DIY Saturday

This month I am doing NaBloPoMo – the aim of the game is to post every single day. This is not exactly proving tricky – I can waffle any old nonsense quite happily on a daily basis. The challenge is finding something worthwhile to write every day! And that is something I am struggling with. I have a lot of interesting blog posts planned about various travels, craft project instructions, recipes, tours of my area in London, and other things, but these all take time to craft carefully, and time editing images. On weekdays, sat behind the computer all day and most evenings, I can somehow find that time. On weekends, I do things!

So today’s blog (and yesterdays’ to some extent) is I’m afraid just a catch up on what went on in the world of me today. Luckily it features cute dogs so I don’t feel too bad about just posting that!

Today Ste and I began our blanket box DIY project. At this point in proceedings, I am not entirely sure I am glad of that fact! I am sure it will be great when it’s done, but there’s a lot more to do. Today we have constructed the box, and tomorrow we tackle the lid and decorative trim. It has been hard work, very dusty (we have no workshop and it was pouring with rain all day, so we were forced to work in the living room!) and thus far has probably cost us more in materials than buying one would have done. At one point today I was pretty annoyed about that, but then we’ve had so much fun working together on it, that I don’t care it cost us more than we hoped, and it is something we can keep forever that we built together. So, let’s hope it doesn’t end up being too hideous, because at what point could one of us say: “Okay, it’s ugly, let’s buy a new one made by a professional!” after we put so much effort into it!? Hopefully we won’t need to – it’s looking not to bad at the moment, and it will look better! Though will we finish tomorrow? Not sure.

Our work was carefully surveyed at all times by the pets.


Toto was most interested, but the cats, Tarquin and Julian, were never far off, and Billy kept an eye on proceedings from the comfiest spot on the sofa. Image

“Yep, looks sturdy enough from in here Dad!”

We also took the dogs out for a long walk today, but as the waters are again rising around us, we were scuppered at every turn by floods, so it wasn’t the most interesting route. When we left the house it was threatening to rain, so we put on their coats (Billy has a Barbour and Toto has a fur-lined hooded puffa – they both look ridiculous!) and headed out. Toto doesn’t like to get her paws wet, so there was a certain amount of being left behind unless we carried her.


Billy on the other hand loves it. Here he is surveying the path back to our house (it runs along past the bench you can just see protruding from the water!):



He absolutely hates being cold afterwards though, and was shivering like a mad thing all the way home. I decided it was time to give him the dog jumper I bought him this morning, as I’ve noticed he has been shivering a lot lately. He’s a whippet cross, and they don’t have the two layered coat like most dogs, just one layer of hair, which doesn’t trap heat next to the skin so well. At least, that’s the excuse I use so people don’t think him too pathetic! I think it is because he’s Italian and he likes hot temperatures. As a style-conscious Italian though, I like to think he appreciates this snazzy golf jumper.


I wanted something plain, but it turns out there’s not a lot of demand for plain dog clothing. I suppose if you’re the kind of person to dress your dog up, you’re the kind of person who wants him wearing the latest fashions, not something drab and last season! Well, now I am one of those people. But he really does shiver, honest!

This evening we had a nice thai red curry and now I am relaxing with a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo whilst writing this. I love Montepulciano – it reminds me of so many evenings in Tuscany shared with friends over a bottle of cheap but lovely wine. I still regret not filling the hire van I drove back to the UK from Florence with all my possessions to the ceiling with cheap Chianti and other tuscan wines which cost a few euros a bottle there (I almost wrote back home then, even though I have been ‘home’ over two years now!) but are £10 and above for a lesser quality here! I actually used to manage a bar in Florence and had sourced some stunning local wines from the family of a friend, and their Vernaccia di San Gimignano was spectacular, and cost €3.20 a bottle at cost price. Here, a comparable bottle I drank recently I discovered was £18 in the supermarket! Not something I bought, I hasten to add, in fact, the reason I’m drinking this Montepulciano is that it was on offer for two bottles for £9! Thank you Sainsburys, I will indeed live well for less!


So that was my today! My tomorrow will be much the same no doubt, but for supper tomorrow we are having lamb, spinach and potato curry, and I promise to take a little bit more time out from blanket box building to write a more interesting post!

Oh, and for those of you wondering about yesterday’s pear crumble tart that looked absolutely disastrous, happily it tasted amazing! Kind of like a pear version of a pumpkin pie oddly enough, but with a crunchy topping! Not going to share the recipe though – I will do when I get it looking as good as it tastes!

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