I need to learn that nothing is ever as easy as it seems

Absolute Bowie
Absolute Bowie
Rick Jackson believes Big Ben's bongs should not be silenced

RICK JACKSON: Our las total eclipse was typically British – cloudy

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You know when you find a recipe online that says it takes 30 minutes to make and you discover that actually it takes three hours because you have to go to the supermarket to get those special ingredients which will make all the difference?

Then more time is lost because you pop round to a neighbour’s as you don’t have the right-sized pan and spend time there discussing what other recipes might have been more successful?

The moment finally came when it was apparent I needed to create something with my driveway detritus,

So all in all it was never as easy as the recipe suggested?

We’ve all been there and yet I never learn. And what is it that I don’t learn? That nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

When I saw pallet furniture online, I thought, how hard can that be? It’s literally furniture made out of pallets – straightforward, simple, modular.

Knock something up in only an hour or two. Hah. Brilliant. All my garden furniture needs sorted for a fraction of the price it’d cost at a garden centre.

Like all these things, it started out really well. I co-opted my father to keep an eye out for pallets and within a few weeks he had a fine pile for me. They’ve been on my driveway for, I don’t know, about a year now. So my couple of hours’ work has already stretched over 12 months.

The moment finally came when it was apparent I needed to create something with my driveway detritus, so I invested time in project pallet chair. Hmm.

It was clearly, after an hour, more than a one-woman job. Blackmailed children are handy labour, but after two hours we were still trying to crack open three pallets to get enough serviceable planks without nails to make the seat.

Then there was a half-hour search under the shed for extra wood for legs, cutting those out, a few choice words with my husband about my design and another hour with him chiselling said legs while I kept him company (as project initiator I felt it only politic that I sat and cheered him on).

I now own a heap of pallets’ skeletons, and four legs.

Perhaps that’s where the two hours bit will actually come in, fitting it all together with a happy smile while desperately not calculating the sanding, staining and cushion-making time.

PARK YOUR MUSICAL SNOBBERY AND SIMPLY HAVE A GREAT TIME

There are so many David Bowie tribute concerts taking place this year.

I think it’s a wonderful way to honour a legend of British culture.

I saw Absolute Bowie a few weekends ago and, although you can never beat an original artist, this act came very close.

Was it the music or the synchronised singing of the audience which made it so special?

That shared moment? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that there are plenty of events dedicated to Bowie this summer.

Make the most of it and look for happenings at the New Theatre Royal, Kings Theatre and festivals etc.

It’s not the man himself, but sometimes we need to park our musical snobbery and simply have a great time.

LET’S BE HONEST, WHO HASN’T MADE A PARENTING MISTAKE?

I’m relieved for the young boy who was found alive and well in a forest in Japan after his parents had left him there.

There has been much debate online as to why and when they chose to leave their young son alone.

It’s so easy to be judgmental, isn’t it? Similarly with the situation at the Cincinnati zoo where a child fell into a gorilla enclosure.

We’ve all had something to say about bad parenting.

But let’s be honest, who amongst us hasn’t made a mistake at some point which could have ended in a different way?

Like taking an eye off them in a park or one of a million other situations.

Let’s stop judging and instead thank the universe for leaving our own children unscathed.