In the Basket

January, 2018

  • a tube of ‘plughole unblocker’
  • a blend of cider vinegar and honey – raw, organic and kosher
  • pine shelving, by a local carpenter
  • 2 pairs of spectacles, b.o.g.o.f.
  • 200 self-adhesive labels
  • comfort food, including a Cornish pasty
  • a course of ‘fat freeze’ body treatments, for the dimpled self

December, 2017

  • 24 stamps with scenes of snowmen and Santas
  • a re-grouting/sealant service, for the bathroom
  • 1 gold box of mulled-spice scented tissues
  • 6 tester pots of paint, in shades of duck, dove and primrose
  • 15% of a cruise on the Norwegian Fjords – the deposit
  • Volume 32 of the Journal of Stained Glass, for research
  • a large wall calendar, minimalist, with no pictures

November, 2017

  • a green-gold lipstick, called Instinct
  • a watch with Roman numerals, but no minute markings
  • 3 drop-in descaler bags
  • 20 sachets of Elderberry and Echinacea tea
  • fence spikes, brown, pack of 30
  • home insurance, buildings and contents
  • a MOD search – for a war record of service and campaign medals

October 2017

  • a stock of Vitamin C tablets
  • 2 little squeezy bottles of dry-eye drops, on prescription
  • 3 tins of tomato soup, for fast days
  • compensation items, post computer crisis:
  • an eau de parfum called ‘Bloom’
  • a festive pair of Jacquard texture trousers
  • a gift set of 4 Beatrix Potter 50ps, in ‘brilliant, uncirculated quality’
  • an external storage drive, 1 terrabyte

September 2017

  • a small gift horse, cast in bronze, made in Greece
  • half a low-calorie pizza called Leggera
  • 2 Smart Meters and a Display Unit, free from E-on
  • a multi-pack of printer cartridges, including magenta and cyan
  • British blackberries in a plastic tray.  Variety: Loch Ness
  •  a ticket for a seat in the stalls of a London theatre. Only £95!


August 2017

  • an archangel: a ‘stained glass’ transfer, to ‘stick on a clean window’
  • a pack of ‘bird-scare’ mirror discs, to dazzle the pigeons away
  • a block of recycled printer paper
  • 2 handpicked gem lettuce, picked by an Alan in Norfolk
  • 15 floor wipes, in ‘apple’
  • 24 re-usable ice cubes
  • an aspidistra, by post

July 2017

  • an aerosol spray – an instant protector for footwear, water/stain repellent
  • a 3-tier stainless steel steamer
  • 4 sheets of tissue paper, in a ‘party animals’ pattern
  • a pochette of ‘red rose’ incense sticks
  • a rosary ring from Rheims
  • a bottle of surgical spirit, to harden the feet
  • What would Jane Do?  a book of Austen quotations

June, 2017

  • a brooch in the form of a bee, knitted in Peru
  • 2 pairs toe-less sandal tights in ‘powder’ (beige)
  • 5 corn removal pads – in chiropody felt, self-adhesive
  • a sonic travel toothbrush
  • a fresh supply of euros
  • a cone of Kentish icecream

May, 2017

  • 3 storage jars, for tilted or upright use, with green lids
  • 6 plugs of French marigolds
  • 30 first-class stamps, with a bird design
  • 100 beta-carotene capsules
  • a grey upholstered swivel office chair, with castors
  • a vintage bangle with a lizard clasp
  • a slice of bread pudding



April, 2017

  • a 6-pack of rose and sage-scented tissues
  • a non scratch scourer, made in Spain
  • an apron, green gingham with a big pocket
  • a plastic tube of HB pencil leads, 0.5mm
  • a crystal nail file
  • 3 crustless quiches, cheese and tomato
  • new soles for my boots for all seasons

March, 2017

  • a studded photo frame, in black wood and brass
  • summer breaks in Somerset and Derbyshire
  • 3 bunches of daffodils
  • 1 bus pass, renewed for free
  • a large fringed cushion, with leopards on the front
  • a loose lime

February, 2017

  • a bottle of essential oil, lavender
  • a jar of bacon jam, from the market
  • a book about medieval masons
  • 3 thermostatic valves
  • 2 beds for the night, one in York, the other in London

January, 2017

  • a slimline diary, turquoise cover
  • a stock of ground coffee. Flavour, Paradise Island
  • a set of alcoholic lip balms, including Prosecco.
  • a ticket for a tour of Worcester Cathedral
  • a packet of swan food
  • a sweater in a sale, in Melba Peach
  • a copy of HELLO


  • a supply of glucosamine and rose-hip tablets
  • a pair of hi-gloss, ‘laminate look’ tights
  • an extension lead, 4 metres
  • a pack of festive paper plates, with silver stars
  • a sack of roasting potatoes, native to the Andes
  • an extra hot-water bottle with furry cover, in ‘latte’
  • a carrier bag, 5p

October to November 2016

  • A pair of plastic ‘leaf-grabbers’
  • A lilac jumper made from yak yarn
  • A get well card, with glitter
  • A ball of yellow rubber bands
  • A TV licence
  • A dozen Happy Eggs
  • A ticket for a tour of Peterborough Cathedral

August to September 2016

  • A universal travel adaptor plug
  • A cling-resistant slip, made in Cambodia
  • A square silicone colander – in green
  • A jar of face-cream, containing caviar
  • A hedgehog: decorative garden ornament, made of rattan
  • A new boiler (price best forgotten)
  • A lot of lambs lettuce
  • Postcards in Poland

From May to July 2016:

  • A vintage 3-tier cake stand
  • 2 lbs of potatoes called Charlotte, from Egypt
  • A pack of 100 disposable Latex gloves
  • A grey marl cabin case
  • A bottle of Verbena and Lavender cologne
  • A canister of ant-killer powder
  • A ticket to see Cymbeline at Stratford
  • 24 afternoon tea fairy cakes (half price)
  • A step safety ladder (special offer)
  • A pair of knickers called Orange Squash

Four things bought in April 2016:

  • A summer scarf with a pattern of elephants
  • A tube of organic snail-gel eye serum
  • A mauve magnolia tree
  • A ticket to Sutton Coldfield