About Me

My photo
The words are all mine, most of the pictures are not. Some of the words are not mine either.

Monday, 13 June 2016

Panini Sticker Album And The Art Of Zen

Every man needs a hobby.

A hobby needs to cover a number of aspects.

These include:

An activity that holds no purpose other than being completed.

Requirements of skill and patience.

Allow the hobbiest to concentrate and enter their own little world away from the madness that surrounds them.

It must also infuriate the hobbiests partner.

My recent hobby of choice is completing a Panini sticker album of the Euro 2016 football competition.

Each night I sit on my chair with my album on my lap and will quite happily spend an hour or so carefully opening packets of stickers before putting them in numerical order.

Then, using my specially filed nails, peel off the backs and gently place the stickers against the corresponding empty space.

The act of separating the sticker from it back is as close to Zen as any person can achieve without years of Buddhist meditation.

The same can be said of attaching the sticker into it designated slot with perfection.

Anybody who has ever pressed a sticker into place and found no bubbles, creases or overlap will always, internally, congratulate themselves on a job well done.

It's a skill that can not be taught.

Once an album is well under way the magic continues.

Normally having more than one of a thing when you don't require it can become a burden. 

Not so with stickers.

Part of the fun is having SWAPSIES.

Getting together with friends to exchange unwanted stickers can be a joyous experience with the sounds of "Got...Got...Got...NEED!" mumbled across the world from school kids to fully grown adults.

It's a pass time that transcends generations.

Then comes the day.... after weeks of hard work and effort. Beyond spending far too much money for no financial return.... comes the day your album is complete.

An Achievement of this kind is hard fought and every man, woman and child that manages to fill their whole sticker album enters into a secret league of champions that very few will ever know.

This bewilders Mrs H as well as Mrs Ste (who I am informed things this is all a waste of money).

Every now and then I look up and see the wife frowning at me.

She never says anything but I know she disapproves.... and this makes me want to do it more.

I am doing rather well with my album (better that my mate Ste anyway) and have realised something about footballers I would like to share with you today.

It is a disturbing fact that just how many footballers look like serial killers, murderers and the type of face you expect to see on an episode of crime watch.

Seriously. Look at these choice mugs and their potential crimes.


Urinating in public bins
Stealing lead off church roofs and trying to eat it

Punching a penguin
theft of post office pens

refusing to blink
chasing pigeons

Being out of focus
Damaging the cameras on Springwatch with a filthy cloth

sawing a woman in half and not even
pretending to be a magician
impersonating a young Jeff Goldblum

Accepting work as an evil overlords henchmen

So if you do ever meet a footballer on the street - hide behind your Panini sticker album and call a policeman.


  1. Hello Mr H I could never do this I am too rebellious and would fill the entire book with the same sticker, which ever was the most common or add the occasional Elvis to confuse small children. One thing that did occur to me if you have plenty of spares is you could do what the do on Crimewatch and cut those stickers into strips. then you could have the eyes of one the chin of another and the hair of a third. I suspect this might annoy Mrs H even more as you ask her which nose would she put with his eyes. You would also have a unique sticker album that you could enter into the Turner Art Competition and get all your money back when you win.

    1. I do like that idea Rob.
      I may end up sticking stickers all over the house though in a fit of madness.

      Image a house full of thin strips of eyes looking at you wherever you go.

      (o) (o)


    2. I dont think Mrs H would be pleased with that idea unless they were her eyes.


How did this get here?