Mugs, Mugs and Bacon and Eggs


Sometime ago I began to get a slight sinking feeling, every time I sat in my office chair. The term office is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, in some people’s books anyway, because my “office” is a 20 year old wooden shed, that sits on the flat roof over the rear of our Reigate shop. It’s cozy, well insulated and the windows are double glazed. A bit unusually, Colin, who made it for me mounted it on a 3” slab of polystyrene (the same stuff that he then put in the walls for insulation).

Puzzled by my sinking feeling and wondering if the polystyrene had somehow absorbed water over the years, I took up the carpet, with some trepidation. What I found was indeed a rotten floor, but only a portion of it. With the aid of Jake, a builder friend, we were able to identify how the water had got in, on one side (not through the floor, thank goodness). And he recommended putting 18mm ply or Sterling Board down over the existing floor, once it had dried out.

So, last weekend (8 months later!), with the aid of two friends and one daughter, that is exactly what we did. I chose to use Sterling Board as it’s a more interesting texture than ply. Cutting the boards to fit was a doddle with our Festool circular saw, that cleverly sits on a rail that gives a perfectly straight cut, with practically no effort or deep thought! 

And as I was going to all this trouble, I thought that I’d add a skirting board and architrave to go round the door, which I’d not had before, posh or what…? The accompanying photos gives you some idea what I found when I uncovered the damp and what it now looks like. Skirting board installed, floor given a sand and two coats of varnish to seal it and make it easy to sweep or hoover. Although not quite finished, I’m well on the way to having a floor that my chair slides effortlessly across, without getting stuck in grooves that the chair wheels had hollowed out in the rotting ply!

Very efficacious!



Seasoning a steel frying pan

Ok, well on to, or rather back to, last week’s email and the De Buyer (which I forgot to say is pronounced de bweeyeh) frying pan, I watched a video made by a bluff American calling himself Uncle Scott, who despite this unpromising start, did, it seems, know how to season one of these things. 

 It involved just heating veg oil up in the pan for 5 mins, at a temperature that has it smoking most of the time. After disposing of the oil and wiping it round until dry, he then proceeded to put a knob of butter in a hot  pan and fried an egg in it. The egg slipped around as if it was on a non stick surface. So, I tried the same approach, and blow me down it worked. I discussed it with Paul, in Reigate, the next day, and he was impressed, but wondered what would happen with bacon (always a difficult one , I think because of the salt).

A couple of days later I tried frying bacon, dry, no fat, which stuck hard to the frying pan, I then added a little fat (Coconut fat) and added tomatoes (which didn’t stick). The bacon had left a sticky deposit behind, which it seems to do these days.

So, using a metal fish slice (no non stick coating to worry about here!) I scraped that off and proceeded to fry a couple of eggs with minimal sticking... I’ve since tried bacon again, but this time with coconut oil from the start and got almost no sticking. I then fried a couple of eggs, but they did stick albeit not badly.

My conclusion, at this stage, is that frying bacon really buggers things up. I’ve a feeling had I kept that pan just for eggs, it might well have been ok. If you try it, please do let me know how you get on.

Seasoned pan. 

Seasoned pan in action. 

The result!


I’m very pleased to say that we are having a large delivery from Sage next week and I asked Andi to check that our prices were competitive, which for the most part, they are.

Here are three examples from our extensive range.

Shop All Sage Appliances


LE Creuset Mug Offer

Today, we are starting a Le Creuset Mug offer of buy 3 mugs and get a fourth one free. This applies to all four of the Le Creuset mug sizes and in all colours. You can mix and match both colours and sizes, and you’ll get the cheapest one free.

1.     Grand Mug 400ml £20.00 each - £60.00 for 4

2.     Mug 350ml £15.00 each - £45.00 for 4

3.     Mug Cappuccino 200ml £14.50 - £43.50 for 4

4.     Mug Espresso 100ml £14.00 - £42.00 for 4


Shop All Le Creuset Mugs


Mikasa Mugs

And whilst on the subject of mugs, some time ago we introduced a range of well priced fine china mugs from my chums at Kitchencraft.

They are individually boxed (so good for teacher presents maybe at this time of year) in a range of designs, some of which I like and some of which are not my taste….but they may be yours😀.

I shall try to resist being cruel about the naff designs (ones that aren’t my taste) and instead mention only three that I thought were particularly attractive. So, there’s one called Pawfect (Cats paw print in a subtle shade of grey) which despite its name, is very pleasant design. Another that has an image of the archetypal Volkswagen camper van on it…rather nice really. Another with bicycles and yet another called ‘Monsieur’ with a French male face, complete with handlebar moustache. Not entirely sure what I think of him but, he has a certain charm.

And, in checking my maths, I find I can’t count. Luckily, I have an accountant who can!

Buy two for £13.00, which is more than 25% Off.

Tell us who you are if coming into the shops or use code MIKASA24 if you are shopping online.


Shop All Mikasa Mugs


That’s about it for this week.

I’ll leave the last word to Ernest Benn, who was cynically quoted as saying

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.” 

I’m not generally fond of cynics, but this brought a smile to my face, along with the concern that there may actually be some truth it.

I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.

Warm regards


Andrew Bluett-Duncan



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