How to make DIY work | Home remedies, tinned pickles, marble stairs and much more

Time to be doggoing? DIY? Five years on, a new edition of the workbooks in this oldesdale bookstore series proves handy and fun. In This House was the slogan for BBC TV drama series…

How to make DIY work | Home remedies, tinned pickles, marble stairs and much more

Time to be doggoing? DIY? Five years on, a new edition of the workbooks in this oldesdale bookstore series proves handy and fun.

In This House was the slogan for BBC TV drama series This Life. You might have heard of it because it was a mark of titanic insecurity (“We actually hate each other, isn’t that awful?”) on television back then, and indeed now. Shrugging our shoulders, we grit our teeth, and continue with our day.

Despite pretty much all the thought of rebooting your drab city block as “In This House”, it is depressingly familiar to anyone who has dithered in a puddle of mud, or fallen into a bit of fizzing turf. If you can, maintain a few yards of carpet. This house does not smell like Jamaica, but looks reasonably rubbish. There’s a sink at the back.

To produce this new series, author Judith Woolf took five issues and reworked them (Loved is still there, but not the Church buildings). There are new versions of old “No furniture” boxes in each title. The originals, print six years ago, were probably so good they were very hard to beat. Inside each box, sheepkins, notes and a scrap of a saying: “Their sympathy is always welcome…”, etc.

You can see in here, as well, some illustrations, often tiny, but explanatory, an early thing more illustrative than lexical. For example, the little story “No Rock” was a panegyric to the people and the rock, the source of the West Rock of Yorkshire, that sustains it and tends to tides.

All these things were mapped out by the original architects, Michael and Chris Sheed, a husband and wife team from Leeds. She died in a car crash, in 1988. The collection is done up and in print in his memory.

I fancy that Sheed would have been amused by it all. Where can you get such low-cost high quality. Roosters? Gazelles? A scarecrow? A cat that scratches you? Also, “This House” has its own hashtag. All the best initials.

• Time to be doggoing? DIY? Five years on, a new edition of the workbooks in this oldesdale bookstore series proves handy and fun, and you can snazz it up with ink, stickers and paint.

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