Monday, 31 October 2011

Haynes Women's Home DIY

Haynes Women's Home DIY

In the past few years, countless pink tool sets and DIY gizmos have been launched to target the female market - it was only a question of time before a reputable book was published to address the growing number of women who have given up nagging their partner to take matters into their hands on the homefront.

Haynes Women's Home DIY (RRP £19.99) claims to be a 'multi-tasker's guide to home DIY including decorating, plumbing and electrics'. Having browsed it countless times in the past month and even caught my partner leafing through it, I can confirm that as a famous ad says, 'it does exactly what is says on the tin' - and more!

Written by Kerrie Hanafin, the MD of building company A Woman's Touch, it is a remarkable book that really boosts your DIY confidence with its step-by-step photography and easy-to-follow instructions. It certainly goes beyond what I would be comfortable to take on (ie plumbing and electrics), but its chatty tone and down-to-earth advice are certainly encouraging. And considering my partner's and a male guest's interest in the book, it can be quite helpful for men too.... (in my male guest's words: "It's a pity it's so pink and aimed at women as some men would be put off buying it"). 

Yes, the fact is that there are men out there who don't have fully-fledged DIY skills and many books 'aimed at males' are not as explanatory and always assume a certain knowledge or a degree of handiness.... So if you are a male novice DIYer, don't let the pink cover put you off - you can always buy it for your girlfriend and share it.


Here's the table of contents, so you can judge for yourself:

Getting Started

Know your Home



Windows & Doors



Other DIY Jobs

Solving Problems


PS Happy Halloween everybody! Today is the last day to enter the competition to win The Eco-Friendly Home glossy book - a winner will be selected tomorrow by an impartial party, my four-year-old daughter Michela! 

Monday, 3 October 2011

A very unusual start for autumn!

Apple cup cakes
The past week has been unsually warm, which meant my grapes are maturing nicely and nearly all the apples have been harvested. I have been making jam with apple and bramble (I picked the berries and froze them in boxes, then combined them with the apple mush (see previous post for recipe).

Another use for windfall apples was the lovely cupcakes pictured above, which I made adding grated peeled apples to my usual recipe. I placed the nice, undamaged apples in a big glass bowl (not many of them, though) and have preserved the rest by cutting them into pieces and storing them in food bags, which were then frozen. Perhaps I can do apple pancakes with them, here is my recipe.

Hopefully we will have less waste next year (we threw away lots of rotten apples). We have pruned the overgrown apple trees a bit and will need to treat them soon as they are diseased. Yesterday my partner spend some time cutting dead branches, so we have a big pile of those at the back. We will need to dispose of them, perhaps hire a chipper?

With my partner back at work and me dealing with work, my daughter and lots of stuff cropping up, I had less time to devote to the house. We attempted to strip the original doors but they have proved a hard task despite having bought tools and chemicals. We also find out that they contained a layer of lead paint, thanks to a tester we bought at B&Q. So the doors will be done by a professional - I will post a photo when the first door is back. We had a sneek preview and it looks great.