Ocean's Allure & de Botton's Deep Dive

There’s an oft quoted saying in these parts which says this. “If Andrew trashes a product in one of his emails, then we can be sure it’ll sell out.” Which oddly is often true, probably just means my taste is different to yours… “If he praises a product, then the opposite is true”. Well, that’s not always the case, but it does happen, and happen it did with Le Creuset’s beautiful (one-off colour) called Ocean.

So stand by your….beds probably, at this time in the morning, whilst I do what for me is a “hard sell” on you before you’re awake enough to fend me off. I know it’s an underhand tactic (coupled as it is with bribery as well), but we’ve still got an awful lot of the stock and I’d rather it went to a good home (there’s my first attempt at manipulation, but be aware, there’ll be more…).


But before I go there, a podcast that caught my eye this week was Steven Bartlett interviewing Alain de Botton. Now I’d only the vaguest of vague ideas of who this chap was, and so I was rather surprised and delighted to listen to him speak so eloquently and simply on a subject that is dear to my heart and yet one which I often struggle to talk about clearly myself. This, the subject of relationships, both socially and in the workplace.

Since looking him up in preparation for this email, I’ve also found that he is part of a group of writers and educators who founded an organisation called ‘The School of Life’. Based in a number of cities around the world, The School of Life offers an emotional education focusing in particular on the issues of Work and Relationships.

In an interview with Metkere.com he’s quoted as saying “The idea is to challenge traditional universities and reorganise knowledge, directing it towards life, and away from knowledge for its own sake. In a modest way, it’s an institution that is trying to give people what universities should I think always give them: a sense of direction and wisdom for their lives with the help of culture” .

I read this after seeing him interviewed, and it certainly seems to be supported by his performance when talking to Bartlett.

He makes a large number of observations about life over their 90 minute talk, so I had some difficulty in choosing which one to select. In the end I’ve gone for one this one.

He is describing people “that we see all around us who appear to be doing crazy things, falling in love with people who are not going to make them happy, sabotaging their careers, not able to open up to people. And we think, why are they doing that stuff. Whats going on?”

He says that a lot of the stuff that looks crazy now, once made a lot of sense. It was once, probably a really clever thing to do. He posits the example of someone growing up in an environment in which the parent is suicidal. The child (I’ll say she, by way of example) then shuts down her emotions and determines that she would never trust anyone.  He confirms that this is a fantastic thing to have done when you have a suicidal parent, because that, he says, will get you through to the next stage in life. However, what happens 10, 20 or 30 years later.  What used to be a fantastic defence against an intolerable situation has turned out to more or less ruin her chances of having a successful relationship, because she remains closed off effectively to anyone getting close to her. Her defence system has now turned against her. But she will have little or no idea that this what she is (still) doing.

He continues, that what we need to do, is to say thank you to our younger selves, for devising strategies that really worked very well for us then (in the past). But now its time to move on, “so thank you, but now I want to live in a different way”.  He does later, go on to suggest practical ways in which this cycle can be broken to good effect to free oneself, and therefore to be oneself, without the old defence system cocking things up, in later adult life.

Given a load of free time I’d happily go on quoting stuff from this podcast, as I found it fascinating. For me the way in which he brought simplicity and clarity to a complex subject, at times quite took my breath away and sometimes made me giggle, with relief….? I’m not sure. But I thought him very watchable and what he said, eye opening. The YouTube video is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI7BxBNp1uE

Ok so back to Le Creuset’s Ocean,  bribery and corruption… 

Paul, who I frequently ask to check my flow and logic in these emails, came up with the following segue.  It amused me, so added it here.

“Shamelessly misappropriating de Botton's principles, I'd like you to thank your younger self for coping with the relative expense of quality Le Creuset Cast Iron cookware by buying cheaper alternatives.  But now I'm pleased to report that circumstances have changed and that you need to break free from that pattern of behaviour which is no longer the most appropriate course of action given the fabulous offer I'm about to unveil on Le Creuset's Ocean cookware.”

There are 5 pieces of Cast Iron in this small range, namely:


  • Round Casserole 20cm - ideal when cooking for 2-3 people

  • Round Casserole 26cm - when you are cooking around six 

  • Shallow Casserole 26cm – food always looks fantastic presented in a shallow casserole

  • Oval Casserole 31cm – the ideal shape for a leg of lamb or chicken

  • Frying Pan with Metal handle 26cm – a pan you’ll never burn the non-stick coating off (there isn’t one)

    These are already discounted by at least 33%+ off RRP. But now I’m doing 55% off RRP, to clear the stock.  Just use the code OCEAN55 at checkout

The other pieces in the range made in Stoneware, include:

  • Plates Side 22cm

  • Plates Dinner 27cm

  • Cereal Bowl 16cm (good for cereal and crisps etc)

  • Seattle Mug 400ml (new and attractive shape and pretty large)

  • Pasta Bowl 22cm (good for pasta and soups)

  • Petite Casserole (great for rich puddings and French Onion Soup)

  • Dish Rectangular 32cm (really decent size for Lasagne, Shepherds pie, Pastry topped pies)

  • Snack Bowl 123cm (for peanuts and small rich puds).

And are currently 20% off RRP. If you buy two or more pieces then you may have 30% discount. Add Ocean stoneware products to your basket and the discount will be calculated for you at checkout, or tell us who you are if coming into the shops.

Shop Le Creuset Ocean


That’s it for this week

I hope you have a pleasant and peaceful weekend.
Warm regards,


Andrew Bluett-Duncan


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