Entirely unexpectedly I was headed for New Zealand. That’s the idea behind surprise presents. I did know about it before having to get on the plane – a current passport being a requisite – but it was still a surprise. Shelley decided we were off to the land of the long white cloud while we…

" I've gotta keep moving or I won't be able to move. "Shelley

Diamonds In The Rough: Wild West

Yeehaw! Diamonds In The Rough is back! Grab your lasso, saddle up ‘ol Bess and join me for an episode set in the Wild West. This episode features gems from Lucasarts’ Outlaws, Oregon Trail and of course the Red Dead Redemption series, plus many more!

" Endor is under attack! "Shelley (Sooty is chewing the top off a tree)


I’ve done a fair bit of baking in my time. I’ve always felt it’s more chemistry than anything else. With our new Kitchenaid, which is now an indispensable piece of equipment, impulsive bakery action is now a reality. This afternoon I made what is essentially a perfect white loaf. It’s not that I haven’t been…

He’s on fire!

I picked up a copy of NBA Jam for the Megadrive last week. It’s considered a classic for a reason. I didn’t actually own a copy of it back in the day and I wouldn’t say basketball was my go-to sporting interest. But I certainly played it with my cousins and a few of my…

The Expanse

I’d mentioned a little while ago that I’d ordered the series The Expanse by James S. A. Corey. I’m just finishing Abbadon’s Gate which is book three and I can highly recommend the series. It’s been a while since I’ve jumped into an extended sci-fi story but I’m glad I did. It’s science fiction action with…


The paint job on my Flowhive is complete. It’s styled like a beach shed! Or the Grey Bar Hotel…it will remain unpopulated for the next few weeks until my nucleus is ready for collection. I’ve ordered a 5 frame nuc with Italian bees.

Nectar of the gods

Given my long-standing moniker and associated iconography you’d be forgiven for thinking that I was an apiarist. I’m not. But I will be soon! This week I’ve taken collection of a six frame Flowhive and related equipment. There have only been a few setbacks during the build process (like putting the roof shingles on upside…

Guild of Ambience – Grimwade House

Grimwade House is located along the northern edge of Lake Ashenmoor. While much of the manor has fallen into disrepair, the living quarters remain active as lodging during winter. Guests have reported seeing light emanating from vacant rooms and hearing strange whispers throughout the night.

Gloomhaven – 3D printed models

We knew it was going to be a hard slog when we started. For the price, you’d expect to get a lot of playtime out of Gloomhaven. And I can report this is indeed the case. When we’ve played D&D the campaigns have taken on a pretty free-wheeling kind of approach to manging the encounters….

Best In Class

After many months and a lot of glue, plaster, paint and foam, I finished my Shire diorama and entered it into Armies on Parade 2019. This was my third year participating and my goal was taking Best Scenic Board in the Specialist Games category. I did, so this makes it a hattrick. I also unintentionally…

Rapid Fire – VGM Quiz #4

When everything you know is wrong.