I usually try to limit this blog to bargainous products, but this handmade boat-shaped salt and pepper shaker by Takae Mitzutami is a piece of art, so I can see why you might be tempted to, ahem, splash out £39.75 for it. Available from www.yoyoceramics.co.uk, a lovely site where you can buy stuff by little-known but talented ceramic artists – it’s worth checking out.
Sometimes the simplest things are the most effective. I spotted this pic on The Cool Hunter site (www.thecoolhunter.net) and think it’s absolutely genius. The next time I’ve got a random pile of logs in my back garden (don’t laugh – until a few weeks ago, I actually did!) I’m so doing this with them.
I’ve been away on holiday (Istanbul) for the last week but I got back in time for my road’s Big Lunch street party. The bunting was up, the stalls were set up, the band started playing… and then the heavens opened. Still, we managed to have a couple of hours of fun before the whole street resembled a swimming pool. And the cake baking competition still went ahead. To give myself the edge (well, that was the excuse I gave myself), I invested in some new kit from Marks and Spencer’s gorgeous retro baking range (www.marksandspencer.com). In this year’s hottest ice-cream pastel shades, it looks almost too cute to use, and starts from just a couple of quid. Did it help me win? Nope – the Swedish guy from a few doors down, who wins every year, won yet again. I’m trying not to be too bitter – at least my kitchen looks a tiny bit more glamorous as a result!