Quirky is good

Lounging latte

Quirky is good. Quirky stimulates interest, provides a few chuckles or laughs, images that grab attention, ridiculous things that linger in the memory.

After longing for spring to make an appearance, and a few rather warm days in late April, May has been unable to make up its mind whether it has indeed left winter behind. Rain, sleet and even snow have battered emerging blooms, and sent us digging out the woolly jumpers again. And today is dry, but overcast and chilly – not at all like spring. So a bit of quirky to raise spirits seemed called for.

Quirky is anything even a little different from the ordinary. And because the ordinary itself differs from person to person, from place to place and country to country — one of the delights of travel is that what is ordinary to local people is often quirky to visitors.


This may be a common sight in wine producing countries – though I’ve never seen it before – but it’s not something you are likely to see in Scotland. Bags of other stuff, perhaps, but not bottle corks.

Visitors to Scotland may delight in seeing men wear kilts, but even amongst our friends and acquaintances we can think someone’s dress sense quirky because they wear clothes that are retro, or just individualistic — often because they have evolved a slightly unconventional, idiosyncratic style that they have made their own.

Quirky makes for interesting photographs. I was ready to trawl through my iPhoto files, but didn’t get beyond those taken on our recent trip to Bordeaux.

Chandelier, roses and limbs

Chandelier, plastic roses and caged hands – just what every cafe should display. No?

We came across this in a narrow street near where we were staying. And come the evening, it became this –

light hands

The light emphasises the grabbing hands.

prickly warning

More international than words, a teasel on chairs in a museum is a request that they should not be sat on.

make way for progress

Maybe it should be painted green, with a pennant flying from a whippy pole. A pea pod shaped electric vehicle which brought back memories of a similar electric vehicle produced by Sir Clive Sinclair (of computer Sinclair ZX fame) many moons ago.

Wall woman

This drawing on a wall reminded me of the stories of Colette and others, of life in Paris nearly a century ago.

I live above a plant pot.

Answer to the housing shortage? Or maybe it’s for birds, or cats, or rats?

Multi storey madness

This is a quirky that left me wondering – though I presume it’s nothing more than a talking point. Hopefully.

If you live in a warm climate then you may wonder what’s so quirky about my header photo. Well, although Scotland has now embraced much of the outdoor café culture that was always part of life in, for instance, Mediterranean countries, our variable climate means we were much slower to appreciate the delights of drinking a latte, shivering whilst perched on a plastic chair on a dusty pavement by a busy, fume laden main road. Not entirely fair, as Scotland has now many excellent restaurants and cafes, but I’m sure you get my drift.

So a café providing sun loungers, on a sunny but fairly chilly April day, would be quite unusual here — quirky even.


About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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8 Responses to Quirky is good

  1. d1nx says:

    I read your blogs (in my mail) & so don’t take the opportunity to comment often.. but had to come and tell you how fabulous I think this post is. Loved your quirky descriptions on what’s quirky and what’s not. … errr.. your perspective of course! 🙂 Have a super weekend. xxx

  2. Great to hear from you. Sorry to take so long to respond – been rather snowed under with work and other projects – publishing a number of books for others and producing promotional material.

    Quirky is something that’s very personal. I’m sure others have very different ideas of quirky and are sent into hoots of laughter by things I might not give a second glance. But that’s one of the joys. I might revisit this, look through older photographs and pick out a selection. If nothing else I’m sure it would cheer me up when feeling down.

    Hope things are going well for you.

  3. Sheila says:

    I love anything quirky and it looks like you’ve got a lot of that around you so that’s always a good thing. It keeps us on our toes and helps us to see things a little differently. It’s been cold here lately too so I know how you feel. Maybe they should offer blankets at those outdoor cafés. Happy summer! 🙂

    • Can’t believe how this month has flown. So many different projects to juggle. Quirky always brings a smile to my face…and we certainly need a few smiles as summer still hasn’t materialised. We’re promised a heatwave this week – but suspect it’s mainly in the south of England and that it won’t reach this far. And the international news becomes more dire by the day.

  4. Chris says:

    Quirk is fun. Love the thistles on the chair seats; what a great idea. I had to smile when I noticed the driver of the electric vehicle was an older guy because the vehicle is so low to the ground that I automatically imagined a kid driving it. The vehicle itself wouldn’t be half as quirky with a ten-year-old behind the wheel. The photo is even more fun with the woman on the bike and the way the two are obviously involved in a conversation.

    • I can’t see such vehicles (presume it is electric) doing well here. They’d be run over by lorries or buses as they are so low down. Even on country roads tractors and other enormous pieces of farm equipment, and animal transporters would soon mow them down. So hats off to the brave guy who was in the driving seat. Wonder if the woman on the bike thought it a more or less desirable method of transport than her pushbike?

      • Chris says:

        I remember reading about a mini motorbike that flirted with popularity in parts of Asia a few years ago. Judging by the photos, it put the rider at the same height as the guy in your photo, and the bike was shorter than a normal one. Cute and funny, but in the end I never saw one in person–I imagine they just weren’t suitable for road travel for reasons similar to the ones you mention in your comment. To be honest, it looked super risky. A potential accident on two wheels.

  5. The type of transportation you might expect to find in amusement parks or large estates rather on city streets. But perhaps the quad bike has bagged that niche.

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