Mugs, Love Stories and Ego
Good communication can be one of the hardest things in the world to achieve. And from observation in my own life, and that of others, one of the reasons for it not working is fear. Fear of how an uncomfortable message is going to be taken, fear of how a difficult conversation is going to pan out. And so when a customer who I’d corresponded with previously, wrote to both Jeanne and me, I thought this story worthy of passing on. They’ve offered to let me tell you the story but wish to remain anonymous. I’ll refer to them as Mike and Lucy. After their story I’ve another as well.
Story no. 1
Back in April Mike and Lucy drove for an hour from their home, to come and look at our Demeyere pan offering in the Cobham shop and they spent a long time discussing the pros and cons of the different pans with Jeanne, who had advised them. But she wasn’t aware of the underlying reason behind the trip nor the ulterior motive. I’ll let Mike continue with the story.
“Prior to that day, we had been living separately for a few weeks - we’d had a humongous row, both said things we regretted and Lucy left our home and went and stayed in an apartment. We’d kept talking, but it got to the point where I had to replace some of the things she had needed to take - and we had decided on the Demeyere pans.”
“I didn’t need them specifically on that day - but thought we could spend some time together in coming to get them. So we did - and then we went to Pizza Express - and then Lucy made a Sunday roast for us at our home using the pans the next day. And then - a week later - she moved back in. And the whole thing was reset - and we are better than ever. All relationships have ups and downs and forks in the road, and that was ours. So now you know!”
“…you’ll probably understand that even if they weren’t utterly amazing pans, that look as good now as on that day (and they do - we say so basically every week!) then they’d still hold a pretty special place in our hearts. They mean more to us than most people’s pans do anyway!”
Over the years, Babette and I would also use long car trips and times away, to sort things out between us, and very good times they were too. Well done Mike and Lucy, what a lovely story of, in the end, good communication and a couple just ‘being together’ that won the day. The email to me was accompanied by a photo of the two of them sitting together smiling, sharing a meal with friends I’d guess….it brought a lump to my throat when I saw it….very very touching.
Story no. 2
So from one love story to another. And this story is about communication but in reality it’s more an ego trip for me…as you will see.
Back in October at our Riedel glass tasting event, I met again, two long standing customers of ours, David and Annika. They had been to one of the bread classes that Babette and Em ran a few years ago. And David is on our database and so gets this early Saturday morning email from me as a result. Whilst we were waiting for the event to start, he told me about a particular routine that he and Annika have developed on a Saturday morning. I’ll let him continue with the story.
“…and she(Annika) usually wakes up earlier than me. (so) When I wake up on Saturday, she typically brings me up a coffee, and then snuggles back into bed for me to read her the Art of Living email, which has arrived overnight. It is always a lovely start to the weekend, and it means that if any of the offers catch my eye, we can go into the Cobham store later to check them out in person (we usually shop in Waitrose there most Saturdays).”
My reaction was to be surprised, delighted and actually very touched by the story. I don’t think I could reasonably ask for a higher level of dedication from a customer, could I? Well as it turned I can, because if Annika’s away on business, and therefore not there to be read to, David reads it out aloud into his phone and then sends the recording to her wherever she is in the world.
As you can imagine after hearing a story like this, my ego is many times the size it was. So, flush with this new found confidence, I began toying with the idea of making it a requirement of getting my email, that you read it to your wife, husband, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend, non-binary friend, if you’re lucky enough to wake up with one of these options.
You might be relieved to hear that I’ve since been dissuaded from this idea on the grounds that I may be discriminating against those who either don’t have, or don’t want to have someone wake up next to. And in reality, policing it would be fraught with difficulty anyway… So, until further notice this email comes to you free of charge and there’s no other requirement, other than to hang on my every word.
So, was this story really about communication or about how big my head can get? Well, it has excellent communication in it, obviously. And I was bowled over by the story and that I’m, an arm’s length, participator in it! As to my ego, it’s back in its place again.
And so to product
Just recently we’ve had cause to review a part of our mug selection. And this because Kitchencraft (Lifetime Brands) who were the distributer for Pete Cromer (Mugs) are no longer bringing them in and so we need to find a reasonably priced alternative (sub £10) to replace them with. And so it was that Lifetime Brands (Kitchencraft’s new-ish owners*) have come up trumps with a nice range of porcelain mugs under their Mikasa brand.
There are 16 mugs from which to choose, with subjects ranging from Birds, Bees, Fruit, Cats, Madame, Monsieur, Bikes, Cars and Yoga. They are made from porcelain, so very tough. However they don’t recommend putting them in the dishwasher, I suspect because dishwashers (older ones more than modern ones) can gradually remove the pattern. So in other words, I cant imagine that you will heed this warning, but if you do find the image fading, you know why.
If, however you choose one of the designs with a gold ring around the rim, you MUST NOT put it in the MICROWAVE…sparks will fly and damage to either the mugs or the microwave will result. Please don’t do it. This incidentally is true for 90% of china/porcelain/bone china with metal (gold or silver) in the design. So some mugs need caution others without gold are fine in the microwave.
And I almost forgot that they are all nicely boxed, so making them good present material.
A nice range of mugs, some mildly humorous and all for £8.95 each. The offer this week is ‘Buy 2, Get 3rd at Half Price’. Please use code MIKASAHALF if shopping online and tell us who you are if coming into Cobham or Reigate.
* I can’t now recall how long ago they bought Kitchencraft, 6 or 7 years is my guess.