You sound like you’re from London!

London Pub

Pub crawl – Drinking my way through London

London, London, London with your pubs, shops, cars, people, food and so many places of historic significance; I love you.  As opposed to last time we visited, this time we were earlier in the year and warmer weather greats us.  It’s funny to say but I have come from Australia to London and got a tan.

We arrived in London at around 2pm after a long 21 hour flight from Melbourne via Dubai.  Feeling absolutely dirty we decided to check into hotel, shower up, change our clothes and then go for a short walk to stretch our legs.  Well the short walk took us around the whole of Hyde park and by time we got back we had clocked up a good 10km.  We are staying in one of the many lovely little hotels near Bayswater station just a short 40 second walk from edge of Hyde park.  We find it a lot quieter than when we stayed in Paddington but the room is a lot smaller – more like a room with a bed and a ensuite.  All we need really as we don’t intend on spending much time here.   After our long walk we headed to the pub for my much desired bangers and mash and not so desired pint of warm beer.  By 9:30pm we were in bed sound asleep due to jet lag.

Day 2.  I won’t bore you with all the details but give you a quick summary.  As with the usual Dan & Rachel style we headed out with no plan on what to do but more a general direction and see where our feet took us.  Well we visited Portobello Road Markets then walked too Harrods, then to Buckingham Palace, Soho, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street and West End.  In total we completed a 30km walk through London.  With our feet burning we decided to retire to our hotel room prior to heading to the second Pub of the day.  I seem to have decided that i will try all the different brews i can in London- three pubs down how many to go?

Rachel and I decided this is where we will live.  Money is no object right?

Rachel and I decided this is where we will live. Money is no object right?

Big observation from first tow days is that there are way too many rich people in London and by rich i mean filthy rich.  We saw some apartments for sale for 13 million pounds for a 991 year lease….oh and we counted about 10-20 rolls royces in one stretch of road some of which were customised.  Later after talking to Liz i found out that it may be due to end of Ramadan and a lot of Muslims coming to London to spend up big, which in turn ship their cars over to travel around London.

Household Cavalry Museum

So shiny but he didn’t move a muscle.

Tomorrow we intend to visit the imperial war museum followed by Westminster Abbey and maybe a market or two.  Enjoy the photo’s and i’ll follow up with more.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Rach with a huge cock

Rach with a huge cock

Rachel and I decided this is where we will live.  Money is no object right?

Rachel and I decided this is where we will live. Money is no object right?

Sign says don't feed the birds... yup sure, i'll try not to feed the huge cock.

Sign says don’t feed the birds… yup sure, i’ll try not to feed the huge cock.

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Iceland v 2.0


We are off again for another great adventure.  This time we decided to be a bit different this time and decided on Iceland.  Again!? Yup, we loved it so much that we are going back, this time to conquer the whole island on a big road trip.  I’m armed with a new upgrade DSLR Camera and with a higher degree of experience up my sleeve.  

So, stay tuned for lots more iceberg licking, volcano worshipping, beer drinking updates on their way!  Iceland Version 2.0 starts now, with a side of UK.  

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New Beer & Labels

I finished bottling my Bavarian Bock, named Grump Dark Beer:  Should be ready in 6 weeks for tasting.

Grump Dark Beer

Grump Dark Beer

Then next up i started the brew and bottling of a Non-Alcoholic Ginger Beer.  That will take another 3 weeks before it’s ready for tasting but in the mean time I created the label for it which i’ll have printed shortly:

Admiral F.R.Eckles Ginger Beer Label

Admiral F.R.Eckles Ginger Beer Label


I also updated the brew board but don’t have a photo right now.  Next up will be a Sparkling Ale which I’ll start in around July.

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Homebrew Bavarian Bock

Brew Board Updated

Brew Board Updated

Off to another homebrew.  Equipped with my brew fridge to have better control of my fermentation temperature.  I went down to Grain and Grape in Yarraville and asked what i could brew that would give me a dark beer in between a dunkel or a white rabbit dark ale.  I was pointed at a Bavarian Bock.

Pitched the yeast at 22 degrees (Celsius) and slowly brought temperature down over the next day to a stable 16-17 degrees.

Bavarian Bock

Bavarian Bock

Have gotten a bit of a green tinge to the brew after first few days.  Smells okay to me so no infection just must be the yeast and ingredients doing its stuff.

OG was 1060.

Just designed and ordered new labels to be ready in time for bottling on 06th June.

Grump - Dark Beer

Grump – Dark Beer

I’m off to Darwin for a week so will give an update after bottling.  Lager will be ready for tasting on same day (06 June).


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DIY Pallet Serving Tray

A few months ago I  had an old pallet lying around so i built a vertical herb garden for the wall outside the kitchen window.  That little project didn’t use all the pallet so I still had bits of the pallet leftover and wondering what to do with it.

Finished DIY Rustic Pallet Tray

Finished DIY Rustic Pallet Tray

My wife then started hunting around for a nice rustic serving tray for the coffee table.  She had a bit of trouble finding one she liked and also found they can be upwards of $70 for a big one.

Light bulb moment and i took her desired measurements and went about hacking away at the old weathered pallet to dismantle and recover as much plants from it as possible.  I managed to salvage enough wood and with some old timber screws I had I cut the boards down to size and screwed them together to resemble a tray.  I pre drilled holes so as not to split the wood and then screwed it all togher before giving it a good sand to make it relatively smooth.

I had an old sample pot of white on white paint that i used to give a light coat before sanding it back and giving it a second coat.  Once the second coat dried i gave it one more light sand to give it that rustic look.  I sourced some black antique looking handles from Bunnings for $4 each.  I stuck them on the end and put some rubber feed on bottom so as not to scratch the coffee table.  All done and a happy wife.

DIY Rustic Tray from a Pallet in progress

DIY Rustic Tray from a Pallet in progress

DIY Rustic Tray

DIY Rustic Tray

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Homebrew Weekend

This weekend was the much anticipated bottling weekend.  In preparation for the bottling I went about setting my my new brewing fridge I purchased super cheap off gumtree ($60) and setting up my little beer brewing area.

I noticed that whilst doing all the brewing I was constantly writing things down with no place to write them.

Light bulb idea, I’ll make a chalkboard and stick it on wall above my bench.  So off to Bunnings to pick up a $6 piece of plywood, $12 tin of chalkboard paint and $1 paint brush.  I painted the board in the chalkboard paint and waited for it to dry then gave it another coat.  To mount on the wall i had some left over masonry screws and simply put some rubber stoppers on to ensure the board sat slightly away from the wall.  I also wanted a place to stick the chalk and duster, so with some leftover wood i chised out a recess and then screwed the shelf in from behind.  Bit more screwing and drilling and I had a nice mounted chalkboard for under $20.

DIY Chalkboard

DIY Chalkboard for my man cave.

The finished product.

Next up was the bottling of my Lager.  The OG was 1.040 but unfortunately the FG was only 1.014 which gives me only a 3.5% alcohol content.  Although I may bet an extra 0.5 with the priming of bottles.

Although I only got a mid-strength beer I’m happy with the flavour so far.  The Lager is the coopers lager with a German lager malt extract to hopefully give a more Munich flavoured lager.

The labels went on well and I luckily had just the right amount of bottles, I had one to spare!

Matilda Gai homebrew lager

Matilda Gai homebrew lager

Now just have to let them set for a bit before I crack open the first one.  In the mean time, next up is a Dark Ale!

Matilda Gai homebrew lager

Matilda Gai homebrew lager

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The Home-Brew Experiment

Last week I turned 30 and as a celebration to my milestone of officially being old my lovely young wife bought me a Coopers Home-Brew beer making kit.  Now for anyone that knows me you will most certainly not expect me to use the included PET plastic bottles to make my first batch of lager.  No, Dan does not simply make something like beer only to put it in ugly plastic brown bottles!  I have already began to buy up supplies such as a beer bottle capper, a heating strap (now that we are going into winter months, beer caps and the provision of empty bottles from friends and family – as well as what I can drink alone.

I have begun to setup my little work station in the garage, aka man/cat shed, ready for the first brew to begin once all equipment arrives.  Now back to my initial point, “Dan don’t brew no boring beer!”, I have found a nice little website only called that make up labels for both neck and front of beer, they also do multitude of other home brew printing.  My first order for my first batch of Lager is already is being printed as I write this and shipped out from the US just in time for bottling to begin (supply chain / project manager in me is excited).  Now enough rambling on from me!  I present you all with the first batch of beer made out of the whatsdanupto factory and dedicated in the name of my cat, probably because it will task close to cats piss, Matilda Gai – see what I did there not Matilda Bay… alright enough .. on with the unveiling:


Matilda Gai Lager

Stay tuned for more updates of the brewing and final photos as well as first tasting… and possibly first lawsuit…

Now I wouldn’t be a good project manager if I wasn’t already thinking beyond the Lay About Lager – next up will be a Pilsner suitably named Cat’s Piss Pislner (how yummy does that sound!)


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DIY Vertical Gardens (Gutters and Pallets)

I spent the day building a few simple, inexpensive, vertical gardens.

The resources used was an old pallet, PVC gutters (including ends and brackets), spray paint, screws and bamboo fence covering.

The pallet was used for spare strips of wood for securing to brick wall and making a single wooden planter to put herbs in.

The gutters and accessories were used to make interesting looking planters, the internal windows of the house look out at these.

Great cheap alternative to the commercial expensive vertical gardens on the market.  Feel free to send me a message or leave a comment if you have any questions on how to make these.


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