Fry, Free Speech and Fings you've Forgotten



I mentioned last week that I’d been watching a Steven Bartlett interview which I’d found interesting. He was talking with Stephen Fry. And at one hour and one minute into the interview,  Bartlett asked Fry about his relationship with the media…? Almost inevitably, with all the stuff that’s going on with Elon Musk (self-styled “Free Speech Absolutist”) and now owner of Twitter, the conversation turned to the right of everyone to have free speech. And Fry being the bright, clever and clear thinking chap that he is, does a very Fry thing to illustrate the sometimes thoughtless stupidity, and offensiveness of making Free Speech the end point.

In doing so he uses the ”F” word and the “C” word very effectively to make his point*.  So if this peaks your interest, then you can see him in action on this YouTube video The bit I’m referring to is 55 seconds long, from 1 hour 1 minute, to 1 hour 2 minutes on the recording. In summary he’s saying that free speech is important, but its not the end point. The end point is human beings living together in peace, harmony and happiness, without war, violence, envy and resentment etc.

I liked the simplicity of the statement and the feel behind it, and whilst it may not actually be achievable, it is, I suspect you’ll agree, something very much worth aiming for.
* My daughter Josie assures me, with a wicked twinkle in her eye, that the "C" word is used as a term of endearment in some parts of East London, where she lived for a few years. Happily, although I believe really quite fond of me, she hasn’t succumbed to the East End vernacular and I still get called “Dad”. Lucky escape there.

A Reminder List
Ok, well it's got to that time of year when you are either desperately wondering what you’ve forgotten to do for tomorrow, or you’re very organised and everything's under control, or maybe you’re somewhere in between. Here’s a list of some things that occurred to us, that the celebration planner and cook in your household may have forgotten. It's too late to get a delivery from our website, but our Reigate and Cobham shops are open on Christmas Eve. So here it is, hastily thrown together just now, for your delectation, or "oh blimey, I’d forgotten that…".

  1. Roasting tray
  2. Baster
  3. Thermometer (for the meat)
  4. Candles, which reminds me of the Ronny Barker sketch with the fork handles…still makes me laugh.
  5. Extra Cutlery
  6. Extra glasses. And of course, if you’re drinking wine, approximately the right Riedel glass. Please don’t drink your Champagne out of a flute this Christmas, drink it out of a typical tulip shaped white wine glass, or better still, buy the right shape from us. Either way you’ll taste more. And whilst I’m on that hobby horse, decant all wines and yes, that includes Champagne (note, that I do have one friend, who drinks a lot of the stuff, who rather disagrees with me on this and prefers his wine very effervescent. He and I have agreed to disagree on this, I think!)
  7. Champagne Stoppers
  8. Napkins
  9. Timer
  10. Blow Torch
  11. Trivets, to save your table top and kitchen work surfaces
  12. Cheese knife(s)
  13. Knife Sharpener
  14. Gravy Jug
  15. Containers. Lock & Lock - Storage for left overs and lids that seal on bowl tops.
  16. Carving knives (stocks are a bit low now though)

That’s it for today. So, I’d like to finish by simply thanking you for reading these emails over the last year, for responding to them if you have, and for spending your hard earned cash with us, if you have! For us, as a company, it’s been a good year in turnover terms despite deciding to close the Banstead shop.

For my adult children and me its our second Christmas without Babette, and that is tough in some ways and in others a thing to celebrate, both for her life and all that she brought to the world.  But I also feel it's important to celebrate how well we’ve coped without her, and that we are living life to the full. And that is a very positive note on which to end.
A very warm thank you from me and I trust you have a lovely Christmas.



Andrew Bluett-Duncan




  • Andrew Bluett-Duncan

    Hello Jill
    Thank you for your comments about my emails, I’m very glad you find them worth reading. I’ve just listened to the first half of the Reith lecture. Thought provoking as you say!
    Kind regards

  • Jill Day

    Thank you so much for your newsletters. They are a weekly reminder to consider the bigger issues in life (as well as being tempted by the offers!) Just reading your comments on Freedom of Speech, have a listen to the first Reith lecture this year on the same theme. Really inspiring.

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