Monday, 19 May 2014

My Shelfie

Hi all,

Recently my lovely wife over at Mrs Bishop's Bakes and Banter did a #shelfie for Tots100 and Victoria Plumb. A Shelfie is like a Selfie, but with more shelves and less faces, so I thought I would do one as well - as who doesnt love a shelf right? Technically her shelfie is kind of my shelfie as we live in the same house and share everything (marriage and all that etc), but as I have my own Man-Cave in a dark closed away part of our house, I thought I would do one of my own, and give you a glimpse of my own style.

Tots100 is teaming up with Victoria Plumb to invite you to share your shelfie photos with them on Twitter and Instagram – and the best entries will win up to £500 in vouchers to spend on the High Street. What have you got to lose?

So here we go! Behold my Man-Cave shelf #shelfie

My shelf items include, from left to right:

A ball and chain:
This is left over from my stag do before I got married. I woke up in the morning with it connected to my wrist via a rubber band, and I don’t remember much else from that night other than whirling it around in a bingo hall, so thats how rock and roll we are. I decided to a) keep it for the memory, or b) put it in the cupboard out the way and its been there ever since.

An electric shock drinking game:
Only used once or twice, it hurts and I don’t like being electrocuted.

A giraffe sculpture made out of old beer cans:
My aunt brought me this as a present one year for my birthday. I can't imagine why, I don’t even drink. I do have an affinity with giraffes though so maybe that's why.

A car also made out of beer cans:
Same as the above.

An Assassins Creed figurine:
This was part of the special edition of the first Assassins Creed computer game which came out quite a few years ago now. It’s always been on my shelf somewhere.

A real life ninja sword:
Some good friends brought this for my years ago now, it’s an ornamental thing and not sharp. I wouldn’t ever use it in real life for chopping onions, but I like the style of it.

A flattened glass bottle of Budweiser made into a clock:
I love clocks and beer, this is a good combo!

A thing with pins that you make shapes into:
I really don’t know what one of these is called? You know what it is to look at it though. The pins are always cold, it’s a good way to cool down on a hot day. Otherwise you make 3 faces in it and immediately realised you wasted your money buying one.

A soft toy dinosaur:
It’s called Howie, I won it at Alton Towers a few years ago.

2 soft toy lobsters:
Called Lobbie and Claude. I also won these at Alton Towers and kept them, I couldn’t bring myself to make Thermidor or Bisque.

A cat-face toy:
From the Weebls cartoon, a soft toy version. It just turned up in the post at my house one day, I am not sure why. Either I ordered it when drunk one night and forgot, or someone brought it as a present for me and never told me. I like it though even though it’s a bit creepy.

A bowling pin:
My friend Pesto used to work at a bowling alley, so I have a bowling pin. Why? That a is a good question, and there is a great story behind it!... ... ... Moving on.

And finally above my shelf is a flag I got from an NFL game I went to at Wembley one year. I blu-tacked it up the wrong way round a few years ago now, and one day I shall take it down and put it up the right way. One day...

That’s about it for my shelf. As you could guess, my shelf has a lot of old memories on it so it’s more of a nostalgia shelf rather than a current in use one. But I like seeing it whenever I open up my man-cave to get something.

So what do you think of my ‘style’? I used the word style very loosely here.

Also as part of this whole shelfie business you can head over to Victoria Plumb and do the Victoria Plumb Great British Home Quiz and maybe win £250.

I did the quiz and my celebrity style is Mr Glamorous! Anyone who knows me knows how glamorous I can be. The quiz says my style is most like Joey Essex or Same Faiers from TOWIE. Since I don’t really know who these people are, I am guessing they are probably quite stylish? Let me know.

Everything about you screams glamour; you always look photo-ready, whether you are working out, shopping in designer boutiques or snuggled up at home in your designer onesie. You crave home comforts that make a statement - a faux fur blanket, embellished cushions and lots of crushed velvet. You use neutral shades mixed with metallic. Pride of place are family portraits, kitchen gadgets and the keys to your Range Rover.”

They got that right, I love kitchen gadgets!

Good luck if you enter! Show me some of your shelfies if you have shelves in your home. If you don’t, then take a picture of your cat or something, I don't know, whatever. Everyone loves funny cat pictures. Here is mine in a baby bib.

This post is my entry into the TOTS100 and Victoria Plumb #shelfie competition. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

The Den

As we have had a few days of sun recently, luckily on my week off from work, I decided it would be a good idea to get some ‘Summery’ jobs done, and one of these was doing a changing-rooms style makeover on our outside Wendy House. I know what you are thinking, and I was thinking it as well – GARDEN SAUNA! But after some consideration, I didn’t think a cramped sauna for 1 person would be too practical, so we settled on something else. A Den for Albert! It won’t be long before he is wanting to go outside in the garden so we wanted to have somewhere for him to play out there and call his own. And what is better than having your own mini Bat-Cave to play in?

This Wendy House was already in our garden when we moved in a few years ago, but it hasn’t been used for a while, and so was looking a bit worse for wear. Again I know what you’re thinking, isn’t that an entrance to Narnia? Probably not, at least not for me. Albert may have more luck.

As I had one of my good friends Charlie visiting me for the week, we decided to be manly and get it ready while we had some free time. We had a few beers, a few paintbrushes and a few tunes. What more could we need? Lets DIY it!

Here are some more pictures of the Narnia house pre-makeover.

We started off by trimming back the bushes and cleaning away all the muck from the stones out the front. The side fencing was a bit busted and rotting and so a bit wobbly. I jigsawed up some old wood to make some brackets and reinforced it with wood screws at the sides out of view (getting a face full of branches in the process) so as to make sure it wouldn’t come off when a 2 year old starts swinging on it.

As the coloured paint trim was coming off and looking a bit faded, we used the power sander (no job too small for a power sander) and 2 extension cables to reach outside all the way across the garden, to sand it all down. We then masking-taped up all the woodwork ready to paint.

For the brown wood sections we used some old brown fence paint I found in my own shed and gave it 2 coats all over. For the trim we used some old green wood paint we had left over from last summer when I was painting our garden furniture/gun shootout protection barrier (you can read about it here), so we used that and gave the trim 2 coats as well.

Next it needed a clean inside. This was the bit I didn’t want to do. It’s crowded for an full grown Man-Child, a bit dark and covered in cobwebs. Luckily we had help from another friend, Hetty.

Hetty was pretty good here, she sucked up all the leaves and cobwebs inside without a fuss. There were indeed a few spiders already living in there, so I went for the ‘crush with the end of the hoover before sucking up’ method of eviction. There was also an old wasp’s nest! Thankfully it was empty, I didn’t want to have to fight a bunch of angry wasps as well. I just sucked that straight up. The Narnia/Bat-Cave/Wendy House already had a carpet (it’s a comfy Bat-Cave), so Hettie cleaned that up for us as well.

There was a big hole at the top where obviously the wasps and other twatty insects got in, so I nailed a square of wood over it to stop anything else entering and taking residence. It could have been used as a ready-made sauna air-hole, but never mind. Finally I used some Windowlene to clean the windows inside and out.

Finally I decided we needed a sign above the door. I originally wanted a dragon’s head motif, but after googling some designs I decided they would be too intricate and near impossible to jigsaw out! So we finished up on a circle. I cut it out and sanded the edges, and painted it in the same green wood paint as the trim. Now we needed a name! After a few suggestions we decided against anything with swear words, and settled on ‘The Den’. I sharpied on the name and nailed it up. Job done! What do you think? (It looks a bit dark but that's because the sun had moved round and it's in the shade now).

Now The Den is all finished, we just needed something to put inside! You may remember from last year we had Lucy’s old school chair which I had renovated (read about it here). We have put that inside so Albert has somewhere to sit. And that’s about it at the moment! What else do you think should go inside? Here is my wish-list:

Little table

Flashing LED lighting

Mini snooker table

Virgin cocktail bar

External CCTV to see approaching intruders

Secret exit panel at the back into next door’s garden for quick getaways

Laser turrets

Robot butler

Optional Sauna controls

Hopefully when Bert starts exploring the garden he will love playing in The Den. I can’t wait to see what games we can come up with playing in it! Until then, does anyone want a room to rent? Only £250pcm, all bills included, please email me via the form at the side of the blog.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014


I thought I would do a shorter post today. Ever wondered why toys don't wear glasses? THEY DO NOW! Here are some of Bert's toys wearing my glasses.


And finally one of the little man himself. And... Wally, is that you?