology building society funded the house and this meant build quality was high with NHBC involvement and the achievement of code for sustainability level 5 . Its also gonna be famous as Grand Designs are filming the whole spectacle . To be aired in October i think . Day to day i was doing most the first fix carpentry and getting stuck into whatever else down to installing the underfloor heating . Freezing outside work all winter , up at six , in the dark made a man of me and some popeye thighs from all that cycling . Would have loved to stay longer but old Olive Oils calling me , an old converted ships lifeboat im renovating and giving some much needed love……Now …..Wheres me spinach

Get on yer bike

Spent the best part of Sunday , slightly hungover, working with Adam ,Steve , Greer and the rest turning the front field at Hackney city farm into a bike powered cycle- in cinema for the night. We’ve been doing this bike electricity thing for five years or so from arts trail at the Big Chill festival to now under the Magnificent Revolution flag we’re flying , arts and ecology collection of bloody do gooders that we are. The basics are , put a bike and some bod pedalling it into training stand , spin the electric motor with the back wheel to make electricity which powers the projector and sound. The cycle-in has a 12 bike set up , generating roughly 500w of power and has a mish mash of bikes from punters who turn up on the night with em.

Last night we played Labyrinth to a crowd of 160 people. Wicked to put on events and see them turn up. Finest vegitarian Jamaican food was laid on by Mighty Veg Delights and well snapped up by all.

Its the second time Magnificent Revolution has screened at the farm and its storming success i reckon means there will be a whole bunch more.

big girls tattoo

Few years ive been meeting up with mr. X from Into You Tattoo to get proper tats done . What do they mean? Fuck knows . Yesterday he finished off this stomach / rib cage severed head on a pole . Made me cry like a little girl and tortured me till i told him everything.

Wonder who it is? You know who you are.

cant see the wood for the …..

Last year after a hell bent glastonbury , Giant one eyed Sam of the legendary Mutoid Waste Company infamy let me pull up a trailer on his site in the deep dark haunted woods on the south downs and stick up my wigwam. Its been my home for the last year but time now to move my ass outta town , and head back to the big smoke. They wont get rid of me that easy though . Hope to keep involved in the community down there and might be even up for building workshops and the like when it comes around. Gonna miss that smoke filled tent and can already feel them tipi spirits looking for me in a fire somewhere…..Enough hippie bollox , eh !

VW T2 BAYWINDOW CAMPER VAN FOR SALE

Got me  deal on this VW bus coupla years back. Was going to get itself towed away what with no tax and all . Drove that flying bread loaf upside down fried egg mobile around for a year and due to a world shortage of petrol , decided to renovate it it back to summit like its former glory and sell it on to some unsuspecting yuppie fool who thinks that owning a VW  bus makes you into a wild nomadic traveller type, for the weeekend.

So , if you are some unsuspecting yuppie fool , drop me a mail and lets talk business.

Am i going to miss it.? Not much. Also im not much of a salesman as you can tell . `I dont have to be . Its got a value to someone out there and im sure we ‘ll meet and shake hands one day.

42 year old virgin

Its my first time…Im a bit shy and a little shakey, but if we can have the lights off , i reckon i be ok. Fucking years ive been avoiding any kind  of web bollocks but dont think i can dodge it no more . So , kicking and screaming ive been wrestled to the floor and given chinese burns by the internet, then its tied my hands behind my back and forced me to ‘upload content’ for everyone to have a good gawp at. You bunch of wierdos.

Few nights before this , after the last lickandkiss of paint , we let the cider flow and celebrated magnificent revolutions’ groundbreaking new office space bang in the heart of Hackney city farm , in with the pigs. I’ve been working with magnificent revolution since the first bike powered cinema at Big Chill festival all them years ago and sweat some blood during the build of their new workplace , a converted shipping container , wrapped in sheeps wool , boarded with old pallets and topped off with a green living roof .
Superbabs cooked up a storm , big BBQ stylie with some tasty vegi delights. Proper feast mashup. We stuck up some photies on the container wall to show off the hand built process including how to drag a 2 ton shipping container across a field pics . GGRahhhh . Come on. Put up a couple of the scrap bike sculptures i bin messing around with this year. One is an old didies trike found in the farm with a figure made outta scrap wood and old inner tubes from the bike workshop at the farm. Plenty more of them to come in da future.
Couple of bike generators and some drunken wobbly legs gave us the power for the PA and live music from The nettle stings.Wouldnt be a proper pikey party without a decent fire , kept cranked up by young David from the farm.

Im gonna write a whole bit about the container office in more detail soon with a stack of photos. Big love to everyone who came to help us officially open the doors to this revolutionary new building and bigger love to the usuals who got involved with set up and take down stuff. Next time i might try it with the lights on low and could even take me socks off. If yer lucky.

Thanks El. Lipsmakinlovex