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Friday 11 May 2012

Tickets for the Olympics: Now Available from the Mustard Seed

"Excuse me - are you a Pole Vaulter"  ? 
"No - I am a German - but how did you know my name vos Wolter? " 

This is just one typical exchange now overheard in the Mustard Seed  - ever since we've been selling tickets to all the extra special Olympic events. (These are the events that get slotted in at the last minute  -  to give Team-GB a shot at a medal).

As you can see, the new Mustard Seed logo now incorporates five interlocking rings, very appropriately representing the World's five interdependent continents. Yes - helping the underdog is what it's all about - whether that's Team-GB or third world farmers.

Last week, the all new dedicated training facilities in the courtyard behind the Mustard Seed were fully tested by Eddie the Eagle (couldn't keep his hands off the new CRISP'N'CHEWY caramel bars), and next week we're flooding the whole courtyard for Eric the Eel. We've got in extra stock of the new CHOC'N'TOFFEE bars: apparently he's addicted to them (By the way - can anyone offer him board & lodging for the next three months? ) .

Tickets still available at the Mustard Seed include:

and the

as well as the

John Cleese has been roped in as specialist coach.

Anyway - if YOU believe in helping the underdog, then the Mustard Seed is the place to come.

P.S.  Here's another one of those overheard snippets between two celebrity athletes who happened to be mooching around in the Mustard Seed yesterday:

"What's the shortest race in the Olympics?" 
"The Chinese I think" .

Well, what do you think?

Friday 4 May 2012

May the 4th be with You

Yes - May the 4th is indeed Star Wars Day - and we have a good reason to celebrate this at the Mustard Seed.

Because  - would you believe it - George Lucas actually got his inspiration for the Star Wars films when he walked past the Mustard Seed - or so it is said.

You may remember the day.

(It was May the 4th).

The unbelievably rare mu-star had just been discovered a couple of light minutes beyond Pluto, and the Sun headline that day read:


Hey - let's not get hung up about the spelling issues - we know what they meant.

Exciting stuff.

Anyway - this must have been on George's mind when he  looked in the window and saw:



He thought to himself:  "Wow! Those light sabers are fantastic.... You could save the world with those.....   " .

George - you're absolutely right.

Saturday 21 April 2012

Hey - I Moushtache you a Queshtion....

Shorn whatshishname (well - unshorn actually) came into the Mustard Seed on Thursday.

"Fantashtic - Finally, a shpecialisht moushtache shop! Are you the shop ashishtant? I'm shearching for a shpoon that shtops me shlurping. I'm shick of shucking shoup through a shtraw" .


Blank incomprehension on part of aforesaid Shop Assistant.  Bottom jaw hits floor.

"Thatsh what I call a shtunned shilensh" - Shorn added helpfully. " You are a shpecialisht moushtache shop aren't you?  The shine outshide the shop sheysh sho" .

And sure enough  - when they both went outside -  there it was. For all the moustachioed men (and women) of the world to see.


"Aye - a shame the party shop up Coxshwell Shtreet shut. Shimone had lotsha tash shtuff.  Sho itsh shplendid to shee you ashimilating the shlack and shticking the tash shtock on the shelvesh. MUSHTASHED. Like it. Shuper shine for a shop. "

Then came the Eureka moment.  Aforesaid Shop Assistant saw and seized her opportunity.

"Yes absolutely, Shorn" she said, ushering him back inside.  "We've got a special soup slurper that'll keep your tash tip-top".

Well - to cut a long story short, Shorn ended up very happy with his:

Then came

 ....looking for curling tongs.  He went away with

And the man-eating spider fattening up the OAP

took the delicious

Not sure why.

The squeezy

was perfect for sticking this back on


was prone to bumping into things, but gratefully settled on the

"I have to feed my Hairy Flavour Savour"  - he said conspiratorially.

This young lady (you wouldn't think it would you?) unfortunately wasn't able to negotiate the shop entrance door

but still bought two bottles of the special moustache oil:

By now, Shorn was also helping with all the connery, and had even taken a shine to the aforesaid Shop Assistant.

"What'sh your name shweetie?" he said.

"It's Shandy Shaunders" she replied.

"You're taking the pish - you mean Sandy Saunders surely? "   

Thursday 12 April 2012

Your belly button - an Innie or an Outie?

Innie or Outie? There were undoubtedly many such naval questions being asked on the Titanic exactly 100 years ago, as the waist band played on. Apparently, most of the 36,000 oranges on board had Outies.

But we digress surely. The sinking had nothing to do with the Mustard Seed - or did it?

Well - it did in a way. You see - the iceberg that reared up out of the glassy black sea seemed to come from nowhere,  because those naval gazers could see no breaking waves.

If only there had been a Fair Trade Wind then the sea would have been more choppy.  Or in the context of the Mustard Seed - should that read shoppy?

Anyway - it's clear that the Fair Trade bit makes waves & therefore saves lives.

Of course - if Titanic hadn't been built in Belfast then we could easily have built it in Faringdon.

The photo shows the propellers being assembled in the Cornmarket.

The prow would then be sticking through to the tennis club, which is handy because they are good at painting lines. So we could ask them to do the name.

TITAN ICE .   That's what it was originally called (unfortunate choice of name if you ask me) , but they ran out of white paint in Belfast and had to drop the E . The tennis club has plenty of white paint.

And it would cost less too - because we wouldn't bother with that fake fourth funnel  - which was a complete accident by the way.

It was the Chief Designer who happened to overhear a conversation between the Chairman & his wife Helen.

Ah - there's another link with the Mustard Seed. You see - you probably know her better as Helen of Troy - but her full name was actually Helen of Troydcraft  - well known as the face that launched a thousand Troydcraft shops .

Anyway - back to that overheard conversation.

Helen: Darling - what are you putting up on the top deck?

Chairman: It's going to be just for fun Helen - for the first class .

And the Chief Designer scurried off to modify his plans - having clearly heard  It's going to be just four funnellen ...   (he had a German great aunt who also spoke like this)  .

Then there's the 3200 eiderdowns that need stuffing. Faringdon's Innies (Outies are less productive in this respect) would be drafted in to produce the necessary naval fluff. Softer than mohair.

And for that maiden voyage, the Mustard Seed could also have supplied (we've got a bit of shelving round the back) the Tea (0.8 tonnes); Coffee (2.2 tonnes) ; Marmalade (1.1 tonnes) ; Sugar (10 tonnes) ; Rice (10 tonnes) ; Chocolate; Cocoa; Biscuits...

In the photo you can see how all those Fairtrade provisions could be delivered sustainably.  None of that naughty coal stuff.

Sorry - that should have read nautical stuff.

Yes. The Mustard Seed. Truly the Shop of Dreams....  

P.S. What d'you reckon? Innie or Outie? 

Sunday 1 April 2012

Mustard Seed Tackles Helmet Hair

Did you know that, on average,  motorists give cyclists with long fair hair 15.5 inches more room when they cut past them?

So - are motorists giving blondes a wider berth because they think they're rubbish cyclists?

Whatever the reason, the Mustard Seed will shortly be broadening out its Fair-Trade offerings with a range of Fair-Hair products that tackle this safety issue head on - so to speak.

The wide boy on the right is sure to be given a wide berth as he tests out our new safety helmet.

Its not a new idea. As you can see, the fair-haired Viking cyclist on the left can even lock horns with other road users if they get too close.

But that's not all.  Helmets also cause Helmet Hair :- that  "wild coiffure" look that bedevils helmet wearers when they take their headgear off.

I mean - do you really want to look like this?

Luckily, the solution is quite simple.

Shave your head.

But - hang on!  People actually LIKE having hair.  Fair or otherwise.

For that reason, the Mustard Seed Helmets will have HAIR incorporated into their structure. Which means that as long as you keep your helmet on, then no one needs to know that you're a slaphead.  

Here's a selection from the new catalogue:

And a few being modelled :

Finally, there IS also another solution to Helmet Hair, and one that is also available from the Mustard Seed.  The gentleman below is demonstrating how you can use the contents of a couple of boxes of exotic-fruit geo-muesli wrapped in cloth to keep your hair beautifully in place under your helmet:

Not too sure what to do about his Helmet beard though.  

Thursday 29 March 2012

What's a Hindu at Easter ? ...

Egg:  Is this the start of a bad yoke?

Chicken: No seriously, who DID come first?

Egg: Maybe the answer is in one of those Mustard Seed books.  They're all about Life, the Universe & Everything  - kind of thing - aren't they? 

Chicken:  Yep - some of them - and there's certainly some weally good whiters in there. 

Egg:   Are they all religious books?

Chicken:  Oh NOOooo!   The Mustard Seed has books on all KINDS of subjects!

Here's Driving Lessons for oldies:

And the must-have reference book on railway stations....

How about this book on First Aid (as recommended by my mate Humpty)?   ....

And here's the sequel to  "Brief History of Time" .

Chicken: But - that still doesn't answer the question: who DID come first: you or me? 

Egg:  You crack me up. Your mum & dad never told you about the Deli then? 

P.S.   Good news. We were very worried about the new hot food tax, but we've just heard back from George Osborne that we DON'T have to add VAT on the hot chutney.

     (or on hot cross buns apparently).

P.P.S. Sorry - forgot to complete the title of the email :
                                                                          ...Lays eggs.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Take Action NOW: Stop Cruelty to Chocolate Chickens

Instead of those barmy Brussels bureaucrats being busy banning bent bananas,  they should be chickin' out the far from paltry problem with the production of our favourite Easter treat:  the chocolate egg.

It's a fowl business all right.

We're talking about Force fed chocolate chickens squeezed into cages no bigger than the queen's handbag, their crops stuffed with sugar and cocoa that isn't even fair-trade. 

Not fair trade?  You mean - the sugar & cocoa farmers (chocolate-coloured rather than made of chocolate) are paid as little as possible for their crops?


And all because we want eggs that go cheap (eggs that go chirp are different; they're the fertilized ones) .

So -- both crops need our urgent action; the chocolate chicken crops and the farmers' crops. And we can't leave it to those po-faced pen-pushers in Brussels - it's up to us.

Luckily, the solution is simple.

Buy your Easter eggs from the Mustard Seed.

Here's a photo. This is how we treat our chocolate chickens. No force feeding, good pension plans, the lot.  They do the pushing, not us.

They're fed only the very best FAIRTRADE sugar and cocoa, which means that those chocolate-coloured farmers also get a fair deal .

And it means that the lovingly produced wonderful eggs from these happy chickens are just deliciously  ambrosial  - with those heady deep chocolatey aromas that you only associate with the very best Belgian chocolatiers (yes - Brussels is good for something then) .

That's not all. Quoting from the Real Easter Egg packaging: This is a milk chocolate egg that celebrates the real meaning of Easter. For every egg you buy, 15p is donated to Traidcraft Exchange to help small-scale farmers and producers in the developing world gain the knowledge and experience to trade their way out of poverty.

But - because we don't use artificial lights to fool the chickens into thinking its daylight when it's not - there are of course less of these beautiful eggs produced.  This does mean that they're in short supply.

So - yoking apart - take the eggsperts' advice and scramble down to the Mustard Seed to shell out on a clutch of these crackingly eggsquisite Easter Feasters. 

Saturday 10 March 2012

How many typewriters does it take to .... ?

.... change a light bulb?  Recite the complete works of Shakespeare? Do the gardening?

If you think you know the answer, then call 0419-419419 (calls route through to Nigeria - so have your bank details ready) - and you may win a pot plant.  Just don't tell the drug squad.

Amongst evolutionary biologists and geneticists, typewriters are the 2nd most studied subjects (after identical twins ) - ever ; and recently published articles now conclusively show that the QWERTY gene was simply an advantageous mutation that conferred on typewriter demonstrators the symbiotic ability to tap out TYPEWRITER along the top row without the keys jamming up.

Yes - the inevitable explosion in typewriters (and jammed up lower keys)  did lead to beneficial spin-offs (alphabet spaghetti) but also trade-offs (jam rationing).

However - only now coming to light are the more complex side affects of the QWERTY mutation. Did you know that pessimistic words tend to contain more letters typed with the left hand - whereas right hand letters are favoured when tapping out growing and gardening terms?

The illustration shows what can happen when only the right hand is used for extended periods of typing.

Impressive eh? And also a wonderful antidote to left hand induced negativity.

But - on  International Bagpipe Day - what does all this have to do with the price of mustard seed?

You may well ask.

Well - think about it.  
We're clearly on the brink of a new green revolution. 
90% of the population is right-handed. 
These people all pick up their smartphones and tablet devices with their left hand - and then type exclusively with their right.  
The affects - when they hit -  will be blooming dramatic, and "Green fingers" will take on an entirely new meaning. 
Yep - it's Apples & Blackberries going bananas on Orange.

So we need to  - Be Prepared - as Baden-Powell would have said at this point.

And that's where the Mustard Seed comes in.  It's a testament to right thinking optimists, and a panacea to left behinders . It's just bursting with tools for transforming and tending the garden of life; for nurturing the new shoots of optimism and new growth:

Tools (set of three)  -  Gardening hat (one)  - Garden storage tins (set of two) 

Garden Pouch   -   Garden Wall Planter   -   Garden Apron

Gardeners' Hand Salve -  Garden Twine Pack (three)  - Gardening Gloves

So - all together now: 

How many kinds of sweet flowers grow

On a blooming android smart phone?

We'll tell you now of some that we know

Those we miss you'll surely pardon

Daffodils, heart's ease and phlox

Meadowsweet and lady smocks

Gentian, lupin and tall hollyhocks

Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, forget-me-nots

On a blooming android smart phone.

 Finally - while we're still on the green fingers theme :  a customer (called Hector) came into the Mustard Seed yesterday and was clearly impressed by the range of gardening goods.   "Man, you're really green!" he exclaimed.

Manure is actually brown -  but I think I know what he meant.

P.S.  In the video above, the toy accordion on the left is played by Hector. The bigger accordion on the right is played by Hector. There is only one Hector.  

Sunday 4 March 2012

A blonde walks into a bookshop....

A blonde man (yes - men can be blonde as well you know)  walked into the Mustard Seed, where there was an author (a very famous one of course)  signing copies of her new book.

In response to the mumbled request from the blonde, the author opened the nearest  front book cover and wrote the dedication "to Omar Chisitt",  before handing the book to the blonde.

"But I was only asking how much is it? " responded the blonde.  


Ah - the joys of the little misunderstandings that take place between  real people in real bookshops. Such joys will sadly never again warm the cockles of the White Horse EX-Bookshop,  that had to recently close its doors to the public; a public that's going increasingly virtual and online.  Real bookshops must absolutely loathe the words Amazon and eBay.

So - the Mustard Seed will now do its best - as the only remaining real bookshop in town -  to continue to sow misunderstanding and confusion be a valuable resource in the community .

We do have to ensure that shoppers can easily navigate their way round the aisles, so that they can see exactly where all the books are.

If you look at the Shop layout (see sketch on the right) , then you can see that all the Books are straight ahead of you as you come in the door: in Bay E , and also in the Zone on the right hand side.

To improve navigation, here's what we're going to do.

In deference to the very popular film streaming site (LoveFilm) we're now going to call that right hand side of the shop The Zone you Love .  Hang on. That doesn't sound quite right. How about adding some Latin: that's always a good ploy if you want to add a bit of gravitas. Yes, I think that should work.  "You Love" in Latin is AMAS isn't it? Amo, Amas, Amat...  So  - we get AMAS-ZONE.  Yes - that has a good ring to it.

And Bay-E (or maybe E-Bay sounds better?) is pretty good as it stands. Amaszone & E-Bay.  Hmmm - I like it.

So - DO come to Amaszone & E-Bay to have a good nose-pick up the new 2012 Lent/Easter Catalogue at the same time. (Sorry - maybe a full stop would have worked better than a dash there ).

 Or browse through the catalogue online.

Below is a mini digital version of the magazine. Click on the image below to view it in full.

Yes, you CAN then order simply by emailing ,  but remember: you may then just miss out on a good misunderstanding. 

And remember - Confucius say....   If you can't find the book you want then you're probably shopping at the