everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Gimme shelter

I had thought that the Samurai umbrella that I wrote about a while back (here, if you missed it) was the last word in umbrellas. Little did I know, there is a large umbrella industry across the globe, innovating and improving on what I would have mistakenly presumed to be a pretty standard design. At the risk of making a mockery of your humble floral number with its slightly bent spokes and unpredictable function, I present to you some whiz bang umbrellas from the good people at Hammacher Schlemmer.

Firstly, the English Umbrella Seat. Because we all know that English people like to sit on their umbrellas. No, really, it is allegedly modelled on “the ‘seat sticks’ traditionally used in England for watching cricket matches”. Quite. But why sit on a boring old stick when you can sit on an umbrella? My thoughts exactly – though I am sure you will agree it would look much funnier if this lady had a longer coat covering the seat. I am not sure that Lady Shrimp-Cattington and the croquet crowd are quite ready for the sight of ladies who appear to be staked in the ground…

Or perhaps you prefer to use your umbrella as a parasol to protect you from the sun’s wrinkling rays. If only there were such a thing as an umbrella that could shield you from the UV attack and keep you cool, without the hassle of having to wave a delicate paper fan…Fear not, delicate petal, here is an umbrella WITH AN IN-BUILT FAN. Battery operated, the fan is captured in a net, so there’s no need to worry about it going rogue and whipping your hair into a beehive.

Then there’s this tribute to Manhattan, in umbrella form. The outside is plain black, so to the world you might just appear to be another drone with a business umbrella – but on the inside, your secret New York cityscape reminds you that you’re really Carrie Bradshaw or Frank Sinatra or someone from Law & Order. Just don’t get so carried away belting out “Start spreading the news…” that you forget where you are and crash into other pedestrians. Or a bus.

And lastly, but not leastly, here’s a familiar image of an old lady under a plastic dome. The umbrella itself is of course old news, but I include it because I want to support this lady, who seemingly makes money by frocking up in brightly coloured suits and matching hats, donning some pearls and impersonating the Queen. Even if it is only to advertise an umbrella. Looking good, ma’am.

You can stay out of the rain while checking out these umbrellas and lots of other cool things online at Hammecher Schlemmer.

4 Comments »

Foul Weather Friend

I am lucky to work with Jo, a lovely lass who shares my interest in all things wacky. Last week, we were talking about the amazing Samurai Sword umbrella that I wrote about here recently. And Jo started reminiscing about a special sort of umbrella that she had seen somewhere. I listened politely, thinking that it surely couldn’t be as good as the Samurai Sword. Then Jo sent me a website link. And I was momentarily speechless. IT’S A HANDS FREE UMBRELLA.

Nubrella Inc. is a New York company that has patented this space-age looking ‘weather protection device’, which they claim takes over where the traditional umbrella stops! And there are more exclamations where that came from: Nubrella blocks windchill! A far safer and more reliable product! Can be used completely hands free! All supported by fantastic photos of the Nubrella in action – in the snow, in gale-force winds, in torrential rain: look ma, I can talk on my mobile phone AND wave to a passerby AND stay dry all at once!

Although we all know that nothing this great comes easily – there are tutorials on how to open your Nubrella and how to close your Nubrella. And the man in the photos does appear to be concentrating quite hard as he sorts out his weather protection device.

But once your Nubrella has popped open, you just drop it over your head and adjust the shoulder straps and supports. It’s transparent, so you can just walk straight away and see where you are walking all of the time. And according to a slightly bizarre comparison on the website: The result is an eye catching new aerodynamic design that many are saying is simply a better “mousetrap”.

A better mousetrap it may be, but I think it’s so much more. Wouldn’t the world be a better place – a funnier place, at the very least – if your neighbourhood was full of Nubrella People? At around $50 per device, it’s a bargain: umbrella, hat, stylish personal-space-preserving-bubble and mousetrap in one. If you’re tempted, the dream starts here at Nubrella HQ.

2 Comments »

Sayonara, raindrops

Rainy days make a lot of people cranky. Wet socks in wet shoes, wet hair on wet face, wet hands on wet iphones. And don’t even get me started on the disaster of an unexpected downpour when you’re wearing white. Let’s just say all those strangers aren’t staring because they’re concerned for your welfare.

But now you can take control of the elements and show those raindrops who’s boss. This Japanese (of course) umbrella design will help keep you dry and should also help to scare away any creepy dudes you may meet in dark alleys. (NB, if you are already able to fly above the rooftops, Crouching Tiger-style, this of course won’t be an important feature for you.)

I first spotted the umbrella on the fantastic Matomeno site (you will find it in the Rain Goods section) – it’s made by Kikkerland and is the perfect combo of function and form. It comes with a handy cover and carrying strap so you are always ready for action. There is also a mini version in case you prefer to keep your samurai skills on the down-low and want to tuck the umbrella in your handbag. You can see it on the Matomeno site here and buy it on the very cool Rakuten site here. Fear not the raindrops (or the dark-alley-dwellers), brave warrior.

5 Comments »