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Your e-Mails

Sue Northcott
Nicey replies: Thanks Sue for that in depth review of the tea making at Swansea Waterstones, it sounds all very nice, but I think the timers may be a bit intimidating. Waterstones have been doing great work selling our book and are going to be running a special offer on it when it comes out as a paperback in September.

Hope you have some nice Cornish Cream Teas on holiday in Perranporth.

Paul Ware
Nicey replies: Good speech Paul. I can't be doing with a filthy spoon, and your quite right that cleaning teaspoons isn't too tricky. As with dirty mugs, dishwashers are often to blame for this horrible state of affairs. Many deluded employers seem to think that a dishwasher will make their companies more productive as people will spend less time washing up and more time working. Of course the precise opposite is true. Much time is wasted by people scratching around for clean mugs and spoons as they are now willfully incapable of washing their own. Very few people ever load or even switch on the dishwasher, which although it should go on at the very end or the very start of the day tends to quickly get out of sync with daily office tea drinking rhythms.

A green nylon scrubber some hot water and a spot of washing liquid and 30 seconds later everything is spick and span. Personal responsibility versus some energy burning, chemical gobbling machine that incarcerates all the tea making kit for 45 minutes.

Plus what is the story with those people that half fill a mug with water and put all the teaspoons in there? It's a bit like those tall jars of disinfectant that hairdressers chuck combs in, except it's stagnating tap water laced with tea and coffee, milk and sugar. Having studied Microbiology and been given lectures at one point by a very senior public health Microbiologist on bacterial food poisoning, to say nothing of epidemiology, when ever I see one of these I have to empty it out wash up everything concerned in really hot soapy water then find the person concerned and strongly suggest that they desist.

Katie McConnachie
Nicey replies: Its my understanding that tea spoons were conceived for the stirring of tea to disperse the milk. Also should you wish the addition of sugar and its stirring in especially in the case of sugar lumps. The sugar bowl should ideally have its own spoon to prevent issues with damp lumps.

The tea caddy would typically have some form of dedicated measuring spoon or scoop with its own story to tell.

Mattew Sutcliffe
Nicey replies: You don't happen to make spoons do you?

Amber Grace
Jaffa cakesTeaPersonal mug
Nicey replies: On Saturday we met the former Tory Defense Minister John Nott, whilst we were guests on Radio 4's Loose Ends. He had just got back from Glastonbury the day before where he had managed to blag his way in. The Portacabin which held his press ticket had been washed away in the flooding, and given that he is 71 the chap on the gate believed his story.

It also turns out he had a hand in the introduction of VAT and remembers the classification of the Jaffa Cake as one of the thorny issues they grappled with over thirty years ago.