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Tuesday 21 December 2010

Dashing through the Snough

Heathrow has been phoning the Mustard Seed for advice. 
How DOES the Mustard Seed manage to stay open - simply through the valiant efforts of stalwart septuagenarians - without even having access to the 47 Heathrow snoughploughs?
Is it all about giving our loyal customers the perfect little shop for all those perfect presents - right up to lunchtime Christmas Eve? 
THANK YOU for your continuing support - and a Blessed & Peaceful Christmas to you & family.
On behalf of the Mustard Seed
P.S. The Nativity in the digital age :   

Friday 17 December 2010

Bollywood comes to Town

One of our most popular lines is the authentic and delicious "Bombay Mix" (or - "Mumbai Mix" if you want to be politically correct according to EU directive AP/1x.zz ) .
The price is just £2.85 for a bollywood-sized tub. 

Nicely spicy, and also contains fat juicy sultanas - just as it would do in Mumbai. 

Yep - it's the real stuff alright - unlike some of the cheaper alternatives that just contain insects and straw - and we have it on good authority that Danny Boyle was constantly munching exactly this mixture when directing Slumdog .    No wonder it got so many Oscars. 

It's a real winner - in a fully resealable tub - especially handy when you want to offer really delicious nibbles to your guests over the Christmas period - rather than insects & straw. 

P.S.  In Myanmar it's called "Sarkalay Chee", which literally means Sparrows' Droppings. 

Monday 13 December 2010

The Plural of Mongoose?

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat
Please spare a thought for the Mustard Seed so that
The farmers and their families will be celebrating too,
They’ll be thanking you and saying: may God bless you!

Christmas is a coming and the bells begin to ring,
The holly's in the window and the birds begin to sing.
You don't need to worry, and you don't need to fret,
When buying at the Mustard Seed it’s blessings that you‘ll get!

P.S. What IS the plural of mongoose?

Giraffes, Caraffes, & Riffraffes

One of our ilk ( or should I use the more seasonal "elk" ? )  spotted a clever justaposition of elegant necks in the Mustard Seed window this morning.
On the right of the window is a long-necked GIRAFFE  - and on the left is a long-necked CARAFFE .  Both beautiful, both looking at each other slightly confused (that'll be the wine) , and both wanting to tell you where you can put your leftover cooking RIFFRAFFE.

There's only two places in Faringdon where you can buy them  - and one of them isn't Budgens.

1. In the Mustard Seed.  Rolls of THIRTY, for £2.99    (10p per bag)

2. In the other place .  Rolls of TWENTY FIVE,  for £3.60  (14.5p per bag)

Wow!  Now that really IS something to talk about at parties - and to rush round to tell your friends & neighbours . What an ice breaker eh?  "Did you know that in the Mustard Seed ....      "

(And as if that isn't enough,  the Mustard Seed ones actually fit better too, AND they're better value than Tescos, Sainsburys, Waitrose...). 

Yep. The Mustard Seed: for all your giraffes, caraffes, and riffraffes. 

Tuesday 7 December 2010


CCCXLIII is the clue.   Could it be  CCCP = USSR with one P ter the Less (cousin of Peter the Great) and few extra country-STANs added ? Makes sense.  Especially in the context of the FIFA decision awarding the world cup to Russia.  
But no - that's FAR too clever  - even for wise Baboushka .   
It's actually quite simple.
The link is Roman Abramovich.  OK - you're right - it DOES have a football link after all. 
But it's his first name that's significant here . Roman.  Roman numerals. 
CCCXLIII = 342 .  
In perfect time for your Christmas Shopping, 342 is the FANTASTIC special offer on children's books at the moment in the Mustard Seed.  342 Get three, only pay for two
And if that doesn't impress you:   342 = 2 × 32 × 19 = pronic number = Harshad number = untouchable number = The number of international appearances by Kristine Lilly for the USA women's national soccer team, an all-time record for the sport. There's that football link creeping in again.

Here's a picture of that bottom shelf in the Mustard Seed - by your footie - perfect browsing height for smaller dribblers . And here's a little more about our Russian Granny:
Baboushka is busy with her house...she has so much to do. The late night arrival of three travellers at her cottage door interrupts her domestic routine of cleaning and polishing. Although she gives them excellent hospitality, she is relieved that they plan to travel on the following day. The men explain that they are in search of a new born king. Baboushka wonders whether to join them, but does not want to leave the house in a mess. Only later, when she sees the star and hears angels singing does she realise she made the wrong choice. She hurries to take her own gift to the king but cannot find him. Tradition has it that she searches still and wherever she hears the sound of children in a house, she leaves a secret gift. This traditional Christmas tale from Russia warmly touches on the true meaning of Christmas.
There your go. That's one of the three books chosen for you. 
And it even has a football theme. It's a great Socker Filler. 

Sunday 5 December 2010

A TALL Story?

Dear MustardSeedoPhile,

Breeding Giraffes?  (try saying that in a Chinese accent.....    ) 
It seems so.  
And rots of ruvely flogs! (the jumpy kind) .
Why - you might well ask? 
Well, flogs jump because they feel vertically challenged when they stand next to the giraffes, and the giraffes have discovered that

have the same number of retters. 

Stretching this rather tentative vertabral link (tentative is something to do with camping I think) , the camellopardophile (Giraffe lovers) society (disbanded in 1934) have now decided to reconvene in our neck of the woods.

Just take a rook at  .  

That reminds me - when you next pop your head round the door of the Mustard Seed to choose your giraffe,  they (and the flogs) would love it if you also check out the beautiful silk NECKscarves & gorgeous handmade NECKraces . 

And for the smaller budgets, there's also SO many wonderful stocking filler NECKnacks .    

What NECKst  eh?

Sunday 28 November 2010

Fork Halendars

It's that Little Shop full of Big Surprises again...
All our friend on the right wanted was four calendars and four candles  - for Advent of course.
Yes - and HE knows that the Mustard Seed is the place to go for the widest selection of both . He also knows they make great presents for family & friends.
Hence wanting four of each.  What a kind man.  (As a bonus - he now also has a handle for his fork) .  
And you'll need them for this coming Wednesday, the 1st December.  Probably not the handle. 
Better Beak Wick then .....  

P.S.  what IS slightly confusing is that the Mustard Seed ALSO sells cute Zimbabwean Can-Candles.
Sorry - that was supposed to be Zimbabwean Can-Can Dolls:

Friday 26 November 2010

Christmas PYE?

As you may already know, John Taylor ( a HUGE supporter of the Mustard Seed - and previous chairman) died very suddenly last Sunday.  Our thoughts are with Ann and family.  John would want us all to give our 100% support to the Mustard Seed - as he did. 

And as you almost certainly already know, one of Faringdon's more illustrious forebears was Henry James Pye : builder of the existing Faringdon House, and still acclaimed as the worst Poet Laureate EVER. 
With only thirty days to go before Christmas - and only one week before the Christmas Hamper Deadline (next Friday 3rd December) , this is the kind of doggerel he might have come up with to highlight the occasion  - and the Hamper Contents:

On the thirtieth day before Christmas,
my true love made a hamper for me  - containing  (I warned you he was bad) Twelve fairtrade chocolates,
Eleven fairtrade biscuits,
Ten fairtrade cakes,
Nine fairtrade bags,
Eight fairtrade snacks,
Seven fairtrade honies,
Six fairtrade jams,
Five fairtrade mints,
Four fairtrade flapjacks,
Three fairtrade chutneys,
Two geobars,
And a lovely cup of fairtrade tea! 

Alternatively - a picture paints a thousand words. Here's a snapshot of the Vogt family living room:

And - homophonically speaking - have you spotted the horde of pigeons standing guard over the hoard of hamper-contents ?
It's not too late to put in your Hamper Order(s). 
There's three off-the-shelf sizes:  HUGE 14.99, ENORMOUS 19.99  & HUMUNGOUS 24.99  - or you can specify your own size.
Last orders for hamper(s) is NEXT Friday December 3rd  - in one week exactly.   Delivery is then on or before Sunday 19th December - well in time for Christmas.
You can order by phone (01367-241707) or email ( or ORDER ONLINE HERE .  You can tailor your hamper(s) entirely to your own preferences - or enjoy the convenience of letting Karen do the choosing. With wine or without wine.  Fairtrade Contents, Biodegradable wrapping. NO CHARGE for making.
That special someone is going to SO enjoy that special treat ....  

Friday 19 November 2010

what exactly is a CARD?

It's official! The Mustard Seed has the widest selection of Christmas Cards (and Advent Calendars!) in the whole of Faringdon .  

But - what IS a CARD - I hear you ask?
A quick search reveals the following alternative definitions:

a. An amusing or eccentric person
b. A wire-toothed brush used to disentangle fibres
c. A flat, often rectangular piece of stiff paper with a message on it
d. A Circuit Board in a computer 

I can now exclusively reveal that the Mustard Seed only stocks ONE of the above.  But which is it?  If you think you know the answer, then phone 244821 immediately (calls cost £12 per second and last no more than 5 minutes) to enter the DRAW . 

But what is a DRAW I hear you ask? 

A quick search reveals .....  


Gosh! What could that mean? Fortunately, I have a friend who speaks ancient Pictish. It says (apparently) :   " Capture the true meaning of Christmas by sending your friends & relations beautiful Seekers Light & Traidcraft cards from the Mustard Seed. 

Pictish is clearly a VERY efficient language. 

And yes - I really DO think we have the widest selection in the whole of Faringdon!

Friday 12 November 2010

Collective noun for HAMPERS?

As I'm sure you're aware, without our 40+ Helpers the Mustard Seed simply couldn't be what it is.
And the officially accepted  Collective Noun for "Helpers"  - believe it or not - is  (get ready ..... )   :
Yes - that's right.  A Hamper of Helpers.   Ain't that just dandy?
Applying a bit of fruitloop logic, maybe we've also hit upon the right Collective Noun for Hampers... 
What do you think?
Anyway - while you're thinking - here for your delectation is now a picture of a  A HELPER OF HAMPERS: 

Wow! Don't they look stunning?  (There's six hampers in the picture; two of each of the three sizes: HUGE 14.99, ENORMOUS 19.99  & HUMUNGOUS 24.99 )   . 
Last orders for hampers is Friday December 3rd . In three weeks time.   Delivery is then on or before Sunday 19th December - well in time for Christmas.
You can order by phone (01367-241707) or email ( or ORDER ONLINE HERE .  You can tailor your hamper(s) entirely to your own preferences - or enjoy the convenience of letting Karen do the choosing. With wine or without wine.  The contents are all Fairtrade, and the cellophane/cardboard wrapping is all biodegradable. The white expanded chips can even double up as breakfast cereal (seriously!) .   And the ribbon/rosette you can reuse .   
There's NO CHARGE for the making. So - they not only make fantastically good presents, but they're also fantastically good value for money. Oh - and did I forget to mention that they also help all our partners in developing countries?
Go on - give that special someone a special treat - you know they're worth it.  The sooner you can get your order in the better. 

Thursday 11 November 2010

On the Subject of Giraffes...

Some of you may know that it is claimed  that Lord Berners once had a Giraffe to tea ....   (Yes - okay - I know - Nessie was also there  - and apparently worse for wear .... )   .
Nonetheless -  it's entirely appropriate - and ON THEME - to point out that The Mustard Seed really is the LITTLE shop full of BIG surprises.
I suggest you take a visit as soon as you possibly can. 
You'll find - towering above you - all the way from the plains of the African Savanna - a TWO METRE TALL GIRAFFE.  (Maybe not impressive for a Giraffe - but certainly impressive for a Giraffe in Faringdon). His name's Gerald. (Gosh - what a coincidence - that's the same as Lord Berner's first name) .
And he's looking for a home.  So are his family ( slightly shorter - but also OH so elegant).
They all come fully house trained - and will fit in beautifully if provided with suitable Bernerseque surroundings .  They're also very partial to the odd half of scrumpy with a dash of angostura bitters (that bit's true) .  
While we're on the subject of giraffes,  you DO of course need somewhere to put all those big game photos.   (I'm particularly proud of the one on the right. It was actually quite dangerous getting the picture - hence the camera shake) . 
So - why not a "Beautifully hand-crafted photo album with giraffe motif. The padded cover is fashioned from leaves, seed pods, twigs and other natural materials. A sheet of protective tissue paper separates each of the handmade paper pages within":

Wow - I love it!
Must rush down to the Mustard Seed right away .... 

Tuesday 2 November 2010

Ten Commandments


1.         MAKE the Pledge
        If it’s available from the Mustard Seed, then give it a try!

2.         USE your Traidcraft Catalogue
Latest Traidcraft catalogues always available from the Mustard Seed

3.         SHARE your feedback
By email, or in the shop, or on Facebook or twitter. Your views matter

4.         TAKE your jutebags with you
The Faringdon Fairtrade Bag-for-life – use it with pride

5.         ASK for fairtrade
In cafes, restaurants, shops …

6.         READ your Christian Marketplace
Latest issues of Christian Marketplace in the Mustard Seed - FREE

7.         DISPLAY your window stickers
Free with any purchase from the Mustard Seed

8.         SPREAD the word!
Share The Mustard Seed Good News message with everyone!

9.         EXPEDITE a monthly order
        Order forms available from . Flexible & convenient

10.   ENTHUSE about the gift baskets
Beautifully made to match your preferences & budget – any time of the year