My big brother Nick (above, pulling a stupid face, but it was better than the picture where he’s asleep and one of his sons has written ‘Muppet’ on his forehead in felt tip…), is a natural born up cycler.
In childhood his greatest joy was to cycle – on the bicycle he had turned into a ‘chopper’ with the addition of ape-hanger handle bars – to the scrap merchant at the end of the road and spend a few hours just looking at the junk. He just loved bits of old stuff.
He still does and now entertains himself weekends and evenings building things out of the ‘treasures’ he liberates from skips, charms from builders and buys on eBay.
He recently posted this guide to up-cycling on Facebook:
How to ‘up-cycle’ by Nick Alderson
1. Skips have amazing things in them. And the things have been chucked out.
2. Industrial estates have loads of skips.
3. If you see something that could be ‘useful’ try and find the owners of the skip and ask if you can have it.
4. Be polite but not over enthusiastic or they might want to sell it to you as they think it might be worth something.
5. If you have to shift stuff to get the item out of the skip. Put all the rubbish back in. Don’t leave a mess.
6. Thank them.
7. Take the stuff home.
9. Get told, ‘If you think that is staying there, forget it.’
10. Dismantle and shove in garage.
11. Do something else.
His current main project is making this:
What is it? Why, it’s a beer cooler in the style of the Ark of the Covenant from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Of course it is.
His plan, one hot summer Sunday afternoon, is it to fill it with beer, lace it with dry ice, and have it carried on to a crowded Bournemouth beach by a team of native bearers (various nieces and nephews…) and open it, to the amazement of passers by.
I’m hoping it will be more successful than his idea for an anti-car theft deterrent, which was a pool of fake sick he made out of plastic and would then leave on his car seat…