A personal look at how cars are being marginalised in the UK in preference to public transport.
Follow this simple step-by-step guide and make a cable management trough from recycled wood. It's designed for easy and versatile use, and it fits on the back wall beneath your computer desktop (to keep all the cables off the floor under the desk).
Step-by-step guide to making a corner wall shelf unit from a sheet of 12 mm (½ inch) plywood, using recycled pine wood for the sides and inner shelf supports.
Step-by-step guide to making and fitting folding doors for a cupboard; made from 12mm (½ inch) plywood; using piano hinges and recycled wood.
Recycling and repurposing to create bespoke usable shelving under our office desks, including rationalising the storage space in the far corner under the desk; by recycling old shelves to make a bespoke shelving unit, and repurposing an Ikea computer desk into a storage unit under the office desk.
Step by step guide to modifying a built-in wardrobe, including making and fitting a bookcase to fit inside, internal wall repairs, and fitting bespoke folding doors to the cupboard above the wardrobe.
Major home-office makeover involving a series of mini DIY woodworking projects using recycled and salvaged wood where possible, modifying the electrics, cable management, painting & decorating, and rehanging picture frames, paintings and fixtures & fixtures on completion.
Join me in this simple task of retrofitting two additional shelves to an existing built-in DVD/Blu-ray storage unit, closely matching the existing hewed wood effect (medieval style) and wood stain colour of the existing shelving unit.
This article will break down our straightforward renovation and reupholstering of four oak vintage Ercol dining chairs. This includes cleaning, wood staining and beeswax polish of the wooden chairs, and the recycling of the dark brown suede backed faux leather for the seat covers.
Step-by-step guide for repurposing a built-in corner unit to a sealed display cabinet for displaying WWII artefacts; using recycled wood for the front, and facing the inside in white with white-faced hardboard salvaged from a redundant wardrobe.
Step-by-step guide to make narrow tallboy storage unit (with drawers and pigeonhole) from recycled salvaged plywood, bespoke design to accommodate small wooden drawers repurposed from Ikea stack furniture, and to fit profile of a writing desk bureau; in readiness to renovating our home office.
This recipe and step-by-step guide (with images) shows you how to recycle soap bits to make homemade soap with added honey. You can also scent it with essential oils and fresh or dried herbs, and optionally colour it with food dye.
5 simple steps to making your own essential oils from fresh eucalyptus leaves. Ideal for scenting homemade candles and soaps!
Learn how to turn a dining table into a sewing table with this guide. It's not just another oak dining table renovation and repurposing project: I also show my experimental approach, as I explored various options (while thinking out of the box) to meet specific criteria to a satisfactory level.
Selection of bizarre and whacky British sports, with brief description, origin and when and where the events take place; includes Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling, Worm Charming Championship and Gig Racing in the isles of Silly.
An overview of the eufy robotic vacuum cleaner, why we chose it and like it; and our initial experience in setting it up and using it around the home, including how we resolved a few minor issues.
Simple step-by-step guide with illustrated images, to add a shelf across the table leg stretchers (between the legs) of a nest side table which already has a wooden remote control holder fitted to the side of the table.
Step-by-step guide, with images, to making a simple wooden stand for a Viking drinking horn; optionally using scrap wood and therefore not costing anything other than a few hours of your time and the price of a bit of wood dye.
Recipe for two variants on chocolate truffles, one with jam and the other with lemon curd filling; tips and techniques based on my personal experience and preferences developed over the years, and the kitchen equipment I use in making the truffles.
My personal choice of a QLED over an OLED TV, benefits of the universal remote control that came with the TV; and how I resolved the issue of linking our TV and the other two devices to our 7:1 Dolby Digital surround sound home theatre system, when it only has optical audio input for two devices.
Remodelling my bespoke wooden remote control holder to accommodate six remote controls, rather than the three it previously held; achieved by adding an additional wooden pocket to the front. Then upholstering the pockets with carpet to snuggly hold the remotes.
My personal interpretation that climate change action being taken around the world does incorporate a holistic approach, contrary to views of some Americans I’ve talk with on social media, who are dismissive of the efforts being made because they think governments focus too much on the wrong issues
Bespoke design and build of an adjustable wooden stand for use with wildlife camera mounting arms, for easy and flexible use in the back garden; built from durable scrap wood and designed for potential multi-purposing as a garden table.
Simple guide to renovation of upholstered solid oak dining chairs with carved backs, using unconventional materials for the seats padding; sympathetic makeover to retain patina, including making replacement front stretcher, and repairing broken coiled spring.
Sympathetic repairs and modifications to an old writing desk bureau to retain its patina, including a couple of minor changes to the design to improve the fit of the pigeon-holes and to make better use of storage space between the legs.
Why we opted for a window roller blind for our French doors, rather than a proper full length door blind, to block out the evening sun; and a basic step-by-step guide to the slightly unconventionally way I fitted it, and why I fitted it that way.
Quick guide and basic overview of installing waterproof multi-coloured LED strip lighting around the edges of decking in front of the conservatory and overlooking the lawn in the back garden. Includes tips on laying the cables and protecting electrics from the weather.
This isn’t about my Cornish holiday; it’s a personal focus on the Celtic Nation of Cornwall, who under EU Law were granted national minority status by the British Government in 2014: Giving them same legal recognition as other Celtic nations in the UK including Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Many robotic lawnmowers (cheaper models) are limited to single zoning a lawn (boundary wire). I briefly explain what single zoning is and its limitation and finally give a step-by-step guide to a simple and inexpensive method for multi-zoning your lawn by using a 2-way switch to create 2 circuits.
Ghosts Trains in Britain is the bizarre situation where trains run, often with no passengers, as a legal requirement to keep uncommercial routes open under franchise; as a cheaper and easier option for train operators than getting the service closed.
This is an overview of the Liberal Laws (based on Common Law) governing the Public Rights of Way in Britain to cross private land for access to the British countryside, with a summary of the history and struggle by activists to get ancient rights into modern legislation for the benefit of Ramblers.
Step-by-step instructions for making a bespoke, wooden sewing cabinet on wheels with a hinged lid and shallow drawers for accessories.
How to upcycle a folding table, and use other recycled wood to make a wooden box to protect an overlocker (serger) sewing machine.
I purchased a pressure washer specifically to periodically clean my decking prior to re-oiling it. It was only after careful consideration, and on balance, that I made an informed decision to buy the Nilfisk rather than a Karcher; and now use it to clean all manner of other items around my garden.
Learn why and how to lay plastic grids for your gravel drive, how to choose plastic grids to use based on price and quality. There is also a basic step-by-step guide to laying the grids on the driveway and backfilling with gravel to provide a stable surface.
This article explores how to makeover your stairs and landings, from replacing carpets with wooden steps and oak flooring to rewiring and downsizing the meter cupboard. This guide includes replacing the skirting boards, varnishing, wallpapering, painting, decorating and other minor DIY tasks.
Makeover of a small British bedroom den that doubles as office space for professional photographer. The main aspects are rationalising electrics and cable management prior to painting and decorating.
In spite of increasing evidence that Anthropogenic Climate Change adversely affects Global Warming, there are many (especially Americans) who remain sceptical; with even some believing it to be a hoax
My personal overview on how some home multimedia technologies in the UK compare with the USA e.g. TV, Radio, Phone and Broadband Internet. Focusing on where technologies diverged between UK and USA.
My personal views on the widening social and cultural divide between America and Europe, looking at our histories to explore the influence on social reform; particularly for Britain since WW2
Step by step guide to add cupboard extension to the base cupboard of a built-in corner unit; using recycled wood including downsizing an old louvre door to make two new doors to fit the new cupboard.
Design concept and step by step guide to make bespoke spice rack, with paper towel holder, from solid oak tongue and groove floorboards.
Dining room makeover; includes chasing and capping cables in brick walls for electric sockets, plaster repairs, fitting new solid wood pine panel door (and wood staining), and painting and decorating
Quick guide to minor modifications in the kitchen prior to painting and decorating; including demolishing an old brick step to level the floor, and levelling a wall to better fit fixtures and fittings
My design concept and build of timber frame conservatory with cedar wood cladding and roof tiles. Self-build low budget, key stage step-by-step guide, e.g., recycled windows and laying cedar wood tiles.
A personal view (from a British Humanitarian Atheist) of American misconceptions of Muslims in Europe, specifically Britain; to dispel some of the myths perpetuated in the American News Media.
Adding an air vent, restoring the door sub sill, and rewiring the doorbell in conjunction with the windows and doors being upgraded to double glazed uPVC units. I will also describe painting and decorating to finish.
Renovating an old front porch; including wood restoration around windows and doors, insulation, and painting and decorating after adding built-in cupboards.
How-to guide and design concept on maximising available space in the porch by creating built-in cupboards on a shoestring budget with recycled wood and downsizing old louvre doors.
Brief overview of Eurovision and why it was created after the 2nd world war as a tool to promote peace in Europe; the longest running live annual TV event, with audiences of over half billion people.
The NHS is a political football that’s frequently dissed with bad press. The aim of this article is to dispel some of the myths and propaganda (much from the USA) and show the NHS for what it is.
Unlike the USA, Europe is on track to be 100% self-sufficient in renewable energy by 2050. The EU’s 2010 vision is to achieve 20% renewable energy by 2020, 30% by 2030 and meet or exceed 80% by 2050
This is a how-to (from my own experience) for making and maintaining wildlife ponds. It includes water features and waterproof RGB (coloured) LED strip lighting.
Brief comparison between British and American English; then an overview of various native languages, dialects and accents in Britain to highlight the language diversity in UK compared to the USA.
Step-by-step guide to making and fitting a simple display shelf above the door for displaying soft stuffed toy animals. This can be used as an alternative to the hammocks designed for the same purpose.
This article provides an overview of the British educational system from primary school to university, which by explanation aims to highlight some fundamental differences between the UK and USA.
Simple step by step guide for making a wooden shelving unit, from recycled wood, that neatly fits under a wall mounted mirror.
I’m no health freak but when I started to look at what goes into the food we eat I was surprised to learn how toxins banned in Europe (and other parts of the world), are widely used in USA foods for artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives; including fresh foods like apples and oysters.
Step by step guide on using recycled candle wax to make oversized candles with multiple wicks.
Comparison of aspects of public and private transport systems between the USA and UK; based on my personal experiences of the integrated transport system in England and views expressed by Americans.
Step by step guide to make a studio photo light box from recycled materials on a shoestring budget; ideal for great product photography, e.g. to take gorgeous photos of small objects just like a pro.
Highlighting differences between UK and USA housing, to show some of the social and cultural differences between Britain and American homes; based on my personal knowledge and perceptions of America.
This is a how-to guide on restoring an old ornamental garden windmill back to its former glory, with modifications and improvements to make it more impervious to rot and sails and more inclined to turn in the wind.
Personal view from my experiences of Americans online, where their lack of knowledge and understanding of the British Social and Political ethos leads to fears and misconceptions.
Follow my journey to furnishing our decking, a garden room adjoining our conservatory to our back garden. It is now complete with seating, planters, lighting, and décor; balancing aesthetics, comfort, and functionality.
This guide will help you craft an external doorstep for your cat flap, made from decking. It is a simple, quick, and inexpensive multifunctional design. It also hides drain pipes with a platform for plant pots.
How I renovated a second hand garden street lamp bought from a reclamation yard and securely fitted it to our decking in our back garden.
Easy guide to upholstering with different types of materials, including furniture fabric, faux fur and carpet; examples upholstered includes chairs, stools, sewing box and padded cat flap insulator.
This is a simple DIY guide to insulate your cat flap and keep out cold winter draughts. This will keep your home warmer and save on energy bills. The insulator doubles up as a cat bed when not in use, too.
Maine Coons are too heavy for normal cat furniture! How to modify a cat tree to make it suitable for the weight of a Maine Coon, and tips for incorporating your cat tree into a cat highway.
How to upcycle and repurpose an old wooden tool chest to a sewing box; adding wheels and seat, for easier storage under a table when not in use and to be multi-functional by doubling up as a stool.
How-to Guide on making a sofa tables on a low budget by repurposing an old oak valet stand, and by recycling wood from solid teak French doors to make a second one to the same design.
How-to guide of making a solid oak cabinet for the living room on a low budget, from reclaimed timber and floorboards that matches the general style and dimensions of existing oak furniture.
Complete Living room makeover including structural modifications to alcove under the stairs, making the old fireplace into a design feature and hide the surround sound speaker wires behind coving.
Dismantling and using wood from large mirrored-door freestanding wardrobe to repurpose as smaller bespoke fitted built-in wardrobe, and recycling surplus wood to make matching bedside shelves.
Repurposing and recycling salvaged wood to makeover a bedroom on a low budget, with key targets of the design being to improve quality, aesthetics and functionality from the original at a low cost.
We like to save on the food bill by buying in bulk when on offer in supermarkets, but we needed somewhere to store everything! Read in detail about our conversion of a garden shed to a food-storage area by using kitchen units and upcycling and recycling building materials.
Step-by-step DIY how-to guide to make bespoke built-in shoe rack, to keep shoes tidy in a concealed cupboard with sliding door; simple design concept that can be adapted to meet your own requirements.
Here's my illustrated step-by-step guide to restoring an old cane. I used a lathe to make a new purpleheart wood handle and fitted a motif coin on top of the handle.
Here is my DIY project for making a simple made-to-measure rack for walking sticks and umbrellas by utilising wasted space. This article will provide an illustrated, step-by-step, how-to guide using bits of scrap wood for little or no cost.
The story of the Middleton family of Washington DC, who lived through the American civil war, and their relationship with my great-great Grandfather, George Burgess (1829-1905) of Bristol, England.
Upcycling and repurposing an old dowel and wood dish rack as a shoe rack; detailed illustrated step-by-step DIY project to make a bespoke made-to-measure fitted shoe rack to sit inside a wardrobe.
How-to renovate and modernise a shower room; a complete makeover from replacing the tiles, vanity sink, cistern and radiator with a towel rail; and replacing the floor with floor tiles.
Detailed illustrated step-by-step how-to DIY guide to make bespoke bathroom wall cabinet (medicine cabinet) to fit the available space, with adjustable shelves, open bottom shelf and mirrored doors.
Simple illustrated DIY step-by-step how-to guide for using a Dremel to upcycle and repurpose an old pre-moulded tool box into a padded box for storage of sensitive camera and lighting equipment.
Review and demo of the dial seed sower, a simple, inexpensive easy to use and very effective hand device to aid sowing small seeds with precision; and therefore reduce work of thinning seedlings later
An illustrated how-to DIY step-by-step guide to making fixed and adjustable shelves for additional storage, under your kitchen worktop, as a space-saving concept of reclaiming wasted space.
DIY illustrated step-by-step how-to guide for making a wooden kitchen plinth drawer to utilise wasted space under kitchen cupboards; bespoke drawer designed to fit an oversized cutlery tray.
Simple how-to guide on restoring an old pair of scales, with illustrations, and multi-purposing them as a functional fruit bowl when not used to weigh objects.
A simple and inexpensive how-to DIY renovation project to strengthen the legs and flatten the feet on folding tables to make them stand stable; illustrated step-by-step guide.
How-to guide to make a wooden foil rack from scrap wood, for little or no cost; for tinfoil, Clingfilm and greaseproof paper; a simple space saving idea to utilise wasted space in the kitchen.
Problems of cutting hard cheeses and illustrated step-by-step how-to upcycle guide to make a cheese cutter from repurposing a hacksaw blade and making a cheeseboard to match from recycled wood.
DIY illustrated step-by-step how-to guide to repurposing an old towel rail into a toilet roll holder; and using the spring sprung spindle from an old plastic toilet paper holder in the new holder.
How-to illustrated step-by-step guide to making a spanner rack, recycling wood to make a tool rack as a simple and inexpensive storage solution for your DIY tools for little or no cost.
DIY how-to multipurpose a tea trolley for a sewing table, as a space saving concept; with illustrated step-by-step guide and video demo for the sonicrafter as a primary tool used in the conversion.
How-to step-by-step guide to renovate drawers in an old sideboard to make them fit properly again, and run smoothly; as they once did; Illustrated detailed showcase with tips, advice and suggestions.
Recipe for a refreshing dessert dish of cooked pears, soft fruit salad around the sides and yogurt; fully illustrated. Plus recipe idea to use apples instead; and tips for growing your own fruits.
How to fit a pre-made drawer to the underside of a workbench; this guide also demonstrates the versatility of the Sonicrafter to quickly, easily and accurately cut the aperture for the new drawer.
A British twist on a very traditional American Pumpkin pie, using fresh pumpkin from the garden and adding a cooking apple to the recipe with pleasing results.
A refreshing fruit cocktail with a difference; a simple recipe I conjured-up from fresh fruit and yogurt as an alternative to a plain and simple fruit cocktail, packed with nutrition and vitamins.
Don’t throw your crusts away! This recipe allows you to use leftover crusts to make a tasty and wholesome variation to this very traditional British bread and butter pudding dessert dish.
DIY illustrated how-to guide to multi-purpose brick BBQ as a cold frame. By repurposing and upcycling an old windowed door, scrap wood and glass to make the removable bespoke top and front sections.
Information and tips with illustrations to planning and growing organic vegetables and fruits in your greenhouse and back garden for healthy eating with fresh veg, and to save money on the food bill.
Cat trees bought off the shelf are not made for Maine Coon cats, but if you like doing a bit of DIY they can be strengthened and extended to support the weight and size of your Maine Coon pet.
Vegetarian shepherd’s pie recipe using soya as a healthy alternative to meat, made with veg and potatoes, natural ingredients for flavouring; served with peas and link for making the vegetarian gravy.
The gentle giant of all domestic cats, the Maine Coon, makes a lovable and endearing pet, as portrayed in my showcase of our adorable half-breed moggies (also part Ragdoll, another adorable cat breed).
My visit to and review of Cheddar Gorge, a great place to visit in Somerset, England, famous for its caves and the world famous cheddar cheese; packed with photos, tourist information and map.
Crisp banana sandwich, potato chips in American; a quick British snack with a difference. A very tasty, simple, easy and quick snack to make; and great for potato couch snacking in front of the TV.
Communal vegetable gardening with your friends and neighbours, a concept of mutual benefit by sharing seeds, seedlings, plants and fruits and vegetables with each other; our approach to achieve this.
Showcase of handcrafted wooden ornaments; solid wood elephants and a pair of giraffes carved from bamboo. And review and recommendations of ornaments made from real wood.
I show and review handcrafted coal ornaments, especially Welsh coal. Although they're hard to find, you can still find a nice selection of coal ornaments online.
Fridge magnets can be functional as well as decorative; here I explore various types of fridge magnets you can buy looking at their durability, aesthetics and uses.
Review showcase of slate coasters, which are decorative and functional; my favourite type of coaster is slate because it has an air of natural quality and when not in use makes great art decor.
Recipe for making potato cheese and onion sauce for stuffed baked potatoes and a recipe for a complete meal with the stuffed baked potatoes complete with baked beans and hard boiled eggs.
My review on using an energy saving monitoring device and how it can help you save money on your electricity bill; also an illustrated how-to set guide and how to use it and other related devices.
How-to DIY guide for making an Innovative bespoke built-in wooden laundry basket that doesn’t get in the way and doesn’t get chewed by the cats; space saving durable solution illustrated with photos.
Comprehensive illustrated DIY how-to guide on recycling wood from old laminated chipboard furniture to upcycle and repurpose for shelving and new cupboard doors; with joints and shelf support tips.
Illustrated step-by-step how-to guide to make a simple bespoke wooden hairbrush rack in 4 easy steps on a shoestring budget from recycled material e.g. piece of scrap wood and an old wire coat hanger.
Jewellery (jewelry) boxes come in all shapes and sizes to cater for all needs. Here I review all the jewellery boxes around the home looking at the different designs and their various uses.
Tips and ideas on displaying your ornaments to balance them for a more pleasing effect e.g. odd numbers work better than evens, and proportioning style and size.
Illustrated DIY step-by-step how-to guide on remodelling an old broken magazine rack to make it bespoke for our needs; with ideas and suggestions and our sourcing of suitable materials and tools.
How-to DIY guide to recycling wood and scrap materials to make bespoke made-to-measure caddy for storing TV and other remote controls all in one handy place; detailed illustrated step-by-step guide.
For inspiration and gift ideas, showcase of our collection of décor mugs hanging on cup hooks in our kitchen that are also functional; including personalised, colourful, humorous and themed mugs.
How-to guide for restoring an old tole oil painting on glass; I’m not an artist but I appreciate good art, and so it was when I decided to restore an old Tole painting by my great-grandmother.
Cats love interactive feeder toys, which help to keep them active; also great see them play and feed at the same time. This is an in-depth review based on our experiences with our Maine Coon cats.
DIY how-to step-by-step guide to make wooden toilet roll holder in 8 easy steps from a broom handle and piece of scrap wood to hold spare toilet paper; fully illustrated with photos, advice and tips.
Review and recommendations for great kitchen storage jars; including marble, glass, wood and stainless steel; showcased with samples from our kitchen, their function, aesthetics and durability.
Detailed and fully illustrated step-by-step how-to guide to renovate old staircases back to bare wood, after removing fitted carpet; and replacing pine floorboards with solid oak flooring on landing.
My review and recommendations of great wooden fruit bowls; showcased by our collection demonstrating their use, versatility and beauty, and their duel role for display and functionality.
Review guide for beauty dishes and softboxes for photography, and illustrated DIY Rico style step-by-step how-to guides to make and adapt lighting equipment to fit Bowens photographic studio lights.
Review and recommendation for quality made wooden breadbins based on my own personal experience; looking at the beauty of natural wood and finding the ideal location for bread-boxes in the kitchen.
Camera, equipment and software review and recommendation for great multimedia photography and videography post production; illustrated showcase guide from a professional photographer and videographer.
Ideas and tips on adapting and making equipment for photography on a low budget; photographic kit, including lighting and studio equipment for Canon cameras and Bowen lights that is normally expensive
Detailed illustrated step-by-step how-to guide to make attractive and scented candles; the instructions given are for using recycled candle wax although the principle is the same for using new wax.
My review of the best genealogy software for creating and maintaining a database of your family tree on your computer including my experience of using Roots Magic and Family Tree Maker.
Brief history and transition from analogue to digital radio, how it differs between HD, Satellite and Internet Radios in America and DAB in Europe; showcase of my DABs, and some recommended radios.
Being a road atlas navigator of the old school who has now used for many years and become dependent on Satnavs for holiday travel and day trips, I give my full review of our experiences with TomTom.
Review and recommendations for great software for making your own personalised greeting cards for all occasions; includes illustrated step-by-step how-to guide and info to using studio card programs.
Step-by-step how-to guide to changing watch batteries; fully illustrated with videos and photos, and review and recommendations for watch repair tool kits necessary for replacing your watch battery.
Fortified tea wine recipe made with 12 tea bags, grape concentrate and fresh oranges and lemons. Matures in 5 months although taste improves with age; a refreshing drink that goes well with biscuits.
Detailed and illustrative review and recommendations for DeWalt power tools, cordless drill and screwdriver and the DeWalt jig saw with video demo; includes pros and cons of cabled vs. cordless.
Review of hand and power tool accessories, which over the years I have found a great asset in my home-workshop; and would recommend for any DIY enthusiast e.g. drill hole saws and Forstner bit sets.
7 DIY projects illustrating how-to recycle and repurpose wooden decking off-cuts in the home and garden e.g. recycle and compost bins, ramps, table tops, raised beds, shelving and cat scratching post.
My fully illustrated review of the Evolution Rage Circular Saw based on my personal experience, with video and photos. The blade quality and performance were the main features that impressed me.
Detailed and illustrative review of the Dremel with recommendations ; showcase demonstrating its versatility for cutting, sanding, polishing and engraving in wood, metal, plastic and glass.
Review and recommendations for the SoniCrafter e.g. Rockwell; a versatile multipurpose power tool saw for DIY jobs in tight and awkward spaces. Worx model fully illustrated with video demo.
From personal experience, my review of the cordless Russell Hobbs Jug Kettles with a detailed look at their various features including ergonomic design, viewing window and pouring spout.
What lurks behind your garden shed illustrates how you can reutilise a small and normally wasted space behind the shed and multipurpose it for your own garden use while still catering for wildlife.
Simple desserts prepared and ready in just a few minutes; all that is required is banana and fresh fruits, Swiss Roll cake and custard; and for a variation fresh fruits and a large pot of yogurt.
5 safe ways for pest control in organic gardening; full review with recommendations of the methods I find effective; wildlife ponds, soapy liquids, Sluggo, Diatomaceous Earth and companion planting.
Dalek stools, solution for small people to reach kitchen wall cupboards and shelves; my full illustrated showcase review and recommendations, includes alternative step stools from my own experience.
How to step by step guide with tips and ideas to use your blender and the Bialetti milk frother for making banana ice cream milkshakes.
Light-hearted look at who really discovered America, Bristol’s link through John Cabot and his ship, the Matthew; and the Middleton Family of Washington, my great-great grandfather’s American friends.
How-to recycle salvaged glass and mirrors in DIY projects around the home; illustrated showcase packed with tips and suggestions, and a guide on cutting and reusing glass to fit glazed cupboard doors.
Cauliflower Cheese, a traditional British recipe; also included here is the how to for making the cheese sauce and as a complete meal I serve it with baked potatoes and baked tomatoes.
DIY illustrated step-by-step how-to guide to make your own storage rack to hold a bank of external HDD hard drives as a storage and backup solution for your computer or iMac.
A simple and quick recipe to make a tasty meal from leftover mashed potatoes and grated cheese, optionally adding tomatoes and onions and serving as a snack or with baked beans as a main evening meal.
Finding space to store salvaged scrap wood in your garden shed or workshop for future DIY use can be an issue; here I showcase my temporary storage solution with suggested ideas for the longer term.
DIY Illustrated how-to guide to make a Perspex egg-rack for the fridge door shelf. Additional info and tips are given for making a free standing egg rack for the kitchen worktop or for wall mounting.
A simple recipe for turning your leftover roast potatoes into a tasty dish; with serving suggestions, including either fried or poached egg with baked beans, tinned tomatoes or peas.
How-to hew wooden shelves to create that 17th century effect; illustrated showcase step-by-step guide with photos and video to hewing wood using a jig-saw with tips, advice and recommendations.
How-to guide to build shelf units for storing DVDs, CDs or paperback books, with fixed and adjustable shelves and how to create a hewn effect with a jog saw; a comprehensive guide with illustrations.
You can use those end-of-season, unripe tomatoes you picked from your garden or greenhouse to make an excellent chutney. I also include recipe tips for using the chutney in a ploughman’s lunch.
Video demo of the Kenwood as a great British tin can opener with a personal detailed illustrative review and recommendations; also compares other types and models of tin openers, manual and electric.
My review for the best deep fat fryers based on my experiences of using these kitchen appliances; to mainly cook chips (French Fries in America). I also look at alternative methods of frying chips.
Simple and easy illustrated recipe to make cheese and mashed potato omelette, with tips for variations in ingredients and various cooking methods to make this tasty meal suitable for vegetarians.
I like toast; this review based on my experiences looks at some of the best available toasters e.g. T-Fal models, and explores other ways of toasting bread like griddlers, grills and sandwich makers.
Review and recommendations for bread makers; illustrated showcase from what we use in our kitchen, with advice, tips and suggestions on choosing the best bread maker for your requirements.
This is my adaptation of a 1940s wartime recipe, tomato and potato cheese pie; as a vegetarian the main difference being to substitute lard for margarine. An easy bake wholesome, and nutritious meal.
In this simple recipe guide, I describe how to poach eggs in an egg poacher and in boiling water. I also look at poaching eggs in the microwave using egg rings.
For a healthier diet, tips and recommendations for using alternatives for flavouring your food instead of salt; such as herbs and spices, including mint, mustard and spinach for good healthy eating.
Toasties, Things on Toast, Double Decker toasted sandwiches and other great sandwich ideas; innovative ways to serve tasty snacks on toast and in sandwiches. Quick, simple and easy recipe snacks.
Recipes for the humble British chip (French Fries in American), including the famous British chip butty, other serving suggestion and menu ideas; and simple crisp sandwich (potato chips in American).
Simple dessert recipe, just 5 minutes to prepare blueberry and banana stuffed melon; variations include other soft fruits e.g. raspberries with tips to grow your own and on picking wild blackberries.
Potatoes are all too often boiled in salty water, which is not healthy. In some of these 10 potato recipes I give examples of healthier eating by using herbs as an alternative to salt for flavour.
Review and recommendation for the Bialetti Hot Chocolate Maker and Milk Frother; showcased with video demos, illustrated with photos; also how-to make cappuccino and cool milkshakes in the Bialetti.
My selection of wildlife photos and videos filmed while holidaying of animals and birds in captivity and the wild in city farms, zoos, nature reserves and the wild across Britain and France.
Showcase with photos and info of 22 vintage and antique bellow, folding pocket and box cameras through the ages from 1903 to 1953; including magic lanterns, AGFA, Contessa, Nagel, Coronet, and Kodak.
How-to guide and advice on sourcing and making dimmer switch units compatible to work safely with halogen lights to produce bright white light; ideal for photography studio lighting and BBQ lighting.
Tips, ideas and advice, with illustrations, on garden hard-landscaping, topics covered includes wildlife ponds, patios, decking, fencing, raised vegetable beds, paths and brick built BBQs.
Advice, ideas and tips on converting or reutilising your loft or attic space; this illustrated showcase demonstrates converting and reutilising the loft as an occasional film and photographic studio.
An in-depth review from my experience on the benefits of wildlife ponds to organic vegetable gardening and detailed description on how-to make your own pond complete with pump and water features.
An unusual love triangle between Mistral the Swan with Mute and Whooper swans; as reported by the Harwich Environmental Action Team in Essex over 10 years of her life while under their protection.
Review and recommendations of the Sonicrafter, Dremel, and Evolution Rage Saw power tools based on my own personal experiences. Demo videos included.
My tour of Britain and France filming and photographing nature, native birds and wildlife in their natural habitat; a showcase wildlife guide is fully illustrated with, maps, videos and photo albums.
Great holiday resorts and places to visit on the west coast of France from the Vendee Coast, including the popular Puy du Fou Theme Park, and further south on the coast to la Palmyre and Bordeaux.
My illustrated guided tour with photos, videos and maps of England and Wales showcasing some fantastic historic and wildlife places to visit on day trips and recommendations for holiday destinations.
Explore Belgium via its waterways, rivers and canals. My Illustrated boating holiday showcase and review of a great scenic way to navigate through the heartland of this most wonderful part of Europe.
Showcase by Proper Job Productions introducing photography and videography for beginners and enthusiasts wishing to go semi-professional or professional; with tips and advice to help you on your way.
This article provides insight into the British Urban Fox, their popularity in cities and how they differ from rural foxes. The information is based on my own experience and observations of foxes in our back garden.
Helicopter and hot air balloon displays and air shows; including Headcorn Air Show, and annual events in Weston-Super-Mare and Bristol, England and an air sea exercise at La Laguna beach, France.
Highlight of some of the great wetlands bird sanctuaries, wildlife and nature parks open to the public in southern France. If you love nature and holidaying nearby then they’re great for day trips.
Showcase, with maps, photos and videos of a selection of ideal places across England and Wales for bird spotting native and wildlife birds at their best on day trips while holidaying in Britain.
Our visit to the New Forest in Hampshire, England (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty); when I videoed the famous New Forest ponies and black headed gulls.
Some of the old steam and water gravity trains still operational in England. Lake District, Beamish and the water gravity train at Lynton and Lynmouth, Devon; illustrated with photos and videos
Learn about what a geeky robotic lawnmowers is with this demo video and my personal review of the robotic mower by Husqvarna tested by me on a week’s trial for an article in our local newspaper.
Holiday review of D’Arcachon in the Bordeaux region of France, video showcase with day trip recommendations for the Ornithological bird park in du Teich, and viewing the sunset from Dune dy Pyla.
Guide with examples on how-to better achieve projects around the home including DIY, Gardening and cooking using the three golden rules of project management; costs, quality, time and risk management.
Holiday review of wildlife parks and nature reserves near Bordeaux in southern France, including the Ornithological Park open to the public to observe birds, including storks, in their natural habitat
My holiday review of the Vendee Coast showcasing some of the places we've toured and events enjoyed over the years; most wonderful destination with gorgeous weather, great beaches and lots to see.