My birthday list

My birthday is on the 16th November. I will be 53.

My address for deliveries is either:

Flat 2
47 Winchcombe Street
GL52 2NE


Winchcombe Food and Wine
46 Winchcombe Street
GL52 2ND

The Winchcombe Food and Wine address takes deliveries every day. My address doesn't take deliveries on Sundays or some Mondays or bank holidays. Sometimes couriers, especially the cheaper gig-economy couriers, struggle to find my address. I think they get confused by the flat 2 bit.

Any gifts would be lovely, thank you! Here's a few suggestions. I don't expect you to buy everything on this list! I'm just giving you a range of options. This year I have listed things that can be cheap if you shop around, and that I would find really useful, but that I struggle to buy. I've split the list in two. The first are small gifts that you'd buy individually. The second are big gifts that you'd club together to buy.


THESE BLANKETS WOULD BE GREAT. There are lots of them, they're big, and they're really snug and warm. You can buy 5 wool blankets, nice and large, for less than £30. Here's one example. You can also get a poly/cotton blend version. Here's one example, here's another example. I'm suggesting them because they are very warm and big and there are 5 of them. I can make like a sleeping bag out of two duvet covers and these blankets.

I would really like the blankets and I'd get a lot of use out of them.

Julienne Peeler

I am eating a lot of salads and fresh veg at the moment. I'm using a mandoline to slice the veg, but these are terrifying. A julienne peeler would be quicker, easier, and safer. Any good quality peeler would be lovely. Brands I trust are Oxo Good Grips or Kuhn Rikon.

A bunch of foreign coins

When we were kids we had a tin of foreign coins and I found it fascinating and I'd like to get some for Albie. You can get bulk foreign mixed coins from ebay. Here is one example of bulk foreign coins. You don't have to buy them by the kilo though! I'm going to sterilise them and put them in a big tin.

Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

I'm cooking from scratch a lot more. Stainless steel mixing bowls are robust. They're also light and easy to use and importantly easier to wash up than ceramic or glass bowls. And they stack nicely. I'd really love a set of 3 bowls. I want the smallest to be about 16cm, and the largest to be smaller than 26cm. This ebay link has a few sets of three (you need to use the drop down) so 22cm, 24cm, and 26 cm would be great, or 26cm, 28cm, and 30cm. But any of those sets of three that are between 20cm and 30cm would be ace. I do not want an expensive fancy-pants set. I do not mind if they look different from each other (and I don't care if they don't neatly stack with each other). I don't need hemi-spherical (which tends to be very expensive) and I don't want bowls that are described as flat-bottomed (which will be harder for me to use). This is a flat-bottom bowl, look at the sharp angle sides, don't get these.

If you wanted to club together to get me a big present here are some suggestions.

This jumper.

This Norlender jumper would be nice please. Either Navy/White or Charcoal/Grey would be nice. Don't get ecru/charcoal. The only size that will fit is XXL. Please do not buy XL because it will not fit me and I will be sad that I have a jumper that I cannot wear. (I'm serious about this.)

Lapidary Equipment

I want to slice rock. To do this I need a machine. The easiest, and safest, machine uses a thin grinding wheel. This is safe because they grind, they do not cut. You can put your hand on the grinding edge of the blade as it's spinning and you're not going to get cut (although it will hurt a bit). I am not going to lose a finger with this machine. Here's a video explaining why these are safe.

My options are to buy a specialist machine, or to diy build something, or to use a wet tile saw. Specialist machines for lapidary are very expensive. DIYing something means modifying an angle grinder -- I'm happy to do this, but I'd prefer something a bit safer and less effort. The safest, and cheapest, option is a "wet, diamond, tile saw". These have everything I need - they're prebuilt to reasonable standards, they have a coolant reservoir and good quality sealing, they have a diamond grinding blade, they're purpose built for grinding tile. The only problem with these machines is the cut depth. So, please find something that has a minimum cut depth of 30mm or more. Please do not buy something that has a cut depth of 25mm. Here's a list, with prices. I haven't included P&P. Any of these machines is fine for what I want - chopping smallish pebbles in half.

(Just as an example, compare the price and features of those tile saws with this lapidary trim saw. This has a cut depth of 1 3/16" (one and three sixteenths of an inch, or about 34mm). It costs a whopping $1000USD. Expensive and not great trim saw please do not buy this I do not want it, I'm just using this an example of how expensive lapidary machines can be.)

Either one of these garlic presses

I cook with garlic a few days a week, and my garlic press is good but a bit tricky to clean. Kuhn Rikon do some amazing garlic presses. Either of these would be lovely, and would get a lot of use. Easy clean - any colour is fine or this very swizzy press the Epicurean garlic press.

A nice, vintage, old, beat-up but still working, watch.

I want a watch that looks like it has lived a life. I can get the straps changed. I don't mind if it's mechanical windup, mechanical self-winding, or quartz battery. Here are some examples from eBay - these auctions will have ended but you get to see the type of watch that I mean. Ingersoll Triumph, Ingersol triumph, Another ingersoll triumph, or Curtis. I'm sure you get the idea - small, simple, plain faces, beat up. It doesn't have to be a wrist watch - a pocketwatch would also be lovely. Here are some examples. Ingersoll, Ingersoll, Ingersoll, Smiths, Smiths,