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Real homes gallery: we need YOU!

I'm putting together a Your Home Is Lovely gallery - of your lovely homes. Want to be part of it? Send photos to kate_burt at

I know get heaps of inspiration from looking at how other people have made their places sparkle - whether with car-boot treasures, clever use of colour, or brilliant on-a-budget ideas that I'd never have thought of.

So you don't need to have a super swanky designer-y house: I'm simply after real homes with nice touches that might inspire other people.

So what should you send? Photos of whole rooms or just details or objects - along with a bit of information about where you got it/did it/came up with the idea. What are you waiting for: show us what you got!

Dunce's guide to gardening

Homebase TV presenter: charisma-free but helpful

Hurrah! I'm loving the new Homebase guides to gardening - a series of 40 videos, designed for novice gardeners (like me) who might need to have words like "chitting" explained to them (see the guide to growing potatoes).

Once you get over the slightly annoying voice and lack of screen charisma that the presenter has, his kindly back-to-basics approach is brilliantly helpful - and perfectly-timed. I'm warming up to the idea of opening the back door again, to get my gardening gloves dirty.

Admittedly, there isn't much gardening to do in a small, paved and decked rectangle - but I've dabbled with a raised bed vegetable patch, created a new flower bed (but not got as far as planting more than two things in it), and allowed a reckless gardener to kill the once-expansive passion flower climber. I'll post up some before (ie, now) photos soon - I need all the advice I can get...

John Hinde's Butlin's Photos

Talking of John Hinde has made me remember how desperately I wanted to buy a print of this image. It was going to go in my slightly Scando bathroom, along with my 'Will Patrons Kindly Refrain' poster.

I went to see the exhibition that Martin Parr curated of John Hinde's lavish, garish and highly detailed 1960s Butlin's photographs (all contained in Our True Intent is all for Your Delight, a glorious visual feast of a book). Seeing the photos, large scale and up close was mesmerising; every detail in sharp focus, every facial expression revealing, the many small interactions captured, fascinating.

As for my quest to buy the photo, I got in too late. Prints were limited edition and this was one of the top sellers. I'm still debating going back and choosing another but even though the Photographers Gallery lets you take out an Arts Council OwnArt interest-free loan to buy, it's still a lot of money to pay for the next best photo. So I'm thinking of buying two copies of the book instead. One to keep on the coffee table; one from which to cut out pages to frame. The cheaper way to get second best (and first choice of image).

I'm also thinking of buying a copy of Nothing to Write Home About, a lovely book featuring many of John Hinde's other legendary 'boring' postcards.

Martin Parr would be proud

Early arrival at a car boot sale - three quid to a bloke who looks like Max Branning; bacon butties and tea steaming on a stall in the corner; hordes not yet in force - is a moment of promise. What unlikely and stupidly cheap treasures might one find among the tat?

Well, today, at number seven on Time Out's 'Top Ten London Car Boot Sales', no less, there was disappointment. The 'huge' weekly market, at St Augustine's School in Kilburn, was all about the tat, not much about the treasure.

However, I did find these tacky but John 'Boring Postcards' Hinde-esque photo coasters - late 1960s tourist images of rural Spain. Nice font, too. I couldn't decide if they were awful or lovely. That seemed like a good reason to buy them. They cost me all of £2.

Tea towel-tastic

It's a tea-towel. It's £8.50 (from Nude) and designed by the Mr PS label. It's a bit too good to use.

But you could hang it on the wall (and, in fact, it also comes as a print in rather excellent neon pink). Or at least ban people from using it.

Then again, given the design - it would surely only be improved with a bit of dried egg yolk and a crusty baked bean stuck onto it. Class.