RICK JACKSON: Today children, dad will build a playhouse and... get divorced

In our wisdom, we decided to buy a tower playhouse for our children.

Wednesday, 2nd August 2017, 9:00 pm
Updated Monday, 11th September 2017, 1:12 pm
The house that Jackson built - will it last?

It should have come with a government health warning: danger of divorce!

Let me set the scene.

It’s Sunday. It’s windy, and we invite over my sister-in- law’s three kids as they are moving into their new home. We thought she could do with them off her hands.

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So, we have five kids to look after and a tower playhouse to put up. What could possibility go wrong?

Luckily father-in-law came to help.

The instructions were as long as War and Peace and made Ikea directions look simple.

With no pilot holes, hundreds of screws and tacks and children running riot in the back garden, we took deep breaths and started.

Fifteen screws in and my drill ran out of battery. Could we find the spare one?

At this moment my wife, who was instructing said men to erect said playhouse, lost it.

Thankfully our neighbours were in and their drill had been on charge.

It turns out my father-in- law also had his in the boot of his car. Three drills were now in action.

Slowly the thing was starting to take shape.

Sadly though, if one item was not connected exactly in accordance with the bizarre instructions, it put the rest out of kilter.

By the time the roof was on it looked like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We could not work out why.

We used a couple of supporting struts as legs and vice versa. Apparently there is a subtle difference between pieces KB and KD. Blood was boiling.

Now you can see why I am happy to pay someone to come round and do these jobs for us. It’s quicker and it saves skin from knuckles... and marriages.

We finished it on Monday afternoon. It was well worth it though. Being (hopefully) waterproof, we’ve put carpet inside along with some cushions and books. It looks great and most importantly, the kids love it.

It also doubles as a fantastic ‘dog house’ which no doubt will become a home-from-home for me from time to time!


What do I do this weekend? I have tickets to the Supercars event at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu.

And my friend, who is on holiday for a couple of weeks, has offered me his ticket for the first game of the season at Fratton Park. What a dilemma!

I love the first day of the season. The excitement of seeing our new squad, kit and manager and Fratton Park looking pristine on the opening day.

But. There are more than 400 supercars on display. Hearing V12 engines, getting up close and personal to Bugatti Veyrons, Ferraris and Aston Martins is too much to turn down.

The only disappointment about this day will be driving home in my Ford S-Max and not a Lamborghini.


I think the only people happy with the weather this week will be the sailors at Cowes Week.

When we’ve had excellent summers, they hate it. Sunburnt with little or no wind doesn’t make racing much fun.

As wind and rain batter us, as they did yesterday, the racing is frantic. It can be fun to watch if you know what’s going on.

Luckily the event has it’s own radio station, which you can pick up on FM along our shores.

Races are commentated on by Cowes Week Radio, which has been running now for more than 30 years. First set up by Ocean Sound, many of those pioneering broadcasters return each year just for the fun of it.

For them, it’s a real busman’s holiday.