Spending: September to December 2016

Across the final three months of 2016, I embarked on a ‘spending spree’ of sorts to upgrade a few key areas of my existing range of walk-related clothing.

In this post, I’ll summarise everything I purchased along with a brief explanation as to why.

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I Love Film

I’m not a great believer in that the dawn of a new year is the perfect time to make changes. By all means, it’s possible but it too often feels like an excuse. If you’re intent on doing something then, why wait? Don’t delay. What are you really waiting for?


I actually made a decision towards the end of my Christmas break to take out my first DVD subscription with LoveFilm, who now seem to be owned by Amazon. It was a little confusing at first but I’ve since been able to make us of the ‘30-Day Free Trial‘ letters they’ve been sending me lately… (Yes, Amazon still use Snail Mail!)

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Kitchen Complete?

There was a third DIY task that I accomplished in the kitchen over the weekend and it was without a doubt the simplest task of them all, even though I suspect some people may not be as accustomed to to this kind of job as others…

I installed a simple wall rack for hanging saucepan lids.

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My First Washer/Dryer

After four months of frequent to my mother’s home, with black bags full of my dirty laundry; I jumped in and bought myself a washer/dryer this week. I’ve taken that extra step closer towards independence. For the very first time, I own a washing machine and this post is going to involve my initial impressions and remarks from its first use.

One brand-new washing machine; one basket-full of dirty laundry.

TecTake Portable Mini Washing Machine and Dryer – it arrived within three working days from Germany and, as I was out walking, it was kindly taken in by a neighbour for me to collect later and at my own convenience.

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Life After the Microwave

In an effort to improve my diet and culinary skills(!), I have officially passed on my microwave in favour of a brand-new worktop oven. Another reason for returning the microwave to my mother was because I don’t have a lot of worktop space close to the all-important electrical sockets. I do believe I’m going to miss the microwave somewhat, but only for the convenience of microwaved rice puddings and other quick deserts.

I’ve bought myself a halogen oven, on the recommendation of Doug on one of my YouTube videos. They’re generally regarded as being very energy-efficient while cooking at around 20% faster than a conventional oven.

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Grandpa’s Workshop

If you’re a follower of the Lost Art Press then, you’ll no doubt have heard about Grandpa’s Workshop. It’s been blogged and reblogged all over the place for the last few months and, quite recently, it became available in the UK, thanks to Classic Hand Tools.

Brown paper wrapping
Brown paper wrapping

I haven’t bought anything tool or even wood-related for a while but, as I’m in to reading and especially writing at the moment, I decided to purchase this one, as soon as I read about it in CHT’s monthly newsletter.

Grandpa's Workshop - Maurice Pommier
Grandpa’s Workshop – Maurice Pommier

I cannot review the book just yet as it now sits amongst an ever-growing pile of books I’m slowly working my way through. Instead, I thought I’d take some time and photographs to show you just how delicately wrapped it was upon delivery last week.

Tools List
Tools List

Had I bought this book from an average seller on Amazon then, I’m sure they wouldn’t have gone to the effort of wrapping it in brown paper. As a hardback book, many might see this step as unnecessary, within the confines of a jiffy bag. But, it certainly is a very nice touch and, of course, you get the extra satisfaction from having to unwrap an item you’ve already received and opened. I don’t wish to share the contents of this book, even after I’ve read it, as I’d hope you might consider buying it yourself some day. Just inside the front and back covers, you’re presented with a tools list for everything featured further ahead (or behind).

If you are interested in a review though, I would suggest you look here.

I apologise for the quality of these photos as the lighting isn’t great indoors.

Thanks for reading.

Making Substitutions

Tomorrow, I hope to be buying some pine so that I can finally build myself a proper desk for typing on (I’ve spent the last two weeks as I am now; sat on the floor, with my laptop resting on top of an unpacked box! This cannot go on!!). I’ve also been thinking a lot about timbers I could use for one of the two guitar builds I’d like to get stuck in to some time and, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the subject, along with the pros and cons of using various woods for certain components.

My main resource so far has been from an excellent book titled Make Your Own Electric Guitar by Melvyn Hiscock.

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Triton DCA300 Dust Bucket

Even when I’m trying to get on with my work, it seems the courier guys are hell-bent on delivering something that will disrupt my working day… I’ve just taken delivery of a Triton DCA300 Dust Collection Bucket; something I’ve been talking about buying for months:

I managed to get it for less than £24 delivered – it was listed as a Used item at Amazon.co.uk but, in “As New” condition, which simply meant that it didn’t arrive in the original packaging. I have double-checked though and everything is complete and in tact. Having signed up for a thirty-day trial of their new Prime service as well, the item arrived next-day at no extra cost. 😎

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