Posted by: docdenbow | January 13, 2014

Mrs Denbow Was Wrong About Sherlock


Another instalment of my ongoing jazz obsession arrived, this time in the shape of a 4 CD set of Tubby Hayes. I won’t bore you (yet) with the details of this 4 CD set or list the Tubby Hayes recordings in my collection. What I will say it is only because I have stopped smoking fags that I’ve felt happy to spend what is admittedly not a lot on buying CDs that I want. Whereas it’s not that long ago that all I had of the Little Giant was a version of “Mexican Green” that was locked inside my head, I now have a pretty fair old collection. Plenty to be going along with.


It’s Mrs D’s fault that I’ve been buying and listening to a lot of jazz in the past few weeks. We’ve had a conservatory for a fair few years, a totally underused appendage tacked onto the rear of our home. It’s been variously used as a conservatory with can furniture, a study with a mega computer desk and a dining room with a crap Argos sideboard that hid my much loved hi fi away. There’s a radiator in there and we have an oil filled electric one as well so although it can be colder in there than the rest of the house it’s never been an insurmountable problem. Mrs D decided recently that we were “wasting the conservatory.” I’ve been saying that for years to no avail with everything I’ve suggested falling on deaf ears because Mrs D is “always right” and I am “an idiot” and a “lazy sod” who wants to “clutter up everywhere with laptops and guitars.”


On Saturday mornings Mrs D and Miss D the younger go shopping together and after doing the Morrison run have been going into Next to look at their home furnishings. Mrs D grabbed a catalogue and brought it home and sherlockexamined it in forensic detail. She made a decision. She decided that we were to buy a “Sherlock” snuggle chair (a mini sofa for midgets or lovers) and a “Sherlock” wingback chair. I drove over to Next at Pemberton Retail Park to see “Sherlock” face to face. I must admit that the snuggle chair, the chair and the footstool were really nice. In fact they were very nice.


When I saw the prices, I felt that “Moriarty” would have been a more appropriate name as opposed to “Sherlock.” Although I’m sure that they are high quality I felt and feel that £1200 is a bit much to spend on furniture for a room that Mrs D will not sit in. She assured me that she would use the conservatory if we “tidied” it up a bit. I felt a little railroaded by all of this but that has been the way of my married life for nearly 30 years (anniversary 3/03/2014) A few days later I was taken to B & Q to get an electric fire type thingy that has pebbles in it to put into the conservatory Getting the box into a 2004 VW Polo FSI was not the easiest thing we’ve ever done, but between us Mrs D and I managed.


Phase one was complete. £99 spent on a cheap little fire as a “focal point.” The next step was to stick some wallpaper on the wall that Mrs D had already stripped. (I should point out that it’s a sort of 3 sided conservatory. Enter from the living room glass straight in front, glass to the right, but on the left there stands a plain wall.) She’d found via the magic of the internet the sort of wallpaper that she wanted and was recommended to go to Rabarts just off Carmarthen Road. There were a lot of pattern books and when I say a lot I do mean a lot. I was a bit worried when I saw the names on the covers of these pattern books Brian Yates, Casamance, Colefax & Fowler, Colemans, Dixons, Doshi, Farrow & Ball, Gallerie, Graham & Brown, Harlequin, Jane Churchill, MAV, Muraspec, Osbourne & Little, Romo, Sandersons, William Morris, Zimmer & Rhodes and Zoffany. I became alarmed when we were told that these wallpapers, nice as they were, were “from about £50 a roll.”

Thinking Sherlock

I was a very unhappy Denbow. That’s £1200 for a dwarf’s settee and a chair and wallpaper at £50 plus a roll. All of this for a conservatory that rarely gets used. Mrs D of course was chuffed to find a wallpaper that was almost exactly what she was looking for. When she got the loaned pattern book home I was certain that the “almost” would be dropped and she’d want the most expensive wallpaper in the book which was something like £90 a roll. To try to make me feel like a condemned man I asked if we could go into B & M Bargains across the road to buy myself a couple of bottles of Dandelion And Burdock, some drinking chocolate and some Foxes Glacier Mints. (I am a man of simple pleasures) Mrs D set off to look at cushions, lamps and curtains and I got a basket and filled it with what I went in for. I then was faced with the virtually impossible task of actually finding Mrs D as in big shops she tends to go walkabout. Eventually I found her looking at wallpaper. It was vile, but was mercifully cheaper than the rolls we’d just seen in Rabarts. I left Mrs D looking at the vile wallpaper and saying that I was going to check out car care products I went up the other wallpaper aisles. I struck gold, I found what can only be described as a budget alternative facsimile to the wallpaper we’d just been looking at. I dragged Mrs D to come and have a look. She was mightily impressed. She actually liked it, but…… Right I thought time to assert myself for once in my downtrodden life. I took a deep breath,
“I am not prepared to spend £90 a roll on wallpaper for once wall of the conservatory. No way.”
She looked levelly at me.
“If the roof springs a leak then simply put the wallpaper will be buggered if we’re spending that type of money on wallpaper we need a real professional to hang it. That’s going tocost more than the paper probably”
I waited for her reply and when it came I was staggered.
“You’re right, I was thinking the same thing. I actually like this better and we can put this up ourselves.”


A week or so later the wallpaper was up and a bit of painting completed and the dreaded trip to Next was was at the top of the agenda. Both Mrs D and I have given up smoking and are now part of the growing band of “Vapers” and she wanted to go to the Vaping shop before we went to Next. I readily agreed as I was keen to delay the inevitable. After parking the car at Parc Tawe I suggested we nip into the YMCA Charity Shop for a quick wander around. This is not your typical High Street charity shop, it’s huge. Inside there are all manner of goodies (and baddies) to have a look at. consThere’s a fair amount of furniture, wardrobes, sideboards, dining tables and even fridges and a couple of dishwashers. This charity megastore also sells three piece suites, settees and odd chairs. Mrs D was loitering about 10 yards behind me when I saw it. A 2 seater settee that to my eyes looked brand new for £69. Lovely dark brown and looked as if it would be comfortable. I plonked myself down and waited for Mrs D to catch up.
“Ooooh, that’s nice.” she said sitting beside me. “ It’s very comfortable as well., how much?”
I handed her the card that I’d taken from the settee.
“We’re having this if it’s anything like the right size.”
I was sent to ask one of the volunteers if I could borrow a tape measure. I did some measuring and asked the $64,000 dollar question.
“Well, is it the right size?”
Mrs D considered the question for a moment and announced that it was about 3 inches wider than the dwarf’s settee in Next and would ”stick out” another 5 or 6 inches.
“I’ll go and ask them about delivery” was her answer to that.
When she came back to me she said
“It’s coming on Tuesday and £15 to deliver!”


The following week we returned to the YMCA shop and found a G Plan hi fi cabinet for me to bung my hi fi in (what else?) That cost all of £10 and as it fitted in the car without any problem at all there was to be no delivery charge. There followed a happy day for me connecting all back up in readiness to have a listen to some music properly once more. Meanwhile Mrs. D had bought cushions, two lamps, a throw and a rug and even the little armchair that was already there no somehow doesn’t look too out of place. It’s a small an inviting little room now. Without wishing to sound like one of those bozos off the TV we now think of it more as a “sun room” than a conservatory. We’ve even got a small TV in there. What more could you ask for?


As a result of Mrs Denbow’s planning and execution of, what I must admit, was a brilliant idea there’s a place that she and I enjoy both together and alone. I sit there with my Kindle having a read to the soundtrack of my jazz albums with our little dog Daisy sitting beside me.


We’ve managed to save ourselves a bloody fortune as well. I must say that Mrs Denbow was right as she always is……


Ciao For Now,





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  1. Doc, listen to an expert here… can NEVER have enough Tubby Hayes….

    • Simon,

      I’ve bought loads of Tubby Hayes CD’s recently, I’ll list them in another reply to you and you’ll see why I’m putting the brakes on for the moment! Amounts to about a dozen different albums (or more) and the wife is threatening my life!


      • Yeah, but there’s this really neat “Very Best of” coming out in February and it’s the ideal way to introduce TH to your friends, your family, someone else’s friends… even the wife!

  2. […] Mrs Denbow Was Wrong About Sherlock ( […]

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