Monday, 24 May 2010


Last year one of my Troy Stalwart's, "Debs", entered her shed in the Shed Of The Year 2009 competition and was a catagory winner! I'd forgotten all about the competition until on her blog today I saw a reference to the Shed Of The Year 2010 competition. These sheds, including Deb's very own shed, are rather splendid edifices - glories to behold. Now Troy is rather proud of his own shed although is realistic enough to realise that his shed would never win a prize. Not in a national competition, not in a County competition. In fact, I'd probably struggle to win in a village competition. So instead I thought I'd enter it into the "Best Self Erected Shed In Troy's Back Garden" competition.

When I blogged about our garden makeover, way back in 2008, I actually ignored my shed although it does feature in the very corner of one of the photos. That's a shame bacause as I said above, I'm rather proud of the Troy Family Shed. We built it ourselves (well I suppose strictly speaking that should be "erected" rather than "built"). We levelled the ground and then the shed's components were delivered:-

Then Mrs Troy and I set about erecting it. Here we are part way through. I'll just leave this photo on here for a few days as I don't generally include photos of ourselves on the blog. However I'll give regular readers a sight of the delightful Mrs Troy as well as myself until the end of the week. Notice the dexterity with which I'm handling the specialist equipment. It's a bit like Doctor Who's sonic screwdriver although the actual technical term for it is "hammer".

When it was finished it looked like this - just a pretty ordinary shed you are thinking. Well that's what I thought. It looked very wooden (not surprisingly!) and didn't particularly blend into its surroundings.

I contrasted the white render and exposed lower bricks of the garage and hatched a plan to help the shed blend into its location. Two pots of paint later (large pots and several coats to be exact) it was transformed to this...

See how the garage roof corners, the white render and exposed brickwork are mirrored in the colour scheme of the shed? Mrs Troy also got some film to go over the windows to obscure the contents of the shed. Click on the photo above for a better view of Mrs Troy's contribution.

So this is my entry into the "Best Self Erected Shed In Troy's Back Garden" competition. Entries are now closed. I'm confident of winning because I'm also the judge of the competition. It's also the only entry which should help it somewhat. However do feel free to leave any complimentary comments you wish as the judge is happy to be helped in reaching his verdict.

Saturday, 8 May 2010


I only did one blog posting about the election. And now, two days later, the election should all be in the past and the winning party should be getting on with governing the country. But it hasn't worked out like that, has it?

England voted for a fresh start. 82% of the nation, in 532 constituencies, via the ballot box sent the collective message "Bye bye Gordon". A government of England would have 297 Conservative MPs, 191 Labour MPs, 43 LibDem MPs and 1 Green. Enough to carry forward the Conservative manifesto and dig the country out the enormous hole it finds itself in (well, actually the enormous hole that Gordon Brown put us in). The bottom half of England - taking a line from the Severn to the Wash - voted even more overwhelmingly for the Conservatives (C 191, L 48, LD 30 I 1). So why can't we have what we want? Its simple, it can be summed up in one word. SCOTLAND.

Scotland, a nation which has its own parliament which has many devolved powers.

Scotland, a nation which has benefited from high levels of public spending due to the generosity of the English taxpayer.

Scotland, a nation whose banks were bailed out by English taxpayers.

So now we have Scottish socialist MPs (Labour and SNP) swarming down over the border, heading south to London to prevent the democratic will of the English, despite the Scots having their own parliament. Scottish MPs voting on many matters that affect the English only since so many policy areas have been devolved to the Scottish parliament. Scottish MPs voting on matters that don't affect their own constituents!

Wake up good people of England! This is a constitutional crisis.

We need to regain control of our democracy. If the Scottish people want a system of big government, central control, high taxation and high public spending then they should be allowed their choice as an independent nation. It might resemble Albania, Cuba or North Korea but it would be their choice. And the English likewise should be free to live under a system they have chosen. Where we find ourselves (both English and Scots) after this election is INTOLERABLE. So e-mail your local MP [I already have, but then he and I are on first name terms :-)] and tell him/her to put pressure on his/her party leader to break the Union and let both proud nations go their own way with the governments of their choice. David Cameron, in particular, needs to ditch his out of date attachment to the Union.

Here's a link to a great article about this in the Sunday Times.

Another interesting article in The Independent that concludes with the sentence "Although not many English yet realise it, their independence movement started last Thursday."

[And just to let you know how things went locally. The candidate I was helping got more than 50% of the votes cast in our constituency. I was invited to the count which declared at 2.40am. I stayed awake until 5am watching the other results on the TV. The neighbouring constituency, the town of Ipswich, turned blue and turfed out a Labour minister. In fact now, every square inch of Suffolk is Conservative!]