In the Basket

July, 2022

  • a slab of handcrafted soap in ‘strawberries and cream’
  • paper-pearl earrings with coral and brass ‘crowns’. £75, from Etsy
  • a tour of an Anglo-Saxon church and crypt.  £15
  • the Book Club choice:  Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • a phone bag, with cross-body strap, in pink and lime mesh and nylon. £20

June, 2022

  • Beetroot juice, 1 litre – ‘cloudy, pressed and picked’ in Ireland
  • a pack of iron-on denim patches for real holes in my oldest jeans
  • alterations by a seamstress to 3 pairs of trousers- from long to cropped, for a new look. £55
  • repairs to the sliding wardrobe doors – £35
  • train and tube travel to London and back: c.£150
  • An Evil Love. A paperback about Fred and Rose West

May, 2022

  • the dual-fuel bill, double last year’s.  £133
  • a feather-filled velvet cushion, with a giraffe-in-the-jungle design
  • From Amazon, a pack of 2 hook, black and white bra-strap extenders
  • An inspection and cleaning of the gutters. £87
  • a ‘hand-finished’ Belgian chocolate cake, with marbled whorls on top.

April, 2022

  • a travel-size hairdryer, with ‘cool shot’ setting
  • 3 jumbo fabric bags, shopper-style with zip tops, for clothes management/storage
  • body maintenance: a course of 6 toning treatments on my bingo wings. £195
  • tickets to an exhibition – at the V&A, about Faberge. £44
  • a pack of 4 hot cross buns, ‘rhubarb and custard’. £1.19

March, 2022

  • a pair of cargo trousers in a sale. Tapered leg, 4 pockets, in camel. £13, plus p&p
  • 9 ‘breathable’ see-through garment covers, in different sizes
  • 120 capsules of MacuPro – an eye supplement, with lutein and zeaxanthin
  • lawn treatments:  aeration, scarification.  £120
  • a doughnut called Zebra Creme (cocoa and vanilla) from the donutterie at Euston

February, 2022

  • tickets for a local Literature Festival event – a talk by Justin Webb
  • a very loud, fast-boil, stainless steel kettle. From Wilko’s, £17
  • ‘Peckish’ – a garden food-mix of seeds, ‘approved by birds.’
  • 2 50 ml bottles of ‘smell-alike’, faux perfume de toilette. Loves me, loves me not, based on the Daisy range by Marc Jacobs and the Chanel-style Vogue. £5 each! 
  • Words to Outlive us – a hardback book of extracts from diaries of the Warsaw Ghetto

January, 2022

  • a pea protein veggie burger, at McDonald’s
  • a short ‘fur’ coat called ‘Alice’, in ‘planet-friendly, recycled polyester’. Sale price:£45
  • 4 hour-long Tai Chi classes, £5 each
  • 12 macaroons, in 6 pretty colours and flavours. ‘Crafted in Belgium’,bought at Waitrose
  • a tube of fluoride toothpaste, with ‘advanced enamel protection’. Made in Slovakia
  • vintage drop pearl earrings, off-white – from an outdoor market stall in Tamworth
  • underbed storage: a pair of cloth boxes in grey patterns, with zip closures

December, 2021

  • an ammonite pendant, to replace the one lost – then found
  • a glass of wine in a pub in Hampstead, London. £13.30!
  • mega-matches, extra long (28cm). Product of India
  • an ad on Twitter, to promote a pensionista post. £125
  • a rainbow of interdental brushes, in assorted colours
  • a giraffe: a handmade hanging decoration, with metallic embroidery
  • a mini Christmas tree – only a foot high, including the pot

November, 2021

  • 7 lateral-flow tests – free, supplied by NHS Test and Trace
  • a tumbler, ‘virtually indestructible’ in black polycarbonate, found in the street
  • my home insurance renewal – £231
  • a short, shower-resistant coat in the Fat Face sale -duck-egg blue
  • a tube-squeezer, a tiny contraption, ‘to roll out every last drop…’ £1.50
  • a book: The History of the World in a 100 Objects
  • Turquoise – an ‘oceanic’ scent by Michael Kors, with top-notes of water-lily and cucumber

October, 2021

  • 3 sets of e-tickets – to London, Liverpool and Portsmouth
  • curled-leaf parsley, in a pot, ‘great stirred  into stuffing’   90p.
  • a large, 4-wheeled suitcase, with a ‘perfect glide system’, from Primark
  • a face-covering featuring roses taken from a Fantin-Latour painting. From the National Gallery shop. With a Friend’s discount, £9.50
  • coconut water – 4 bottles, produced in the Philippines, ‘feel-good fuel’
  • the fourth transpersonal psychology session. £85

September, 2021

  • a hoodie, in fine corduroy, pale camel, with ‘stretch, for shape retention’
  • a narrow strap in mauve leather – for a gold and brown-faced watch
  • deep-clean dental treatment – like a power wash for the gums: £110
  • shower gel, in ‘ vanilla and pumpkin’, but smelling of coconut….
  • the annual boiler service, 40 minutes long, with ‘drink on me’ tip: £55

August, 2021

  • paper panties, in black, pack of 5. Disposable, with ‘discreet leak and odour control.’
  • a silver spoon, engraved with a single word: jam, from a stately home shop. £12
  • lavender marmalade, made in Norfolk
  • electrical repairs; a new shower switch etc. £78
  • a pair of fluffy socks with a bee motif, ‘recycled from plastic bottles’
  • Lady in Waiting. A racy, very readable memoir of royal connections…

July, 2021

  • 2 hours of therapy -Jungian style – in Southwark, London, £160
  • an Age Extension travel insurance premium, £65
  • a catalogue from an artist friend’s local exhibition
  • 3 miniature bottles of Laphroaig whisky, souvenirs from Scotland
  • a deposit on account at the solicitor’s: £1,300
  • 50 baby buds – cottonwool, certified a 100% organic

June, 2021

  • a ticket to Wigan, North-West England, open return
  • a new microwave, black with a silver door handle, still in the box
  • dinner out, including a Mojito mocktail: mint, lime, sugar and soda
  • a luxe linen shirt, three-quarter sleeves, in primrose yellow,£54
  • 50 metres of dental floss, fresh mint flavour

May, 2021

  • entrance fees to an Open Garden charity event
  • a blood pressure monitoring machine, half-price in Boots
  • reading and long-distance glasses, with bronze and tortoiseshell frames
  • 100 self-adhesive reinforcement rings for hole-punched paper
  • 2 small foldaway patio tables, black with glass tops
  • a copy of Big Issue, with Bob Dylan on the cover

April, 2021

  • e-tickets to London and Penkridge, Staffs
  • 2 yards of scallop-edged lace trim, in ‘natural’ – to lengthen a dress
  • small folding-step stools, with ‘slip-resistant surface’, in black and blue
  • a long-awaited haircut, with highlights in dark blonde and violet, £45.95 + tip
  • a jar of  Tiptree truffle mayonnaise,’by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen’.

March, 2021

  • a coffret of talcum powders from Yardley (est: 1770) in rose, lavender and lily of the valley
  • deposits on 2 door-to-door coach trips – to Scotland and Norfolk
  • 12 mini-mixer cans of diet coke, not the regular size – by mistake
  • a slender smartphone, with a ‘clean interface’ and ‘soft-touch’ matte back, made in Vietnam – and a case to fit it. £350
  • American Dirt – a new novel about migration from Mexico, sure to be a modern classic.

February, 2021

  • Lemsip Max, for ‘body aches’, etc., with braille on the box
  • hand-crafted in crochet – a beaded doily, to cover a milk jug
  • the regular subscription to Which, the consumer magazine
  • Dr Wolff’s ‘energising’ caffeine shampoo. Est.1905
  • a Valentine’s gift to self: L’Aimant scent and deodorant spray
  • 10 ‘plant-based bacon rashers’, inedible. 9 thrown away.
  1. January, 2021
  • 2 stainless steel kettle descalers
  • a hoodie top, in pastel primrose velour
  • Hyacinth Bucket’s Book of Etiquette for the ‘less socially fortunate’
  • 50 sheets of posh printer paper, in cream
  • a Bulk Buy:  48 quilted toilet rolls, ‘shea-butter scented’

December 2020

  • 125 extra-long, white-tipped ‘mega-matches’ in a box, a frosted fern pattern on the lid
  • a Pedigree Christmas stocking, with ‘chewy treats’ – for Pablo, the puppy
  • a 4-wheeled, super-lite cabin case – half-price – from Debenhams
  • a solicitor’s bill – for ‘reviewing your paperwork, drafting a letter’: £467
  • triple-distilled Irish whiskey, in a bottle of Bailey’s cream liqueur

November, 2020

  • a Posture Corrector, an anti-slouch affair, with adjustable straps and a ‘perfect fit guarantee’. To wear like a backpack, in black.
  • an ad on Twitter, in the form of a Tweet, to promote a post.
  • an empty hanging basket, found in a skip….
  • 40 Season’s Greetings cards – 16th century Dutch winter scenes
  • a shiny new thermostat for a bedroom radiator, with ‘large-print’ numbers.

October, 2020

  • 6 months’ supply of Vitamin D; 180 capsules
  • Killing for Company, about Dennis Nilsen – a true crime classic
  • a new TV licence, through gritted teeth
  • tree and hedge pruning services: £500
  • a gift for the garden: a wind chime, made from recycled metal cutlery


  • a vintage crystal glass tankard, from an antiques centre
  • online tickets – to Euston and Tate Britain, to see Aubrey Beardsley
  • 2 silk-bamboo long-sleeved tee-shirts, in black and cream, for layering
  • a small wooden crate. Purpose: To Be Decided
  • a mushroom.  Also wood, for hand-darning holes in socks and the like

August, 2020

  • a traditional scrubbing brush, with a curved edge, from the market
  • 4 anklets, in silver, pearl and wood
  • an upgraded but cheaper ‘bundle’ from Virgin Media
  • a membership fee of Medium, a huge online writing community
  • 8 black, long-handled spoons, for ice-cream and the like
  • e-tickets, for the train – and entry to Salisbury cathedral

July, 2020

  • Lumiere, a 1980s eau de toilette, with white floral notes
  • 2 Chinese parasol-umbrellas, paper and bamboo. For patio guests.
  • gold plimsolls, with ‘shock-absorbing soles’
  • a set of Mulberry silk pillowcases, shipped from Wisconsin
  • 100 rubber bands, in different colours and sizes, made in Germany

June, 2020

  • nail polish, a topcoat called Crystal Sparkle
  • a sleeveless ‘soft fern’ maxi dress, in a hemp-cotton mix
  • a large black wheeled outdoor storage box, from Amazon
  • greeting cards, featuring re-imagined portraits with masks, from the Fitzwilliam, Cambridge
  • a fossil on a pendant – an ammonite from Madagascar
  • an oval tin of Spanish squid in olive oil, inedible

May, 2020

  • ‘optical cover’ sunglasses, to fit over prescription ones
  • 8 champagne flutes, for when the outbreak ends
  • a set of black swallows: small sticker tatoos
  • several face masks, all with elasticated ear loops –
  • some disposable, semi-medical grade, others re-usable, in layered linen, one a botanical print…
  • ice-cream: 6 mini-tubs from the ‘caramel collection’

April, 2020

  • a subscription to an animated e-card company
  • 2 wire storage baskets, to hook over kitchen cupboard doors
  • a donation to Captain Tom’s  NHS charities
  • 100 Quick Cryptic Crosswords, in a Times paperback
  • more lockdown treats, like giant crumpets

March, 2020

  • a tea-towel with a geological time-scale design, from Archean to Jurassic
  • regular edge-trimming and lawn-mowing
  • post-lock-down: a home delivery of supplies, ordered online
  • including extra milk for the freezer
  • and therapeutic items, like wine and candles
  • a biography of Samuel Pepys, the 17th century diarist, for a plague perspective…

February 2020

  • ‘a legend in a glass’ – a bottle of mead, made in Lindisfarne.
  • an hour’s consultation with a solicitor; £300
  • cedar sachets, from a moth repellent range
  • dermal filler treatment, for a facial hollow
  • a cauliflower, grown in Cornwall

January 2020

  • a tree – an ornamental birch called ‘Moonbeam’
  • an olive oil ear spray
  • labels for the new wheelie bin, ‘water and weatherproof’
  • newspapers – souvenir issues for Brexit Day
  • French fizz – pink champagne….

December, 2019

  • a leopard skin rug, made in Africa. Wool and cotton.
  • a ceiling light switch cord, for the bathroom
  • carrots in velvet: tree decorations from Aldi
  • giant crumpets, a pack of 2
  • a new LG television, a Boxing Day bargain. 49 inch screen.

November, 2019

  • 4 white porcelain, square-shaped egg cups, made in China
  • a mini suede skirt, in black, from M&S
  • a wireless Mouse for the desk-top.
  • Black Friday – a teddy coat, in olive, 40% off…
  • a wooden step-stool from IKEA, self-assembly – not by me
  • new fence panels, with concrete posts
  • home insurance

October, 2019

  • Eggs Royale, a breakfast treat in a cafe, with smoked salmon and muffins
  • A multi-purpose canvas pouch, with a motivational message:Today is the Day!
  • a room reservation in a seafront hotel in Brighton
  • another cashmere shawl-style scarf in ‘Parma’ – exchanged for ‘Fireglow’
  • a Senior Railcard, renewed online for 3 years

September, 2019

  • a ‘memory, posture-perfect’ pillow – from Debenhams
  • a pair of anti-bunion orthotic soles, from California
  • an investment: another mixed-media scene of Derbyshire by an artist friend
  • tour tickets, including one for the Norman crypt of Winchester cathedral
  • a 20 metre washing line from Wilko’s, with a steel core
  • a large lemon from South Africa, called EUREKA!

August, 2019

  • a new smoke alarm
  • a cream leather purse, with laser cut-out pattern
  • slices of ‘white sugar loaf’ pineapple, from Ghana
  • a private prescription for steroid ointment
  • train tickets east, south and north.

July, 2019

  • souvenirs. From Portugal, 2 mini bottles of port
  • from Leeds, a Yorkshire dialect melamine coaster (Eh Up!)
  • Florale – a multi-purpose ‘iconic oil’, for face, body, hair
  • asparagus tips, from Peru
  • a big bag of coarse oat bran, for a ‘fibre boost’.

June, 2019

  • new eyebrows. A tatoo treatment, to replace the ones over-plucked…
  • a ‘pillow mist’, to ‘create calm’, before bed
  • an outdoor cushion, sponge-clean only. Black/white zigzags.
  • an Indian meal, a ‘banquet offer’ with 11 dishes
  • £300 worth of Euros

May, 2019

  • a slimline, recycling bin. Black, with grey lid.
  • a set of 3 knives: paring, utility and santoku. Dishwasher safe.
  • 40 litres of (enriched) compost
  • 3 for 2 – briefs, guipure lace trim
  • a lilac bush – with blooms to match.

April, 2019

  • A bevelled beauty sponge, in lilac. For blending make-up and ‘complete coverage’
  • 3 ‘bistro’ chairs in black plastic, ‘rattan effect’, ‘stackable for easy storage’
  • a narrow neck brush, with a flexible head and long-length handle – to reach the bottom of bottles
  • a liquid iron and vitamin preparation – an anti-fatigue formula
  • an age-extension fee on my travel insurance: £60.

March, 2019

  • a woven bookmark, with gold thread, depicting a knight in prayer
  • artisan butter in a block – hand-milled, with salt crystals and flecks of seaweed
  • a Home Buyer’s Report, for a family member
  • five Tudor detective novels, the hero called John Shakespeare
  • a ‘sniffer’ – a nasal inhaler stick, for flu symptom relief

February, 2019

  • a retro, ‘mullety’ haircut with a micro-fringe, tipped with violet
  • a thermal ‘base layer’ polo neck in black, ‘made with Japanese technology’
  • superglue: a trio of small tubes of ‘instant, universal’ adhesive
  • a handrail in white oak, over 11 foot long, for my stairway – free delivery
  • a bunch of ‘rainbow’ tulips

January 2019

  • shoe accessories:’grippers’ for ice and snow
  • an annual membership fee for a club in London
  • a deposit for a cruise on the river Douro
  • a long cord pinafore dress in ‘onyx’ with very deep pockets
  • brown suede boots, half-price in the sale
  • a library fine, for two overdue books

December, 2018

  • a curtain for the back door, with an insulated lining
  • the Romance of Food – Barbara Cartland’s kitsch recipe book
  • the last pot of goose fat, for my roasties. The future is meat-free.
  • a set of 5 W.W.2 medals, in bronze and nickel, including 3 Stars
  • a large bottle of pink champagne, for Auld Lang Syne in London

November, 2018

  • elderflower-infused gin, a friend’s favourite tipple
    Slogan on the side of the bottle: ‘united in spirit’
  • a 4-slice toaster, in black and chrome
  • leopard-print pop socks
  • Duchy tomatoes, organic – in Prince Charles’ honour
  • a coach trip to Cambridge
  • a 6-month subscription to a senior singles site

October, 2018

  • a small salt-mill, with pink, Himalayan crystals
  • a grey laundry bag, Irish, with rope detail, to match the walls
  • 3 shiny black baskets, Vietnamese, multi-purpose(all to be decided)
  • horse shampoo, re-branded to groom the human mane
  •  bread: a divine cashew and cranberry bloomer, from Tesco
  • off-peak rail tickets, to Coventry, London and Portsmouth

September, 2018

  • a tube of growth serum, for the elderly eye-lash
  • stationery: a multi-pack of ink cartridges, photo paper, in ‘glossy’
  • a hoodie, in ‘coffee’, all the way from Chenshen, China
  • wine, in a new slim-sized bottle(500 ml) ‘for 2 large glasses’
  • repairs:  new zip for an old gilet, stronger stitching for a bag strap
  • a friend’s painting, at a discount, in ink and acrylic, called Field Shadow.

August, 2018

  • in a tiny aluminium case: a travel lipbrush, made in Japan
  • a One Egg pan, square, non-stick
  • courgettes from Gloucestershire. Variety: Cronos
  • a round tin of British wildflower seedballs
  • a copy of Elle, the Colour Issue
  • the biography of a Victorian chemist’s discovery of ‘Mauve’.

July 2018

  • a deep-clean at the dentist
  • a bespoke teeth whitening tray
  • a pack of 3 N.V.P.L. knickers, click and collect,in black, coffee and almond.
  • a 10 knob over-the-door hat-rack
  • plant food, general purpose, ‘fish, blood and bone’.
  • a pollen-free dwarf sunflower

June 2018

  • open-toe tights, with ‘cooling fibres’
  • a dual valve for the upstairs loo, with ‘reduced flushes’ for ‘water conservation’.
  • plastic cutlery – unethical, but convenient
  • a series of clothes alterations by a local seamstress
  • membership of the National Gallery
  • pickled eggs in a jar
  • a fridge magnet from Norway: a pair of trolls, embracing

May 2018

  • a roll-on bottle of hemp oil vegan deodorant
  • a second hand thriller about the hunt for a Balkan war criminal
  • a woven cross-body bag with such a mix of zigzag stripes and tribal motifs that it will clash and therefore go with everything…..
  • 7 taxi rides to and from stations or supermarkets
  • Norwegian currency: £100 pound’s worth of kroner

April 2018

  •  a foil-embossed, hand-made card, showing birds in love
  • the services of a wedding photographer
  • a bag of confetti (12 handfuls) – biodegradable violet delphinium petals
  • citronella:  insect-repellent oil and candles
  • 3 postcards – scenes of the Seychelles – turtles and parrots on the stamps
  • Chanel no.5, duty-free at the island airport

March 2018

  • 2 long linen dresses, one navy, one grey
  • a box of LED downlights, in ‘warm white’
  • a thick cork notice board with a black frame
  • wrapping paper in Beatrix Potter patterns
  • a ‘self-parking sink stopper, called Frisby
  • decorative bowl covers, set of 6
  • large ‘optical cover’ sunglasses in tortoiseshell
  • a fair-trade Easter egg – cocoa beans from Ghana
  • a bunch of British daffodils

February 2018

  • A swing-arm ‘Hobby’ desk lamp, in black
  • 4 Tai C’hi classes, £5 an hour
  • a ‘luxury bath mat’, for the study, in lilac
  • an economy sized roll of kitchen paper – orange
  • a 10-pack of flocked clothes hangers – turquoise
  • a triple-layered angel sponge cake – yellow and pink
  • rose wine, ‘from the sunshine of Provence’
  • a final TV licence

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

December 2016

  • 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