My moments of contemplation and then, if I’m lucky, inspiration are almost exclusively drawn from time spent on my trusty bike (http://craftystudents.blogspot.com/2010/01/blog-post.html). I Regularly cycle from point A to point B and upon arrival have no notion of the journey which I have just undertaken but have some new crafty idea or a mental list of twenty things to tell my Knit Wit in crime, Brid. Contemplation of what to get Brid for her 20th birthday followed this pattern and you will understand, therefore, how I came to the conclusion that her gift should involve the pimping of her own aged bike, a purple and rust Falcon Cheetah bought for her tenth birthday. (See below)
However, a particularly vile episode of facebook rape was fresh in my mind. Perpetrated by none other than said birthday girl the contents of which I shall not repeat here but reactions from friends included such comments as; “I took a screen cap of this, it'll haunt you forever now Nat HAHAHAHAHA!” I thus ended up scheming my way into the construction of a plan ending in much deserved payback, but also not so wonderfully a Garda report.
Pocketing Brid’s spare lock key one day from her house I snuck back to her gaff when I knew she had a shift at work and “stole” it. Bang on twenty minutes after her shift had finished my phone buzzed and sure enough Brid was on the other end swearing and blinding about the “***** ***** ***** ****** Pikey” who had just nicked her ride. Sudsing her bike down in my yard whilst simultaneously pontificating about the rise in crime in South Dublin these days proved sweet retribution (dulled a little when I realised that Brid had marched down to Donnybrook Garda station and filed a full report… oops!)
Personal scores settled, I moved on to the business of the day, the filling to the sandwich. Operation bike makeover. I sanded the frame with black grade sandpaper. Any rougher sandpaper, the hardware shop man told me and I would have a “dodgy situation on my hands”. Next I covered the parts of the bike not to be painted such as wires with masking tape to protect from paint slips. Cracking the Pot of “Deep Green Hammered” paint the hardware man had recommended as “the queen of the metal paint world” (what a legend) I proceeded to work on the bike frame. My trusty brother Jonathan (see below) joined me and attempted to direct operations, leading to a messy paint fight but also a finished bike. A mere 9Euro for a whole new bike body, crafty to say the least. owe you one!
The final touch was a toy swan placed in the centre front of the basket with its wings outstretched. I wanted to imitate the quintessential Rolls-Royce trade mark, The Spirit of Ecstasy (picture below). Drawing a parallel with this emblem seems to emphasize the bikes transformation from a rusty old yoke to the Rolls-Royce of pimp.
Brid and I had a joint birthday BBQ. The sun shone, the drink flowed and the BBQ smoked. Everything was perfect and the summer was ushered in with style. Half way through the BBQ I gave Brid her revamped bike. Her face was absolutely priceless. The utter disbelief which turned to delight as she realized that her Garda report had been for naught which played across her face was magnificent. Our Friend Anita, an aspiring photographer caught her expression perfectly, see photos below.
We were absolutely flattered by one friend who drew a comparison between our collection of friends and food to the idyllic Bulmers ads which are so crucially a part of a Dublin summer. Win. See the big mosaic of photos below, some of the highlights of a lovely afternoon.