Matilda's Musical Mastery, Kikkerland's Clever Cleaners and Stressful Stats.

Last Friday late afternoon saw a group of us, mainly the warehouse team, with a few hangers on, me for example, driving to Redhill to catch the 5.05pm train to Farringdon. We were off to see “Matilda”, at the Cambridge Theatre, just off Shaftsbury Avenue. It was arranged by David, one of the warehouse team, who’s niece is playing in it.

We had the most marvellous time, both in the pub beforehand, in the theatre watching the musical (despite there not being a child amongst us…..!  ) and afterwards we went to Browns, for our supper. Very civilised, although the ladies had to drink their Riesling out of Browns version of a water glass, as they only had one shape of stemware, far too big for a delicate, aromatic white.

Being by far the oldest there, I didn’t feel too bad abandoning them, sometime after eleven, as I was staying with friends in London.

Apparently, they didn’t get home until around 2.00am. Not wanting to be shocked by what I might hear; sticking my head in the sand, I’ve not enquired what happened after the responsible adult left. Whatever they did, or might have got up to, everyone got to know each other a bit better and most importantly it was just an enjoyable night out.

Stress currently affecting 70% of us
There’s a certain light heartedness that’s pervading this week’s email (heaven forfend), as you will see as I come to product. However, not wanting this frippery to influence me too much, I thought you might also be interested in an interview that got my attention earlier this week, when Steven Bartlett was interviewing Dr Aditi Nerurkar, a Harvard stress expert. Stress, you may not need to be told, is at an all time high now (especially so since the end of the pandemic) according to Dr Nerurka, who adds that 70% of the population show at least one sign of burnout (a surprising and sad  statistic!)

She goes on to say that our brains are built like dams. When we are going through a period of stress, we shore up internal reserves, a “keep it together at all costs” when threatened, and this, she says, goes back to our early times and our brain producing a “fight or flight” stress response. And this is normal, our brains are expertly designed to manage “acute” stress, such as being threatened by a Sabre Tooth Tiger, as any one of us could have been, had we lived some years ago.

Today however, there are no Sabre Tooth Tigers that threaten us, no Woolly Mammoths that in the normal run of things require the fight or flight response. What threatens us today are “chronic issues” such as, financial troubles, marital or relationship issues, health issues etc. and their chronic nature has no let up, unlike the “acute” ones that our ancestors experienced. So, for many, the stress is ongoing, with little or no respite. Our brains therefore don’t get time to rest and recharge.

The interview is a long one (almost 2 hours, which I’ve yet to finish) but very interesting. I found the quite simple explanation of why so many of us are feeling stressed, really very enlightening. I have yet to finish watching  it, but I’d be surprised if there weren’t some pointers later on, as to how we might deal with the fall out of living in this modern age.

OK from theatre, to mental health, and back to the prosaic…
I was eyeing some of the “stuff” that we tend to surround our tills with, in the belief that if its low value and a bit enticing you won’t be able to resist it. It’s an old retail trick of tempting you to spend money that you had little or no intention of spending and very often it works. Supermarkets are past masters at this approach, and we are getting better at it as well, or worse? Should I be ashamed of admitting this? Probably. Am I? Well, I don’t think I’m going to answer that. But anyway, back to the eye full.

Kikkerland Memo Board
I looked at one of the objects, a nattily named “Magnetic Dry Erase List Memo Board” and innocently asked ….did I really choose that, being fairly sure that I hadn’t. I omitted to realise that the person I’d addressed the question to, was probably the perpetrator. Oops! Anyway, to cut a short story even shorter, we decided that it might be a good thing for me to talk about this week, as we have good stocks. So, what do you get for your £10.

Well, it’s a small round topped metal notice board about 7” or 8” wide by roughly 10” high. Being metal and therefore magnetic, it has 4, rather weak magnets of differing shape to attach, say a shopping list to it,  plus a pen for writing directly on the board, if you prefer. The pen also has a magnet on it, which is at least sensible. The board itself also has sufficient magnets on the back, that, when I tried it out at home, actually stayed attached to the fridge A result, I thought.

As you can probably tell I’m not completely enamoured with it, but it does (just about) carry out what it’s meant to do. So, if my introduction hasn’t sold you the idea completely, then let me tempt you.

They are normally a mere £10, but for this weekend you can buy one of them for an even meerer £7.95, or two for the merest £13.90 (£6.95 ea).

Kikkerland Fridge & Freezer Freshener.
This, from the same stable as the memo board above, is actually a very sensible product, and easy to use.

There are two in the box. To use, remove the lid (top half of the lemon or lime). Fill the bottom with baking powder. Set the dial indicator to 3 months from today’s date, replace the top and place it in the fridge. That’s it, although it does say, if odours return replace the baking soda earlier, but otherwise replace in three month’s time with fresh baking soda.

Although of obvious benefit in the fridge, I’m a bit doubtful about having an odour eater in your freezer…I’ve never noticed any nasty niffs coming from our freezer. I’d have thought the likelihood of that happening, pretty minimal…frozen food doesn’t have a smell, does it?

Be that as it may, for £8.00 you get two of these. If you are lucky enough to have a big double sized fridge then you will be able to make good use of both.

Kikkerland Microwave Cleaner
And lastly, there is the Kikkerland Microwave Cleaner. Again it comes in the form of a Lemon (sort of) that you fill with water and vinegar. Stick it in the microwave. Turn it on for a few minutes and the steam cleans the inside of the microwave beautifully. I’ve got nothing to add, barring to say it’s a simple, clever idea that seems to work well and only £6.00.

This weekend you can get both the Fridge & Freezer Fresheners and the Microwave Cleaner for a mere £11.00.

A last word.
I’ll leave the last word to Simon Sinek

“An excessive drive for order interrupts the beautiful chaos needed for creativity to thrive.”


I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Warm regards,


Andrew Bluett-Duncan


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