The ‘Reel’ Challenge

It is hubby’s 40th birthday next week and part of his very many celebrations is a barbecue and everyone is invited! Not just old mates that we’ve known since our student days like last year, or neighbours like our neighbours do, or school gates mates with their kids. No, nothing manageable, that would be too simple – they’re all invited!

Big Hub has no idea why I have been frantically scouring the second hand shops and websites for garden furniture even though all we have is one small table and four chairs (including one that falls apart when anyone over 6 years-old sits on it)

“Why are you getting stressed? We’ve had barbecues before.” he says,

“Yes but those were just with our old mates. Our neighbours have grandchildren, they will want somewhere to sit and our friends are now 40, like you!” I reply.

“I’m not 40 for another week”

End of conversation.

We definitely don’t want to spend loads of money as we are trying to save every penny for the extension so I made a few bids on ebay (with one hairy moment when I bid on two lots of garden furniture by mistake but luckily was out bid) The other problem is that I don’t really like much garden furniture – it is either bog standard wooden fair that all looks the same or the woven stuff with cushions that looks far too high maintenance for a family without an outhouse to store it in during the winter months. We are more a family who drinks a bit too much and forgets to take the stuff in only to find it eaten by squirrels and covered in bird poo the next day.

So I finally settled on one of those big wooden cable reels to up cycle, very us! You know the ones that people on YouTube and Kirsty Allsopp find by the side of the road for free. Well I paid £40 and drove about 50 miles for mine (but then I don’t have a team of researchers to do that for me an leave in a street so I can skip along in my kitten heels and find it) Needless to say as soon as I made that winning bid Big Hub told me he hated it so now it has to be brilliant!

Here it is dismantled in the car as despite my very best measuring it didn’t fit (I bought it from a real gent with a spanner)

iphone mayjune 050

And here is a bit of before and after sanding, and annoying my neighbours on the last Saturday of half term.

iphone mayjune 054    iphone mayjune 055

With a week to go and quite a lot of other things to do, this has to be amazing! I’ve watched a mass of YouTube videos but I’m wary of anyone who says things are simple – I’ve read enough weekend decorator articles to know that ‘simply hire a sander, sand your wooden floors and give them three coats of paint’ cannot be done in a weekend. So, any practical hints or tips would be very much appreciated…

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