Jigraphy Cityscape Maps

Over half-term I invested probably too much of my time in completing a Jigraphy Cityscape Map jigsaw. But I have to say, it is one of the best jigsaws I’ve ever completed.

The Cityscape Mapmake brilliant jigsaws – the maps are interesting and full of character. They somehow capture the personality of each town or city whilst also being accurate and clear. They are available in three versions – the 100-pieces, the 500-piece or the 1000-piece. I went for the 1000-piece puzzle of Whitby. You can buy them from the Happy Puzzle Company.

I treated myself to a jigsaw featuring the map of my favourite place in the world – Whitby. I felt this would be something I’d love, but also a challenge. As Whitby is separated by the mouth of a river, the jigsaw would have a significant amount of ocean to include as well.

The built up area of Whitby took me a while to put together, but the ocean part took me hours! The pieces were all quite different, so there was no pattern so I really appreciated the challenge.

I would love to get more Jigraphy jigsaws – there are almost 100 available. Here are the places on my list: Bakewell, Chester, Keswick, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Scarborough, Southport, Wells and York. These are all places I love that would make great jigsaws too!

Live Quiz

Recently I’ve started playing the Live Quiz on my iPhone.

Live Quiz is a free app and you could win real money (although it’s not going to make you rich)!

Twice a day there are quizzes. All you have to do is answer all ten questions correctly and you can win a share of the prize fund. Most nights it’s £100 and one night I managed to win 83p.

The questions are usually not too challenging and are guessable in most cases. But you don’t get too long to answer and that’s where I make most of my errors!

It’s all a bit of fun!


I decided that I would look into collecting commemorative stamp releases.

There’s something about the idea of these stamps that appeals to me. It’s a bit nerdish; a bit quirky. It’s probably not something I’d own up to in the pub. But having bought some Star Wars, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones in the last few years and displayed them in frames, I quite like the idea of adding to my collection.

I always figured that the stamps might actually be worth something one day. Maybe they will one day, but not for many years.

So, I am purely doing this because I like the look of them. I’m not intending to collect every set released, but only the ones I think look cool.

The 2020 Royal Mail release schedule has been announced.

The 2020 Royal Mail Commemorative Stamp Collection

Without having seen most of the stamps (in fact, only the Video Games collection have been announced), here are my thoughts:

Video Games – these look REALLY good. The games featured include some of my childhood favourites including Dizzy, Sensible Soccer, Worms, Lemmings and Micro Machines. These have already been ordered!

Visions of the Universe – not sure what this will be. I probably won’t be buying these.

James Bond – definitely on my wish list! I love James Bond films, so these will be a great collector’s item.

The Romantic Poets – I hate poetry. No chance.

End of the Second World War – these sound interesting. I might buy these depending how they look.

Coronation Street – I don’t watch Corrie, so I will give these a miss. If Neighbours stamps are released though…

Roman Britain – I’m not a big lover of history. I doubt that I will buy these.

Queen – These sound great!

The Palace of Westminster – I hate politics right now. I don’t want to have stamps reminding be of Boris.

Sherlock – These sound intriguing. Again, it might depend how it looks. I’m not a massive Sherlock fan, but I did enjoy the BBC series. One to think about, maybe.

Rupert Bear – I didn’t even know this guy was still around. If stamps have been announced, does this mean he is due a comeback? Will yellow scarves be back in fashion. I might consider the stamps for nostalgia.

Brilliant Bugs – I don’t think bugs are brilliant. Not for me.

Christmas – Can I shock you? I like Christmas. These always make a nice set.

Star Trek – Not for me – Star Wars all the way. I liked the JJ Abrams films, but that’s about it.

So I’ll definitely buy four and maybe two or three more of the fourteen sets that will be released this year. Which ones do you have your eyes on?

Lego Animal Costume Minifigures

During the summer I was inspired by JaysBrickBlog to collect all of the Lego collectible minifigures where the characters wear animal costumes.

I was inspired by this picture. This guy’s Lego photography is far better than mine and the figures looked so good.

I began to collect just a few figures each month. I already had a giraffe and knew I had the chicken suit guy somewhere. I then discovered I had the shark guy too. That gave me a good start.

Finding the figures in the shops can be tricky unless you have a feel guide. So eBay is often your best bet so that you can get the exact figures you want. More recently released figures typically cost anything between £4 and £6. Some of these figures go way back to the very first few sets and cost more.

The most valuable figure was the Bumblebee Suite Lady. She is the most rare of them all and it cost £24. Good grief. But my collection would have been useless without it.

Jay’s collection only counted 18 figures but I have also counted the bear suite guy in Series 19 – if unicorns count then so do colourful bears.

The figures included are:

  • Colourful bear suit guy- a brilliant figure – excellent colours and design. The multicoloured legs are awesome.
  • Gorilla suit guy – an excellent figure – worth quite a bit too. The mould is excellent and I love the banana that goes with it.
  • Chicken suit guy – a classic. It’s brilliant!
  • Giraffe suit guy – at one point I had four of these. It’s such a good figire!
  • Blue unicorn guy – I prefer it to the white unicorn but that’s probably due to the sword and shield that comes with it.
  • Bumblebee lady – Why this is so rare, I don’t know. It’s nice but I am unsure why it is so valuable.
  • Dragon suite guy – What a figure! Again, strictly not an actual animal, but I’m counting it.
  • Penguin suit boy – Way cute. It’s hard to display as it’s so small.
  • Panda suit guy – This includes a panda teddy! It’s perfect!
  • Crocodile guy – This one doesn’t really stand out when displayed with all the others. On its own and you see the detail on the back of the suit.
  • White unicorn lady – A bit plain, but I like the blue hands.
  • Elephant ballerina suit lady – Absolutely brilliant! I love the face expression due to the mouse!
  • Rabbit guy – A fantastic figure. I love the mould of the headpiece.
  • Fox suit guy – Another classic. I love the way it includes a chicken and a bag of grain!
  • Spider suit guy – An effective figure, but probably my least favourite of the set.
  • Pig suit guy – Another excellent figure – I love the detail on the headpiece.
  • Cat suit lady – Another one I’m not fond of. It’s fine but it doesn’t stand out.
  • Tiger suit lady – Another one that doesn’t stand out as particularly special. It was quite expensive, from what I remember.
  • Shark suit guy – This one is so cute – the headpiece is excellent and I love the fins!

There’s a space on the front row of my display ready for the next figure to add to the collection!


Here’s the completed board – I’ve added Cheetah from the recently released DC Comics collection.
And here’s the first minifigure on the new board – the pink valentine elephant!

Around the World Beers

Over the last few months I have been trying to drink beers from as many countries around the world as possible. I managed to reach 21 different countries.

Belgium – Stella Artois

China – Tsingtao

Cyprus – Keo

Czech Republic – Pilsner Urquell

France – Champignuelle

Germany – Warsteiner

India – Cobra

Italy – Birra Moretti

Japan – Kirin Ichiban

Latvia – Cesu

Lithuania – Gintarinis

Mexico – Corona

The Netherland – Heinken

Norway – Ringnes

Poland – Tyskie

Russia – Baltika

Scotland – McEwans

Spain – Estrella

Thailand – Singha

Turkey – Efes

USA – Budweiser