Skirting Boards

Yeah, it’s another story from me about extensions. This time, skirting boards. We opted to put in some beautiful oak skirting boards to give the kitchen/utility that fantastic finishing touch. The chap that put them in used a “butt joint” where you just cut the board at 90 degrees and butt it up against another skirting board in order to span a length greater than the skirting boards that you have. In theory it’s great, in practice it’s a bit jarring.

I decided that given time and patience [ hahahaha, yeah, me, patience ] I could do a better job. So I bought a load more skirting board. The first problem is that stuff that I got was 5mm ummm shorter/taller [ can’t remember which ] so I couldn’t tie the new stuff in with the old stuff. That’s ok though – when the skirting is on different sides of the room or indeed in different rooms then you’ll never notice a 5mm difference.

Mid replacement

So with the skirting above I eventually put a mitre joint in…and it still looks shit since the oak is different patterns/colourings where they join. Had it been a standard piece of skirting that I subsequently painted then it would be beautiful.

Then it comes to the corners. Despite it being new walls the corners are not 90 degrees which leads to all sorts of grief. I had to buy a coping saw that you use to cut the outline of the profile and then you can put it up against a perpendicular skirting board and you get a perfect join…in theory. In reality, because I’m rubbish at this sort of thing – it looks shit.

Emma would have gone mental if she’d come home at this point

So I spent about £200 on new skirting board, wasting three or four days of my life to oil the boards and then try to fit them and it could be argued that I’ve gone backwards. I’ll probably have another crack at it later this year. Never give up and all that!

Mulching Mower

Back in 2014 I bought myself a new ride on mower after nearly slicing off the bottom of my foot with the old one. This one was/is a mulching mower that allows me to change the cutting blades and insert a plug into the collection chute and then the blades just chop the grass into tiny pieces and drop them back on the lawn…hence the term mulching.

All was going pretty well until I tried to “mulch” a protruding cobble stone which bent the blade which destroyed the plug.

To be fair it was falling apart before the cobble incident

In the background of the photo above you can see the newly purchased plug. It’s just the plug bit and all the fixings are reused from the old one.

As an aside, you see how the picture above is beautifully brightly lit. Well, let me take you on a little side quest….

The bench at the back of my garage isn’t terribly well lit. I have a desk lamp [ see below ] on there which can be used to illuminate small areas – but nothing for the big stuff. The mulching plug above is “big stuff” so something had to be done. Several years ago Emma bought some stage lights cheaply off eBay or facebook marketplace or something for an upcoming gig in our garden by The Inkbirds [ nephew Charlie ]so I decided to make use of one of them.

The big black thing to the left is the stage light

The only problem was it had a weird 3 hole rectangular power coupling, and the cable was about two feet long. So I snipped off the cable and took some flex I had. Soldered and insulated the wires and then stuck a plug on the end.

It wouldn’t pass building regs!

Then I mounted the stage light on a handy beam above my workbench and switched it on. Now I have a nice bright workbench and a warm head!

Anyway…back to the mulching plug

After a couple of hours buggering about with the lighting for repairing my mulching plug it ultimately took me about ten minutes to replace the plug section with the new one and I now have this thing of beauty.

Don’t even get me started with the saga that was putting a fresh set of mulching blades on my mower. It finished with me tearing something in my shoulder and being unable to sleep on my left side for two weeks.

Losing land

We sold a bit of our land to the property developers who reckoned it was theirs. I’d rather not have sold it but they gave us a decent price and I wasn’t mad keen on a court battle. I decided to get rid of a lot of the rubbish that was on the land and have one final fire on the area behind my office.

It got a bit smokey

As a result of me having such a big fire I might have inadvertently set fire to my wood store…a bit


I didn’t intend burning my woodstore down. It would have had to be moved anyway so it saved me a bit of a job. But I was really hoping to keep the roof and the uprights….and some of the wood. But it’s a bit late for that now I suppose 🙁 It was always a bad idea to have a fire so close to a woodstore anyway. Kinda surprised it lasted this long really.


Emma and I spent a little time in North Yorkshire at Bolton Abbey. We went for a walk to the Abbey in the morning and due to the early hour and it not being a school holiday we were the only people there. It was pretty epic..and wet

We wanted to recreate the time we went up there with the kids and Oli fell off the stepping stones into the river and we had to go home early but annoyingly it seems some trees were washed down the river and knocked out some of the stepping stones. So we couldn’t get terribly far

After our wet walk through the woods we headed back to the hotel, got changed and then

Paul got married
The first time ever that all three of us are married at the same time

Pie Saturday

A long time ago I used to love making pies and would regularly make up a batch of pies to keep me going. I recently felt the pie making calling once more and decided to start with an easy puff lid version. Now, as my darling wife was very eager to point out I would never class this as a proper pie when I’m eating out. It’s a stew with a lid. But, one has to start somewhere.

Chicken and sweetcorn, but one also had mushrooms added. Beautiful.

Next up are some proper shortcrust pies.

New Drill

We had some people round to put render on the house and they were in and out of the garage doing stuff. A little after they had finished and left I realised my Black and Decker toy drill that I use for light drilling work was not in its usual place. I hunted high and low for that drill. Looked in all my sheds. Quizzed the kids but all to no avail. I thought the renderer people had nicked it. The charger was still in my garage so it was cock all use after a few hours.

Always seeking to find the good in any situation it seemed like a fine time to get myself a new Ryobi tool for my growing collection.


So, I was able to do some outdoor plumbing work now that I had my new and much better drill.

A week or two later I was messing about getting some brick lights working and needed a 10m piece of Cat5 cable. I opened my silver networking box and there was my Black and Decker drill. After I did some networking in the front shed it seems I may not quite have gotten around to putting my drill back where it should have been. Ooops. Still, new drill!

Just, fucking jesus!

So. In the ongoing “we built a fucking extension” saga there was a point where we had wallpaper hung on the walls. It was beautiful. We marveled at the inability to see the joins between the adjacent rolls of paper. The decorator even went the extra mile and put our TV wall mount back up.

Fast forward a couple of months and we bought a bigger TV for the wall. We had to. It’s a big wall and the 55″ TV just looked too small. To go with the new 75″ TV we bought a new wall mount. As I was taking down the old wall mount I took a screw out and water started gushing out of the wall. The decorator had screwed straight through a pipe but the screw had sealed it….until I took it out again.

Nice hole

As you can see, my brand new wall now has a massive hole in it which I’ll have to put a new piece of plasterboard in, tape it up and then skim over it. On the bright side it’ll be a new set of skills!

The legend that is Uncle Chris came over and between the two of us we managed to chop out the offending bit of pipe work and following two trips to Screwfix [ the only place open on a Bank Holiday Monday ] we managed to seal it all up

Don’t ever build an extension! Take the money the extension would cost and sell your house and add the extension costs onto the sale price. FML

Dad’s birthday

My Father’s ashes are spread around the tree in my front garden. Since it was his birthday we decided to have a “Grandad Dave” glass of wine with him and follow in his footsteps of filling the glass until the meniscus came higher than the rim of the glass.