Saturday, 28 September 2013


b+q patio heater selectionWow. Another day of extreme complication that I declared was my best day ever. It wasn't really, but you've got to start somewhere.....
Up at half nine: I'm very hangover-friendly. Jof had already gone to the chiropodist to get new toes or something so I got to harass him instead. I messed around sulking while he bought tomorrows' breakfast at the butcher and then the fun started.
B+Q is a large local hardware store with a footprint that comfortably exceeds 2 acres.
they see me rollin they hatinOur challenge (as set by the PuddleParents) was to re-create the Phoenix Public house in our own backyard. The Phoenix is just south of Albert Road in good ol' Nelsonville (a moniker from when naval officers lived there) and has a perfectly reasonable bar, concrete-based garden with all manner of potted plants and an outhouse with pool table, dart board and reams of pubby-type pictures, historical framed photos, old beer and cigarette adverts et al.
bring your child to work day inappropriateSo at B+Q we bought a patio-warmer fire thing and some giant flat woods and some pipes to roll acorns down and some cheap end-of-season cyclamens and a bamboo and an acer and chrysanthemums and compost. The giant flat woods were too big to go in the car so they had to go home on the trolley (very loud and rattly) which gave me the chance to ride back to the store on it, singing and dancing all the way. Strangely we also nipped into Buds' work where I operated all the doors with the magic getting-in card, retrieved the coin from under the coffee shop fridge and brought home loads of pink foam for insulation against draughts and traffic noise, to make the Garage pub better, and a broken pallet for the stove.
phoenix pub duncan road southseaThe PuddleDaddies have spent many happy pounds sterling at the Phoenix, and in addition, Kath the short-haired landlady is a customer of Jof's bank. Thus, she knew that the Puddleparents wanted us to make our own pub beergarden and was willing to help.
phoenix public house southsea portsmouthFirst, we tried the charity shop: clos

ed. The fireplace shop: closed. Pub: open.
Kath gave us a free go on the pool table and a dartboard and the rubber lifebelt that goes round it and a beer garden umbrella in original box and 3 darts ('Arrers) and many helpful ideas about plant pots and cigar adverts and where to place the toilets. It's my first time playing darts and to be fair I was a big old bag of pants starting, but gradually I improved. Ditto with pool: I gather Ben played it today and one of these days we shall have to plough the baize together. Amazingly the wood surrounding the dartboard (for those players too inebriated to hit the board) is exactly what we bought at B+Q at only £10 per sheet.
Eventually we made it home after only 3 1/2 pints of Irvings' Iron Duke and watched Strictly cum dancing.

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