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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

Thursday 1 March 2012

Dickens in Wonderland

It's the 29th February; the March hares are leaping a day early, and we need your help. There's not a second to waste.

Because the earth is slowing down as it whizzes round the sun, every few years astronomers very sensibly add an extra second to our clocks, just to make sure that Universal Time is in synch with Solar time and International Atomic Time.  They're called "leap seconds" and the next one will be added at the end of June 30, 2012 . 

But - Hang on a minute?!  With a Leap Second you add a second - right?  Then - how long exactly do you add in a Leap Year?  Ouch. No wonder I feel old, and the policemen keep getting younger. 

Anyway - the point is this.  There are moves afoot (30.48cm) to abolish the leap second

This cannot be allowed to happen. It's absolutely vital to the success of the Mustard Seed that you have that extra second to be able to do your important fairtrade shopping & book browsing - especially now that the brilliant  new Traidcraft Spring catalogue is out, just waiting for you to come in and pick up your copy. 

So - here's the plan. The Mustard Seed will be introducing its own leap second,  and it will be applied every time you come into the shop. And to differentiate it from GMT, we'll call it MSMT.  

This is fantastic news. Not only will you have more shopping time, but if you come into the shop often enough, you'll also significantly slow down your own personal time continuum. 

That's not all. By holding Zumba classes in the Mustard Seed entrance porch, the leaping ladies will be lapping up leap seconds like leap hares as if there's no tomorrow. Well - exactly. There won't be a tomorrow, will there?

Yep. Concorde used to be able to get you to New York before you'd even set off from London.  Well, the Mustard Seed will be the new Concorde - only slightly cheaper.  OK - you might miss the odd bus as a result, but at least the policemen will be behaving themselves again. 

The point is well illustrated when Dickens found himself in Wonderland. There was the white coney lapin' along  "I'm late, I'm late....  "  when he  hared past Oliver Twist. But Oliver knew the importance of taking time, of slowing down. He simply replied:

"Can I have seconds please?"  

So - come to the Mustard Seed (You may have to squeeze past the Zumba class in the porch) if you want more time to appreciate the good things in life. 

P.S.  I've been testing out MSMT & leap seconds - and our personal time continua are therefore possibly no longer in alignment.  So -  IF you haven't been receiving Mustard Seed emails for a while, then that shows that MSMT really works.