Our First Cooked Breakfast

10 02 2015

Yes, we really did it!  Sausages, bacon, egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast, tea and coffee.  It was all hands in the kitchen for Mike and me at Breakfast Morning at the Nest.  We did manage to set off the smoke alarm quite a lot, so David came up with the bright idea of wafting a teatowel underneath the alarm to stop it sounding.  Good on you David, it did the trick!!!  By the way we didn’t actually burn anything.  There was no time to socialise for the cooks, so everyone got together for a chat round the table whilst we cooked.  We even did a veggie alternative.

I managed to fuse the toaster, but Jirka fixed it and toast was on the menu  again.  Everyone seemed to enjoy our venture and we are hoping that people will come again next month when we have another go.  If you are interested we will be doing a cooked breakfast on the first Friday of the month at 10:30am to 11:30am, at the Nest, 35 St Paul’s Terrace, Hyson Green.  It would be good if you got in touch with the Skills Exchange to book for breakfast so that we know how much stuff to buy.  We ask for a donation of 50p per person towards the breakfast.  We hold Breakfast Morning at the Nest every Friday 10:30am to 11:30am and at our usual breakfasts we do toast, crumpet, teacakes, tea and coffee.  There is no charge for these breakfasts.  It’s a good opportunity to get to know other members of the Skills Exchange and a chance to do David’s quiz which sometimes you have to be a genius to answer!  All good fun though.  Well that’s my post for now.

Enjoying the cooked breakfast

Mike cooking Bkfst Nest

Mike busy doing the cooking. All eggs sunny side up!



Mark’s Computer Drop-in Sessions

2 09 2014

Hi there, it’s me, Lesley, thanks for stopping by.

Firstly I have a confession to make: I’ve posted here before, but in the main have let social media pass me by!  That is until I decided recently that I’d like to set up a blog of my own all about crafting.  So it was good news for me when Mark, one of our members, said he’d do one hour individual sessions to help people do things on their computer.

Well, that’s the confession over.  So on with this post to let you know how I got on.  Now there’s a twist here right from the start.  Mark didn’t know much about setting up blogs.  That was no big deal to us as we both enjoy a learning experience where we are both the teachers and the learners.  Mark had a brilliant idea to create a person who I called Anne Second, who we made an email account and started a blog for.  So here I was with a blog we could practise setting up with no worries about it being the real thing.  We’ve pressed buttons, messed with a widget or two and made loads of mistakes and got ourselves out of them.  No pressure, no hassle because it simply doesn’t matter – after all it’s Anne’s blog, – nothing to do with us!  Learning together this way has given me a lot of confidence to just have a go, and it’s great fun.  It’s also reassuring having Mark there as we can encourage each other, share knowledge, and experiment together.  When we’re done Anne Second will have a blog that’s second to none!  (Excuse the pun).


Mark, Lesley and Anne Second

Mark, Lesley and Anne Second


Now if our wacky way of learning is not for you, don’t worry as Mark adjusts his style to suit who he is working with.  Also Mark knows loads about computers and how to use them, so the chances are he will know about what you want to do.

Still interested?  Well, there’s a few spaces left for full members of the Skills Exchange on Tuesday 9th September 2014 in the morning.  Just get in touch with Helen or me to book a place and tell us what you want to learn about.

So all that’s left to say is a big thank you from Anne Second and me for reading this post!  Do comment if you would like to.


Celebrating 10,000 hours exchanged

22 07 2014
Janet decorated this tasty cake

Janet decorated this tasty cake

On July 9th we held a Social at “the Nest” to celebrate the fact that we have had over 10,000 lovely volunteering hours exchanged between our members. Congratulations all round. If you would like to know what sorts of things have been exchanged in the last 7 years have a look at the Offered page of our blog where you will find the latest list of skills on offer.

The event itself was a perfect example of the Skills Exchange in action. Steering Group members Mary, Catherine and Rosie  met beforehand to plan the event. Bren, Mary, Jirka, David, Marian and Hephzivah turned up on the day to help set up and prepare the venue, and make some tasty salads. Mary made a delicious dhal, Bren made a Beetroot and Butterbean salad, Paul made a lovely green vegetable curry, Jirka gave us lettuce from his allotment, David contributed some wine and fruit,  Helen made potato salad and Janet decorated a cake to commemorate the event.

Entertainment on the night was provided by Ron, with his humorous verse and Ellen and Rob who sang and played guitar.


It was great to have “the Nest” busy and lively with people. Watch this space for  news on future workshops and events. We will be turning our attention to keeping warm and will be showing members how to make door curtains and draught excluders.


Members enjoying the sunshine in "the Nest" garden

Members enjoying the sunshine in “the Nest” garden

Cutting the cake

Cutting the cake

First Breakfast Morning at “the Nest”

27 05 2014

 Hello all, gosh it’s been a long time since I blogged. Really must get better at this. Lots of stuff going on, including our first Breakfast Morning at “the Nest”.

The Nest is a small terraced house in Hyson Green, which we will be using as a venue for future workshops, social events, meetings and Breakfasts!! We may even be getting a cooker so that we can do the cooked variety 🙂 It’s taken a good while to get “the Nest” in a fit state to use but, thanks to donations of carpet and lino from United Carpets in Radford and a generous donation from the local St Pauls Residents Association, not to mention hours of volunteer time on DIY jobs, we are now in a position to start inviting people in.

The first Breakfast took place on Friday 23rd May. Here’s a photo to prove it. We are toasting our first of many Breakfast there.

Toasting our first Breakfast whilst eating toast

Toasting our first Breakfast whilst eating toast










The next Nest Breakfast will be:


10;30 – 11;30 AM


Jasbinder from the Partnership Council will be there to let everyone know about a series of coffee mornings she will be running from the Nest and other venues in the neighbourhood

Prior to this event we have held 2 planting workshops. The back yard is now full of containers and sprouting forth from them are things like lettuce, peas, french beans and radish. We invited local residents to join in and several have taken away containers, compost, seeds and tomaton plants to have a go at growing in their own back yards.

Getting ready to plant the runner beans

Getting ready to plant the runner beans

A Walk in Bulwell Hall Park

26 03 2014

Bulwell Hall WalkAs you well know, we have many talented people here at the Skills Exchange. One member, Gillian, joined us some time ago and offered to share her knowledge of walking, route planning and map reading. Combined with her knowledge of lanscape and history, we thought that she would be the perfect person to lead a walk for our members.

She very kindly agreed and, with the support of SUSTRANS, who paid everyone’s bus fare. A group of 16 headed off on 2nd March to Bulwell Hall Park. They had a very enjoyable time following the route Gillian had planned, with regular breaks to hear interesting bits of history about the places they were seeing.

Thankyou so much Gillian. Another walk is planned to the Churnet Valley, already booked up I’m afraid. BUT if you would like details of the first walk, get in touch and we will send you a booklet with all the historical information relating to the walk and a map.




2013 in review

31 12 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 52 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

It’s been another busy year…….

23 12 2013

Holly christmas treeHello all!!! Time I think for my annual Christmas message, probably not as watched as the Queen’s, but nevertheless full of fascinating facts about the past year here at the Skills Exchange.

In April next year we will be 7 years old, not bad considering we started with a grant for 18 months from the European Regional Development Fund. In that time we have grown to be a busy Time Bank with 345 Individual members and 56 Organisations that are members. In the last year we recruited 29 new people. More skills are added all the time to our list, it now numbers over 500. Have a look on the “Offered” page, you may be suprised by some of the things on offer. 

1063 hours have been exchanged between member during 2013. These have included interesting stuff like……… help with budgetting, Chinese herbal medicine, computer skills, fitting window sills, Japanese lessons, savvy food shopping, haircuts, guitar restringing, lifts, help with job search, knitting lessons and help sorting out paperwork and many more.

We aren’t just about exchanges though and members have been offered the opportunity to take part in………..Workshops, run by members for members. During 2013 members have been sharing their skills in Patchwork, Yoga, Painting and Drawing and Savvy Shopping and budgetting. We have organised reduced price tickets through Nottingham Playhouse’s HotHouse scheme and members have been to see Dance performance “Nobulus”, Pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk”, “1984”, “Charlie Peace”, “The Kite Runner” and “Joking Apart”. Members have also taken part in fundraising activities. We had a Spring Bazaar in March, a Swishing event in September and Mary offered reduced price Massage. Inspired by our partnership with the Walk on the Wildside project (WOW) members also went on a trip to Rushcliffe Country Park using Kangaroo tickets provided by WOW. We also continue to hold our regular Friday Breakfasts, 10:30 – 11:30 am. These will be taking place at Tennyson after the Christmas break. A Craft Club, run by Skills Exchange Administrator and keen crafter , Lesley, take place on the first Saturday of every month at 1:30pm.

We are looking forward to 2014, with the exciting prospect of  organising some activities at “the Nest” , a small terraced house in Hyson Green. We hope to involve members of the Skills Exchange who have many of the skills needed . The house will be a venue for workshops and information on how to save money on bills  by simple low cost energy saving measures like door curtains, draught excluders etc….watch this space.

Festive greetings to all our members and, if you aren’t one already, have a look at the “Contact us” page and get on with it 🙂