M is for . . .

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Everything needs a little mending from time to time. Whether is patching up old clothes, fixing a watch that’s stopped ticking or healing a broken a heart – it can feel good to put time aside to breath new life into something that’s seen better days. So today, we’re finding ways to help you do that…

A book is for life, not just for Christmas

Adoptabook

Did you know you can help us to mend books in our special collections? Exeter Library's Special Collections Archive consists of early printed books ranging in date from 1480 to C.1900. Many of these rare and valuable items are in desperate need of care and attention, from simple repairs to full-scale restorations. The aim is to protect these often fragile and deteriorating volumes for future generations to enjoy.

A donation of £25.00 could provide the means to rebind a fragile book, buy materials for five acid free book boxes to prevent further deterioration of delicate paper or cover the cost of 50 minor paper repairs! You can even choose which volume you’d like to help restore.

So, if you’d like to help us preserve these precious items, head on over to our Adopt a book

Cafes for more than coffee

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Have you heard of repair cafes? No, us neither until very recently!

The idea travelled over to the UK from the Netherlands and the aim is to help people fix items for free, avoid waste and build a sense of community. In fact, the idea has been so popular that there are now over 1619 repair cafes across the world, in 33 different countries!

We currently have 11 repair cafes in Devon (in Exeter, Exmouth, Tiverton, Blackdown, Sidmouth, Dartington, Crediton, Ashburton, North Tawton, Bradninch and Bishopsteington, with Chudleigh coming soon).

The Devon repair cafes are run by the community for the community. Skilled menders and talented amateurs give their time and expertise for free to help people fix items that might have otherwise been thrown away. They usually run monthly and depending on who is there and what skills they have, they will attempt to fix everything from hairdryers to bikes to jewellery repairs.

Of course, sadly, covid-19 has had a big impact on these and most have had to postpone their physical events for the time being. However, some are still running online events, so it’s worth taking a look at your local repair café’s Facebook page for updates.

Recycle Devon - Repair Cafe

I’m not crying, you’re crying

Repair Shop

If you love a good emotional reality TV show (and no, we not talking Love Island here), then you must check out The Repair Shop in BBC iPlayer.

Experts take beloved and broken things and skilfully restore them to their former glory, before handing them back to their awe-struck owners. This last part is usually accompanied by a few tears on the part of the item’s owner (and probably the audience too). The items themselves range from beautiful to strange to downright kooky.

Watch online now for some uplifting and heart-warming TV BBC - Repair Shop

On yer bike

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With lockdown in full swing, we’re all trying to use our outdoor time wisely. Although we shouldn’t go outside unnecessarily, getting a regular dose of exercise and fresh air is important. It’s not just good for our bodies, but for our minds too, and can have a real impact on our wellbeing.

If you’d rather hop on your bicycle than take a stroll or go for a run, then here are some great tips from fix.com to help you tune up and maintain your bike

A little help, if you need it

Sometimes, it’s not just the things we own that need mending. Sometimes we need a little mending too.

This last year has been tough on everyone, and you shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed if you’re feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or struggling right now.

And it’s not just ourselves that we need to worry about. Between households, bubbles, tiers and limited travel, many of us have either found ourselves spending much more time with a select few people than we might be used to, or spending much less time (or no time!) with others. Both things can put a strain on us and our relationships, and again that’s nothing to be ashamed about. After all, we’re only human.

The best thing you can do is talk to someone about how you’re feeling. However, if you’d like an opportunity to process internally first, we have a few reading recommendations that might help you through it…