Congrats to Sian for making it through tortuous Apprentice '“ Zella Compton Â

This series of the Apprentice is finally over '“ am I the only one who feels as if it has  dragged on and on and on and on? Â

Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 10:13 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:13 am
The winner of the latest series of the BBC programme The Apprentice, Sian Gabbidon, celebrates with Lord Sugar

As ever my complaints are the same, primarily that none of the contestants appear to have watched the show before (who would write comments about themselves in the knowledge those will be flung back in their faces) and that surely their business propositions would be the first thing that Lord Sugar's team would look at before inviting them on the show.

To hear he can't invest in a hangover cure, when he's let that contestant compete for the last few months, feels disingenuous.

But congrats to Sian Gabbidon who made it to the bitter end.

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Armed with a staple gun I bring chairs back to life

I have discovered the joys of upholstery.

It isn't exactly a Christmas topic but if you're still looking for a gift that brings endless hours of concentration and a great sense of satisfaction, a few foam cushion pads and an industrial stapler may just be the way forward. 

I inherited sets of chairs from my grandmother '“ I say inherited, no one else wanted them.

I also inherited a set of chairs from my parents (like much of my furniture), and have, for the past 10 or so years, been perched on the edges of chairs as the seats gave out and sag ensued.

Their state has also not been helped by using them as ladders, dens (that was the children), and as various types of benches for various shows. 

I did think about going to a professional to have them fixed with style and panache but sometimes it's easier to DIY than find someone who might or might not be about to overcharge you.

And who might or might not be any good.

And who is handy and doesn't require any effort to find.

I'm all for DIY when the alternative cannot possibly be any worse than what you started out with, when anything you do will make an improvement.

I took one chair fully to pieces and ordered what I needed from the internet and then ordered the rest of the family into position to help with staple removal from the others.

It is exhausting but such satisfying work when you repair a chair.

I cannot overstate the thrill of watching one come back to life and sitting on it for the first time when it's been webbed and foamed and velveted and it looks awesome.

I would however urge a word of caution when using velvet for chair covers.

It turns out that it leaves bum shaped patterns and more.

Men in particular, you want to be wearing a thick pair of trousers when you're sitting on velvet. 

At the very least you should take the time to do a quick sweep of the hand as you stand to make sure you're not revealing more about yourself than perhaps you intended.

Nothing says Christmas like a dream-come-true elf story

Heart-warming stories are starting to happen as befits the season.

One of Hamleys toy store's seasonal staff was caught on camera dancing outside the front of the store as an elf. It was filmed and went viral and now the chap is being offered representation from an agent.

I'm not too sure if the agent is an elf agent but I suspect it's more about entering the world of theatrics.

I particularly like this story as it's about someone who was putting themselves out there, enjoying their job in the best way, and it's then made their dream come true.

Assuming Mike Rogers, didn't want to be an engineer of course, or a teacher, it's the stuff Christmas movies are made of.