Fucking finally.

It finally happened.

The big yin got married. How he ever managed that one is a mystery up there with Atlantis, Lord Lucan’s disappearance…and why people drink Carlsberg. But there we are.

Sail shade area extension

I seem to start far too many blog posts with something along the lines of “Due to the ongoing extension” but…due to the ongoing extension I had Neil around doing some groundwork and since he kinda ran out of stuff to do, and I kinda had a load of stone tucked around the back of my office we asked Neil to extend our sail shade area. Partly because we lost our barbecue area due to the extension and partly because the grassy area near the sailshade was an absolute bugger to cut with my ride-on mower.

So now we have a much bigger sail shade space replete with barbecue area and no need to mow it.

Dirty work

Again…as part of the extension work we had to move the power supply for my poo-pump from the house to the garage. Aaron and I ran a bit of armoured cable from the garage and drilled through into the pumping chamber and hooked it up. This chamber is supposed to be relatively clean as the “solids” remain in the first chamber and the liquid transfers into the pumping chamber. However, in reality it’s well minging. It also didn’t help that as we were doing a final test of the system that I caught the pipe that transfers the waste to the soakaway and it fell off. The jubilee clip that had been holding it in place had corroded. So off we went to buy some new jubilee clips and then both of us had our heads down the hole fixing a new one on…whilst Emma sat inside with her friends eating sandwiches and cake. Life just isn’t fair.

Many gagging noises could be heard.

Gravel drive cleaner

As part of the extension work my pristinely beautiful gravel drive was covered in tonnes of earth. I was pretty pissed off with this needless to say. Eventually the soil was moved and was put into the planters with the remainder going into a skip. But it still left crap all over my gravel.

My latest ‘invention’

So I took some more of the wood from Oliver’s bed and created a frame into which I inserted some left over chicken wire out of my shed. Now I shovel the dirty gravel onto the frame supported by a wheelbarrow. Leave it for a few days for the soil to dry. Give it a bit of a shake and the soil drops into my wheelbarrow and the clean(er) soil goes into my borders. It’s not perfect, but it’s better.


Now, I’m not saying I have retired and I not saying that I haven’t retired, but one year on from finishing work this is what one has as a celebratory breakfast.

Beans and sausage on toast with cheese and a fried egg on top

Coat hooks

As part of the house extension we made Oli’s room bigger so he had no need of the bunk bed come desk/storage underneath. We took the bed apart and I’ve been making various things with the wood. The latest masterpiece is a couple of coat hooks for the downstairs cloak room. I used a spirit level and everything, although the second one I put up still looks a little wonky.

March Belt

This particular bad boy, of which I’m quite impressed even though it’s probably a girls belt, was purchased at the Vintage Shop in Ormskirk. Again, I apologise for the flesh.

The desk saga is complete

We finally got around to sanding and varnishing the ex worksurface that is now Oli’s desk. Oli did most of the work with me supervising.

Every time you point a camera at the boy he breaks out a fantastic smile. So photogenic! Anyway, this is Oli sanding some of the batons we will be using to attach the desk to the wall
The desk in place with bare ethernet cable hanging out of the wall beneath it.
Oli’s moved his stuff in, I have my office back and the bare ethernet cable is now a lovely Cat6 socket. Happy days

Unusually for any Darren/Oli DIY projects nothing really went wrong. We hade some minor issues with rawl plugs but I think this is because I was using 50yr old rawl plugs from my Grandad which were none standard size. I’ve now ( sadly ) had to throw them away and buy some more modern ones.

Driving Classic Cars

One of the many very generous gifts for my 50th birthday from my London Crew was a day of driving classic cars.

I opted to drive a Jaguar e-type

an Aston Martin DB-5

It even had the centre console with switches for machine guns, oil and smoke

and a Ford Escort Mk1 rally car

It was an excellent day of cars, sunshine and fun


If anyone needs a very talented builder that mostly turns up, drinks tea and eats biscuits….and then leaves again without actually doing any building work then I’ve got just the fella…

Tea and biscuits on a sunny Spring morning