Upcycling Corks II

So I made place mats out of my collection of wine bottle corks; but what about the cork stoppers from bottles of spirits?

They would have made nice little cork feet to attach to the bottom of some amplifier or game console, but I didn’t have any that needed feet like that; anyway, there were too many. But the slight variation in sizes suggested another possibility; a chess set! And here it is.

A more skilful person would have carved the cork into a likeness of each piece, but I thought it was more within my range to produce symbols to add to the top of each cork. A couple of bases had to be painted to make up the correct tally of black and white.

The main problem with this is that I am rubbish at chess, and no one in my family really plays, so the set is unlikely to get much use. But the great thing is, I didn’t throw the corks away…

Good Title

I was reviewing the rules for the Southport writing competition and I see they include the advice ‘Titles should be both appropriate and interesting.’ Who’d a thunk it, eh? No wonder my strategy of using titles that are both irrelevant and boring isn’t paying off.

Then I tried to come up with the most tedious title I could think of, and it is strangely difficult. A List of my Socks – no, somehow you start wondering about these items of footwear. Are they alphabetised or sorted by colour? The old Beachcomber column used to publish extracts from the List of Huntingdonshire Cabmen. In a televised version they got, I think Ralph Richardson to read them, and they were gripping.

What about Some Dream I had once – no, I’m interested already, even though other people’s dreams are notoriously tedious and dreams are a terrible plot deflator. Or Common Houseware Problems the trouble is that with a title like that, you automatically suspect the author of slyly concealing a very uncommon narrative. The truly boring title has to sound sincere but be utterly colourless. In the end the best I could come up with was A Tale, which seems blandly uninviting. On reflection I thought I could go one better with A Further Tale, which adds the dispiriting hint that you’ve probably already missed any good bits. But I can still imagine glancing at it. So somehow I’m just not getting the real nadir of off-putting boredom.


This is meant to be the kind of bread you get cut into strips at Tas restaurants. It ought to be a plait, but that has sort of disappeared in the baking. I think it’s called ‘pide’ (‘peeday’), but I know nothing about Turkish food and might be completely wrong. My impression is that that word really just means ‘bread’, but has recently been used for a kind of Turkish pizza or pissaladiere; bread with tomato and other things on top.

Anyway, whether it’s authentic and whatever it should be called it tastes good, and more or less how I hoped, so I’m scoring that as a success.