My 101 list is always in the back of my mind and over the last week I managed to tick another task off my list.
A few years ago I attended a Bicycle Festival in East London, where I played around with creating bracelets from old bicycle inner tubes.
I decided (quite late) that I wanted to give it a go at Korea Burn this year. So with 3 days to spare I bought 70,000 won’s worth of jewellery paraphernalia from a shop downtown, and collected as many old inner tubes from my local bike shops as possible. They’re all quite stingy with their old tubes, since Koreans already know a lot about recycling and using things to their maximum potential. (That said, they definitely produce waaaaay more plastic than is necessary).
I made a pair of feather-skull earrings and started on a bracelet but it was quite hard using cutting boards on the beach instead of a table so after a while I gave up and got back to tanning, swimming and partying. I initially used fabric paint on the tubes but it’s better to use nail varnish!
A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Teachers’ Day in Korea. A lovely day where your students give you kitsch presents and cute notes about how much they love you. Teachers also got treated to 수박 (watermelon). I asked my co-teachers if Koreans ever use the rind for anything since the culture is very efficient at preserving and utilising food. They told me that some old-school grannies make watermelon kimchi but none of them have actually ever tried it.
I grew up eating watermelon jam in South Africa so I asked if it was popular in Korea. They were stunned to hear that such a thing existed. My mind was made up. I was going to have to introduce them to the syrupy gingery goodness of subak jam. I collected the left- over rinds and they just looked at me a little bit strangely.
I found a great recipe online. If you’re going to make this jam, you need time. Time to soak the rind in bicarb of soda and time for it to soak in water- basically a day’s pre-prep. I reduced the amount of sugar to 1kg, although I personally think after making it that next time I’d cut it to 500-750g. Make sure you don’t overcook the syrup at the end!
Here’s my end result:
I took a jar into school for taste testing during my “Friday Fun English” adult conversation class. Everyone was brave enough to try at least one bite and two people had seconds. Not quite the revolution I was hoping for but I’m glad that they got to try something new.
I plan to introduce them to South African melktert, Bulgarian Tarator soup and I want something British but I don’t know what to choose. They’ve all had apple pie before so I’m thinking Eton mess, Bakewell tart or mince pies. Or spotted dick. I’d quite like to work that into English class conversation.
It’s turnaround time in Korea. The time when old teachers leave and new ones arrive. This year there will be a smaller EPIK intake due to the government’s decision to cut high and middle school positions so fewer new people
I accidentally took a bicycle off someone’s hands because they’re leaving and it was such a good price I couldn’t resist: 40, 000 won ($40). It’s a girly bike with a basket.
If I had unlimited funds, and space, I would own a bike for every day: BMX, carbon road bike, mountain bike, Brompton foldable, girly basket bike, unicycle and tandem. For now, I have two.
So, this bike is pretty but it could be girlier. I went to Daiso and bought 4 squares of plastic grass (1, 000 won each) and a bunch of plastic flowers (1, 000 won) and started pimping.
I finally got myself a crochet hook and some acrylic wool to start getting crafty again. I found a great YouTube tutorial for a basic beanie and I didn’t use a pattern for the beard, just crocheted and fit to my face as I went along. The bearded number wasn’t for me, I made it for a friend who will have to shave off the crazy bush on his face as soon as he’s back in the States. I did sneak it to the slopes one day and it kept my face nice and warm (and I could breathe easier than when I wear a snood). Believe it or not, the 2 hats are from the same pattern- the colourful number is an accidental beret. This is what happens when you lose concentration/ forget to count rows and stitches. The beret looks pretty gnarly with some big ass ski goggles!
I’d like to make a quilt or sofa cover but I’ll wait until my move is complete before I buy any fabric from the local markets.