Mr B and I have each splashed out on a household gadget. You won't be surprised to hear that we each think our special purchase is (i) the more useful; and (ii) the better value for money.
'Twas ever thus. I remember our weekend in Good Old London Town a few years back when we determined to see, not one, but two West End shows, one on the Friday evening, the other on the Saturday evening. In true democratic fashion, we each chose one
show. Mr B opted for "The Jersey Boys" while I was delighted that I would be able to see "Wicked" at long last.
Inevitably, Mr B raved about the stage story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, while I much
preferred the tale of Glinda the Good and the curiously green-skinned Elphaba. There was no way we were going to agree on which was the better musical. If you happen to raise the subject even now (should you dare) we will still trot out well-rehearsed arguments
about the music, the story-lines, the acting and the stage settings. Neither of us is prepared to concede defeat.
It should therefore be no surprise to learn that we are currently engaged in friendly competition
over a saucepan and a mop.
At this point I must emphasise once again that I am not one of those bloggers who earns money by "testing" new products and services and then writing about them. Good luck to those
who do, I say, it's one way to make a living or just a bit of pocket money using the power of words. For myself, I prefer to be able to write without fear or favour, about anything and everything. It does also mean that I don't have to worry if nobody believes
The saucepan is Mr B's choice. He saw it on a shopping channel on TV one night when he couldn't sleep and decided he simply had to have one. Honestly, I don't think some people should be allowed to watch
the shopping channel. Especially in the middle of the night. Particularly when they are sleep-deprived. So excited was Mr B by the amazing qualities of said saucepan that he recorded the show so that I could watch it with him as soon as I rose from my slumbers
the following morning.
To be honest, I was too busy eating my Oats So Simple porridge (apple and blackberry flavour) while checking my mobile phone to see if a Darling Daughter might have texted me, to pay
much attention to a famous American chef called Eric Heiss (of whom, I am ashamed to say, I have never heard) waxing lyrical about being able to cook Mac 'n' Cheese with such ease in just the one Super Saucepan.
It's not any old saucepan, I admit. It's a Deep Dish Square Pan with copper infused coating. It has a stainless steel induction plate! It has riveted handles! It has a revolutionary repelling action to make it non-stick! It is PTFE and PFOA free! I
can tell you're impressed. There's nothing like an acronym or two to convince a night-time visitor to the Shopping Channel. Even one like Mr B whose cooking days are, sadly, mostly a thing of the past.
my new mop into the Battle of the Household Gadgets. At £17.99 it's a snip compared with the saucepan, and though you can't cook with it you could feasibly use it to mop up any mess you make on the kitchen floor while attempting to transfer the Super
Saucepan from hob to oven. What's more it's an Eco-mop, which makes me feel smugly virtuous, every bit as green as Elphaba, but, obviously, in A Good Way. I can't imagine what impact my ecologically friendly mop is going to have on Climate Change - but I will
defend to the utmost its green credentials. Whatever they are.
What I like about my Eco-mop is that there are no fiddly fastenings. You simply wet the mop head in plain water, squeeze it out, then plonk it,
Velcro side up, on the floor where it will fx itself like magic to the handle.
I demonstrate my mop's excellent qualities on our living room floor to Mr B who admits that it seems to do a good job. For a mop,
that is. Nevertheless, compared with a Super Saucepan, he clearly thinks, its capacity to Change Our Lives for the Better would seem to be a trifle limited. I decide not to tell him that it claims to remove 99% of bacteria from our floors. He will only worry
about the missing 1%, hiding in a corner and smirking at us.
For the moment, something which neither of us had given any thought to is where to store our new possessions. The Super Saucepan is, well, super-sized.
There is no room in my pots and pans cupboard to house it, in all its copper-infused glory. The Eco-mop is, despite its telescopic handle, difficult to place in the boiler cupboard where the broom, a bucket, and the dustpan and brush currently reign supreme.
So, who will win the Battle of the Household Gadgets? The saucepan? Or the mop?
Time will - possibly - tell. Or, possibly, not.
Or - be honest - are you bothered?