Sunday, 12 November 2017
There are some people, I am no exception, who rather likes the idea of getting a new packet of socks at Christmas. And on the odd occasions when I haven't had any socks as Christmas presents I have found myself joining the "happy" throngs of shoppers participating in that well-known blood sport, the Boxing Day Sales.
But sometimes it must be said that the socks one receives as a gift, no matter how well-intentioned, might not be the most imaginative of gifts and perhaps weren't the ones you would have chosen for yourself.
And, to be fair, it's also sometimes difficult when we are looking for socks to buy as Christmas gifts for other people.
The choice is seemingly limited to dull, plain designs or garish novelty socks that really do not belong on the feet of someone you love or, to be honest, are only someone you vaguely know!
But that's all over now! Because now there's a company which is producing socks with stunningly original designs that are bright and stand out from the crowd, yet are not hideous in any way.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to introduce you to Quiet Rebellion Socks.
They are designed for maximum comfort and wearability and are made from 80% combed cotton to provide strength and 18% nylon to provide strength. Wait! Isn't that only 98% So what's happened to other 2%? Glad you asked! The other 2% is taken up with that nifty and remarkably flexible material called elastane to provide a nice bit of stretch.
And there's an extra two inches of length, too. Also, sock wearers will be pleased to know that the toes are hand-linked to provide extra comfort and the heels are reinforced to offer extra wear.
My own personal favourite is the jigsaw-inspired John Spilsbury Sock, created in honour of John Spilsbury Socks, the father of modern jigsaws. They are £12.00 a pair, though half a dozen will only cost £7.83 a pair.
And there are also some particularly funky weekend bags in a range of prices from £199 up to £249. The bags are specially hand crafted in Hackney, in London.
And on orders of more than £50, you don't pay postage.
To learn more about the names behind the designs (they are all named for famous rebels throughout recorded history) please visit https://www.quietrebellion.com/pages/rebels.
Sunday, 5 November 2017
Wilkinson Sword tools are firm favourites with British gardeners of all ages and experience and there is something for every gardener within the Wilkinson Sword range of garden tools this Christmas, along with the reassuring Wilkinson Sword 10 year guarantee.
The stylish and practical Wilkinson Sword Pruning Knife makes a great stocking filler! It is suitable for all small pruning tasks and general garden use. The stainless steel blade folds away for safe storage and the curved handle provides better grip, even with wet hands and wintery fingers.
Looking for a gardening gift set? Every gardener needs a trowel and fork so why not couple together the Wilkinson Sword Stainless Steel Hand Trowel and Hand Fork? Both have ash handles with leather hanging straps and are ideal for transplanting and general border work. You can make the gift set even more special by adding in the Stainless Steel Patio Knife that is designed for removing moss and weeds from paved areas and patios. It also has an ash handle and a leather hanging strap so is stylish as well as practical!
For the gardener with all the tools but who is always seemingly losing them, a high-quality leather tool pouch from Wilkinson Sword this Christmas could solve all their problems! It has belt clips and loops that can hold most secateurs designs and provides safe and easy storage on the move in the garden.
In need of a gift for the gardener with a whole host of tools that are perhaps in need of a revamp and some TLC? Then why not help them keep tools and blades sharp all year round with the ingenious Wilkinson Sword Garden Tool Sharpener. It offers seven sharpening edges that will keep knives, secateurs and many other items of garden equipment in perfect cutting condition. It comes complete with pouch.
Keep warm this Christmas by throwing logs on the fire! The 40cm Wilkinson Sword Hatchet Axe makes chopping logs and making kindling simple. It has a high quality, and impact absorbing, fibreglass handle with a soft grip. The head is made of dropforged carbon steel and is ideal for in the wood shed in winter but also general garden work all year round.
Gardeners with an abundance of festive holly will love a helping hand when it comes to pruning it. The Wilkinson Sword Deluxe Bypass Pruners offer just that! They have cast aluminium handles and are fitted with large rubber buffers to absorb shock when using them. They have an easy to open mechanism that is perfect for both left and right handed users.
A highlight under any Christmas tree this year will be the Wilkinson Sword MultiTool Garden. It has
14 functions, including three screwdriver fittings, three spanners, a can opener, a bottle opener, a saw, a knife and an all important pruner, so give as a gift for not just gardeners but anyone who loves the great outdoors!
The user-friendly design means accessing the tool heads is very quick and easy, as the ergonomic handle design provides comfort and control, combined with a smooth opening action for ease of use. Durable, sturdy and stylish, the Garden Multi-Tool is fabricated from black anodised aluminium and stainless steel and weighs a mere 250gm. When closed, it compacts down to just 13cm x 4.5cm x 2cm, a perfect fit for trouser and jacket pockets alike.
If you know someone who is a keen gardener, but they perhaps find some of their tools are getting a bit too heavy and cumbersome then the Ultralight range from Wilkinson Sword may be exactly what you are looking for! Through the use of strong and lightweight materials the Ultralight Bypass Loppers provide the power, whilst weighing in at just 450 gm. The bypass, non-stick coated blade is perfect for young, green wood, with a 25mm cutting capacity.
Not sure what to get for the gardener who has everything? How about a Stainless Steel Digging Spade from Wilkinson Sword? A spade is an essential tool but this top-of-the-range one is specially designed to withstand usage on unprepared areas that can help to improve drainage and in preparing soil in readiness for planting shrubs, roses, vegetables and even seeds ready for 2018.
It is larger than the traditional border spade and has an attractive ash handle. Enhance the gift by partnering it with its sister - the Digging Fork. This is designed for use on heavily compacted areas of earth, for removing plants, use on compost heaps and general turning the soil.
THE ELITE CUTTING COLLECTION
(Retailing from £29.99 to £69.99)
Everyone loves an upgrade at Christmas, but why stop at the latest digital technology? The Wilkinson Sword Elite Cutting Collection is ideal for those looking to upgrade their tired old tools with something a bit special.
The range is comprised of a refined selection of premium garden tools ready to provide cutting-edge performance, precision, and comfort. Individually crafted with superior Japanese SK3 steel blades, strong dual cast housing with integrated shock absorption system and lightweight extruded aluminium handles with plush contoured handles, these tools have been created for the gardener who is passionate about quality, durability, and design.
Within this beautifully designed collection are eight tools, to cover every cutting need you have in the garden, all benefiting from the use of top quality materials and craftsmanship.
These include vitamin C, green tea extract, globe artichoke extract, thiamine, taurine and chromium picolinate.
Simply apply the Vie Recovery patch to a clean, dry and hairless area of your skin before your first drink. Patches can be left on for up to 24 hours. For easy removal, wet patch and peel off.
Vie Recovery Patches use only 100% natural ingredients and can be purchased for £4.95 for six patches, online from www.vie-healthcare.com.
NOTE: The Vie Recovery patch is intended for adult use only. The patch will not prevent intoxication. Always drink responsibly and never drink and drive. The Vie Recovery patch should not be used if pregnant or nursing. Anyone taking medication should consult a doctor, prior to use.
Ideal for the ultimate Christmas gift, as they have a personalisation service, where names or special messages can be added to all of the mugs they produce.
These can be either on the handle of the mug, or inside the mug with a nifty 'secret' message.
They also have a truly wonderful range of mugs that you can have them personalise with your own message on both the back and/or the front.
For their complete range of personalised mugs, just check out their dedicated Personalised Mugs page to learn more.
And a name or a short message can be added to the handle of all of their mugs, too.
And why not check out their festive and stylish stocking fillers in their Christmas collection?
The mugs are made with fine quality materials and will make a very special gift for the person you love.
Learn more at https://www.msmugs.com.
It is a very dark red wine blend that is very pleasing to the dedicated, experienced drinker or even the newcomer to the complex world of wines.
It is a very rich wine, with notes of hedgerow fruits and also with a hint of blueberries and black cherry, too. There are also other notes, perhaps of a fine freshly brewed coffee and with deeper notes redolent of dark chocolate.
Apothic Dark is made using a unique blend of dark grape varieties, that together reveal distinct textures and unlocks a new wine tasting experience.
Each grape variety is carefully chosen to offer wine drinkers richness, complexity and balance, producing a wine that draws our curiosity to embrace its mystery and darkness. Blending Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Petit Verdot, the smoothness of the wine and the opulent notes of coffee and dark chocolate will haunt the palate.
Apothic Dark is available nationwide and should cost you £10.00.
It's aimed at drinking with red meats but my wife and I discovered that Apothic Dark is ideal to drink by itself, with deserts, with red meats and with white meats such as chicken and turkey, too.
So, will we be serving Apothic Dark wine with our traditional Christmas turkey dinner and with our Boxing Day beef joint? I think we probably will!
Apothic Wines are based in Modesto, California.
Exclusive to Tesco, Twists include an indulgent selection of hazelnut treats enrobed in milk chocolate and smooth praline, topped with crisp rice and coated in milk chocolate.
Each chocolate is individually wrapped, specially designed to allow you to take your time and enjoy each one. Perfect for sharing and suitable for all ages, Twists are also ideal as a Christmas present - the combination of delicate flavour and texture is guaranteed to satisfy any chocaholic. The box itself is also unique – opening and closing with one big twist.
Chocolate producers for 136 years, Elizabeth Shaw are passionate about making chocolates that anyone can enjoy, any time, which is why they have created a premium box of chocolates to be shared or gifted.
Managing Director Karen Crawford, is, rightly, excited by this news. She said: "We have been creating chocolates for over 100 years, and continue to keep up with what consumers want and need.
35% of shoppers buy chocolate for an evening in at home, and 28% to share with others; so we’ve created a beautiful deluxe box perfect for sharing at home but also for giving to friends, families or colleagues."
Launching in November, Twists will be on introductory offer for £3, one pound off the RRP for a 201g box.
An idea Christmas and New Year purchase as gifts for loved ones and something for the table for the party season.
The Liqueur Tower (with oak gift box) holds 3 stackable x 250ml Impilabile bottles in a stunning upright box. Customers can choose the contents of the bottles from any of the Demijohn products, but we’d recommend the lovely combination of Seville Orange Gin, Rhubarb Vodka and Bramble Scotch Whisky Liqueur as a sophisticated trio. This is priced at £88.15.
For a single, ‘stand-out’ present, The Sloe Gin Gift Box is it. Containing the world’s best artisan gin (as voted in the World Sloe Championships for the last 3 years running) the Mystic 500ml bottle comes in the most stunning oak presentation box. Made in Worcestershire from sloes collected from the hedgerows, often by the Demijohn team who shut up shop to do a day of foraging, this is a traditional liqueur with an added bitter taste making it ideal as a fresh air sharpener, an after dinner digestif or even in cocktails. But hurry as stocks of this product are limited given its seasonal nature. This is priced at £62.95.
If you’re looking for something more luxurious then the Liqueur Gift Boxes are ideal. Hand created oak boxes hold 6 x 100ml bottles of the best of Demijohn’s liqueurs, including Rhubarb Vodka Liqueur, Seville Orange Gin, Spiced Rum, Sloe Gin, Morello Cherry Brandy and Bramble Scotch Whisky Liqueur. Of course if you’d rather choose your own liqueurs then that is also possible. Priced at £90.55.
If budgets are tight the Mini Christmas Stacker is perfect, priced at just £27.60. Three Mystic 100ml bottles are filled with warming Christmas drinks – Sloe Gin, Spiced Rum Liqueur and Morello Cherry Brandy. This little present will certainly spice up a Christmas morning.
If you’d rather a non-alcoholic gift we have created a Cordial Gift Set, comprising 3 charming 100ml Chiara bottles filled with our handmade fresh Raspberry Cordial, Lemon & Mint Cordial and Rhubarb & Ginger Cordial, all held together in a poplar wood rack or tantalus. Only a small amount of cordial is required to be diluted with still or sparkling water, garnished with lime, lemon or other fruits and is a very upmarket and delicious option for non-drinkers and drivers.
The appeal of the Demijohn gifts is that they can all be personalised with either a complimentary handwritten message on the bottles or for an additional fee, an engraving of choice can be marked in the actual wood.
It's being staged from 22 to 26 November, with a very special 'After Dark' evening on Thursday 23 November, what's now acknowledged as the UK's biggest seasonal event will feature over 600 exhibitors under one roof.
New for 2017 is the Eat and Drink Festival running alongside the show.
Visitors to the Ideal Home Show receive free access to the festival, where artisan food producers and top brands join to create a unique experience, celebrating the very best on offer in the world of food and drink.
With street food vendors and mixologists, plus modern cuisine experts, you'll be able to test and taste all the latest trends in Christmas fare at the Eat and Drink Festival.
There are eight dedicated sections across home and lifestyle include interiors and home accessories; home improvements and outdoor living; eat and drink; style; Christmas decorations; a Christmas arcade with toys, games and books; kitchenware and the pet pavilion. Feature areas offer craft workshops to make everything from decorations to hand crafted gifts, and mulled wine and fondues can be enjoyed in the new alpine lodge-themed ski bar, together with tasty Christmas nibbles and festive drinks.
Throughout the show's five days, a roster of household names take to the Christmas Theatre stage with presentations from the worlds of fashion, interior design and cookery. Visitors can learn how to get the best Christmas party looks, indulge in the show's Pamper Lounge and enjoy some wonderful live entertainment at the Christmas Bandstand.
There's something for everyone to enjoy at the Ideal Home Show, the UK's one-stop-shop for everything festive.
Tickets for the Ideal Home Show at Christmas 2017 are now available from
http://www.idealhomeshowchristmas.co.uk/london/visiting/ticket-information or by phone on 0844 209 7330.
A £1.70 transaction fee is £1.70 applicable.
This family owned bakery makes a vast range of both savory and sweet items, using traditional Scottish recipes that have been passed down through several generations of craft bakers.
Wherever possible, Stag opts to only use locally sourced ingredients such as sustainably sourced seaweed.
The seaweed is cultivated locally and a unique blend is used baked into water biscuits, oatcakes and shortbread.
The Stornoway Water Biscuit with Hebridean Seaweed won Best Scottish Product 2013 at the Great Taste Awards and their Scottish Seaweed Oatcakes won 3 stars at the Great Taste Awards.
Perfect Christmas Gift for Food Lovers? Yes! Without a doubt!
It’s increasingly difficult to find gifts for foodies as well as dads, grandads and uncles. Stag Bakeries has the perfect solution and something altogether ‘different’ whether their tastes are sweet or savoury.
The appropriately named ‘Something Different for Cheese’ is a luxurious fruit cake that is delicious when served and eaten with cheese. It is presented in a balsa wood box, making it the perfect gift.
Traditionally Scottish? Most certainly!
For something different this Christmas, adorn your buffet table with a selection of Scottish treats. The Water Biscuit with Hebridean Seaweed and Scottish Oatcake with Seaweed offer great alternatives to serve with cheese and are both available from within the artisan food section at Marks & Spencer. For snacking, Stag’s Smoked Dunlop Cheese Straws are made with a carefully selected Scottish Cheese and is again available from Marks & Spencer.
(EDITOR: I can attest to the wonderful flavours of the Stag Bakeries range, so can heartily recommend them to you.)
They are not mass produced, they are genuinely hand carved and can include names or perhaps a meaningful word.
Their gorgeous handmade Oak Rope Swings are available to buy exclusively and are each made to order.
They come with 5 metres of rope attached to either side and come complete with simple to follow instructions to hang it.
Hand Carved names and special, personal inscriptions and longer ropes are available and are priced accordingly. Please ask for details.
They come in four sizes, child's, single, double or round, prices start at £149, including Vat & Delivery.
Incidentally, they are the only Rope Swing Makers Licensed by The RHS.
You can also use these outdoors, but they'd need to be brought in during wet weather.
They are Hand Stitched in Devon by an English Master Saddler who only uses finest quality handmade thread and the finest quality, naturally tanned, unique, full grain bridle leather.
Dimensions 260mm deep & 530mm wide.
Price with 5 metres of rope & fixing clips £269.00 including Vat & delivery. Longer rope available, if required.
For details please call 01297 443084 or visit them at www.sittingspiritually.co.uk.
Yes! And why not?
Most of us love the traditional foods of Christmas, but why not put a new twist to them? Try them with something a little different, perhaps?
And what better different twist could we try but the Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauces range?
What is available? You can try Full Flavor Smokey, Smooth Original Barbecue Glaze, Tennessee Honey™ Barbecue Extra Hot Habanero and Hot Pepper Steak Sauce.
You can add them to a turkey casserole, use them as very tasty dipping sauces for party favourites to give them a bit of extra zing. Pork pies, sausage rolls, canapes, nuts, breadsticks and your cheeseboard never tasted so exciting!
And for a bit of an extra thrill, why not make your guests some Jack Daniels cocktails, too to go with these ultra tasty Christmas and New Near snacks and foods?
To learn more please visit http://jackdanielsbbqsauces.com/products/.
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Saturday, 21 October 2017
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Saturday, 2 September 2017
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Sunday, 16 July 2017
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Thursday, 18 May 2017
Each one mentioning the value of relaxation and the importance of a good night's sleep. Anyone who has actually tried to make themselves go to sleep and relax will be aware that it is not an easy accomplishment.
However, Mathmos.com have been producing a possible solution to stress and insomnia for over 50 years.
In the preceding half century there have been many fashions and fads that have gone into history never to be repeated. There have been many opportunities for innovation and design, Mathmos.com have kept themselves at the cutting edge of lighting by using the services of top designers and deploying innovative ideas.
The lava lamp was invented by mathmos.com. Founder Edward Craven Walker back in 1963 and has been modified and developed to keep pace with the changing needs and expectations of today's generation.
Mathmos.com have created one of the best ways to relax by using distraction and have become living proof that some of the best things in life originate in the United Kingdom. In today's noisy world it is good to learn that something silent and safe can be obtained for a reasonable price and has the potential to enhance the life of everyone from children to great grandparents. One such creation has held our researchers and writers in awe.
Neo is designed by lighting designer Jonathan Coles Studio and is the only lava lamp in the world that has been completely tested and verified for customers of all ages. Every detail has been designed
with safety and quality in mind.
Within half an hour of the Neo sending up its Lava it created a relaxing and unique ambience, safe in the knowledge that it was securely fixed, stable and safe without the risk of a burn we all relaxed and enjoyed the experience so much we dozed off. The Neo is safe for kids, the elderly and pets when it is secured and the simple instructions are followed.
Please visit http://www.mathmos.com to learn more.
How wrong this is!
We made this discovery when we took delivery of a Simplex Tea kettle made to the exact specifications and pattern as they were in 1903
The Simplex Tea Kettle It is truly a work of art in every way, it is beautiful to look at and to hear. It has a sweet sounding gentle whistle that alerts when the water has boiled. inside the spout there is a rattle that will transport anyone back to the days of childhood when all high quality kettles had this touch.of mystery. Simplex Tea Kettles are individually hand made in Birmingham each one is unique and of outstanding quality and design.
Any one with a love of nostalgia will appreciate the Newey and Bloomer Buckingham No 1 kettle made of polished copper with brass trimmings and a tin lining inside. These solid copper kettles have
Newey and Bloomer was founded back in 1850 and have produced all kinds of objects. Some of the original barbershop fittings and bar tops can still be seen in their original positions and still in use today. The craft and skill is vibrantly displayed and demonstrated in Birmingham by a family owned firm that is passionate about quality and outstanding customer service.
The Simplex Tea kettles come in an assortment of designs and finishes but all have a hand turned beechwood handle and a special whistle through the lid that makes for added safety. The Buckingham range all have coil bases and come in a choice of natural copper, silver plated or chrome plated. The chrome plated kettle is outstanding with a shiny sparking appearance which will grace a modern or futuristic style kitchen for many years to come.
The natural copper finish arrives bright and shines with a warm glow. It does dull over time and will require polishing from time to time. The natural copper finish has got the edge for anyone with a country style kitchen or a love of anything vintage.
Newey and Bloomer have developed the ordinary into a work of art that is timeless and absolutely stunning. Birmingham is once again on the map for outstanding craftsmanship.
Great care is taken in the presentation of. The Newey and Bloomer Simplex Tea Kettles, each one arrives beautifully packed in a cotton bag with the unique number of the kettle on the warranty card. The date of manufacture is stamped on the spout and each kettle has its own identification number that can be registered to validate the warranty. Customer service is second to none at Newey and Bloomer.
For something made to exact specifications and so aesthetically pleasing the price is extremely reasonable and worth the initial outlay. Water boiled in a Simplex Tea Kettle tastes far superior to water boiled in plastic or aluminium kettles.
Good quality tea tastes outstanding and coffee truly refreshing. The Simplex tea kettle does everything Newey and Bloomer say it does and is absolutely 'quintessentially English'.
To learn more about this amazing kettle please visit https://neweybloomer.co.uk.
Monday, 24 April 2017
Tommy has a mild form of cerebral palsy and the reader is given the opportunity to take a peek into Tommy's life and the problems and trials that he finds himself having to face and to deal with.
Winter's Leap takes a snapshot of his life on one significant day, Christmas Day.
He explores what Christmas means to him and also he contemplates the meaning of "family."
The tale that Timothy Raine weaves is a naturalistic one as it sees glimpses of human frailty, sadness and joy as we see what life means for Tommy.
It is an important and compelling book as not only does it make a good read it also looks at important concepts such as joy, identity and empathy.
It's a story with some sadness, yet also hope, too. It will make people think, which is all to the good.
It's ideal for everyone from young teenagers to adults it is published by The Book Guild at £6.99 and can be bought at the that's Books Bookshop which you will find here:- https://goo.gl/Ltov34.
Saturday, 1 April 2017
Many have said that quality has been lost and that British manufacturing is not what it used to be.
However British firm www.Mathmos.com has proven that things only get better over time. Everyone has experienced that moment when a youngster says "what was it like when you were my age?"
It is often difficult to explain but thankfully www.Mathmos.com has solved that for us too. When asked we can now say "'I'll show you!"
If you were around in the '60s and '70s you will know what a Lava Lamp is but there are not many millennials that do!
There is always someone ready to copy a great idea and the original Lava Lamps have been copied but never beaten in their unique British design. Mathmos Lava Lamps are as good if not better than when Mr. Edward Craven-Walker made the first one in 1963, under the Crestworth brand, latterly changed to Mathmos.
Mathmos have been producing to the same quality in Britain ever since 1963 using the unique formula that keeps the lamps clear, bright and absolutely captivating.
The Mathmos Astro says the 1960s all over again, it was designed in 1963 and 54 years later spare parts and replacement bottles are available from www.Mathmos.com. The Astro Baby lamp is slightly slimmer and has remained in popular demand. The Telstar design was inspired by the space race fever of the 1960s.
The Telstar is an absolute design classic. The legs are made of Zinc and are polished to an incredible shine together with the bottle cover on the top it looks as though it is ready to launch into space!
After turning the lamp on and allowing it to warm up, it has the ability to convince an observer that they have indeed been launched into some mysterious environment. Bubbles gyrate, twist and turn as they rise upwards defying gravity and gently slide downwards in a truly mesmerising display of fluidity.
Nothing can equal the clarity, colours and especially the wide range of designs that www.Mathmos.com have on offer. No matter what design is chosen each part of it is individually inspected and tested here in the United Kingdom.
Replacement parts can be obtained from www.Mathmos.com for Crestworth lamps purchased from
www.Mathmos.com are based in Poole and are able to produce individual designed lamps to a customers specifications. Mathmos Monster Lava Lamps are becoming very popular for individuals and companies that wish to maintain their individuality and remain loyal to British engineering and manufacturing.
WWW.mathmos.com have Lava Lamps that are powered by Tea Lights.
They even some specially commissioned lamps taller than a human.
That in itself should be enough to convince youngsters that Britain was 'Great' before their time and will continue to be Great into the future.
Take a look at www.Mathmos.com, they are out of this world! Launched in a Telstar!