Sand sculptures

On a recent scuba diving trip to the Maldives, I was impressed by the creative talent of the Maldivian and Sri Lankan boat crew. Here they are making manta ray and whale shark sand sculptures on a tiny deserted island.

Magical medieval maze

If you ever fancy a colourful trip back in time then this place is for you. Situated on the west bank of the Saône river, the medieval part of Lyon (Vieux Lyon) is made up of buildings that date from the Renaissance period and is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unspoilt cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and hidden passages give you a real sense of being transported back to another era. If you are into puppets then Musée Gadagne houses a world collection – the best exhibition I’ve been to in ages.

A feast for the eyes

You really have to look twice at this amazing picture. No, it’s not a model, sculpture or Photoshopped image. Seedsman Greg Schoen of The Seeds Trust got this ‘Glass Gems’ corn from his ‘corn-teacher’, a part Cherokee man in his 80s. I would wear this, not eat it!

Hidden gems

I can’t believe I’ve never noticed these before. Tucked behind the seafront at Boscombe, Bournemouth are these brilliant public sculptures. Designed by Dorset artist Andy Kirkby, all seven sculptures feature a blue glow at night and are made from materials including bronze, copper and cast iron.

Stop. Look closer.

Isn’t nature incredible?  I saw this picture of sand seen under a 250x microscope and was in awe of the beautiful miniature gems. There’s even what appears to be tiny little ammonites in amongst it.

Model student

I’m so impressed by my brother’s collection of puppets, which he made while studying 3D Animation Technology at Staffordshire University – they are bursting with detail. I’ve always wanted to make models but that’s for another day, retirement maybe!

Going wild

The Craft Village was only a sliver of Wilderness, a sprawling festival in Oxford celebrating the arts and outdoors. You could try skills such as silversmithing, stone masonary, felt making and loads more unusual crafts. I spotted this serpent skimming through a sea of grass with his little turtle friend.

It’s the way I roll

Here’s some tomatoes I grew from seed, which I then put into empty toilet roll tubes as seedlings (you can use any cardboard tubes). They’re biodegradable so you can stick the whole thing into pots or in the ground. I covered them with left over bits of wrapping paper to make them look cute, which seemed to work, as they sold out at the local summer fete. They’re great as beginner plants for kids and if you grow a variety like ‘Gardener’s Delight’, you’ll get a really good crop.