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2010 Christmassy ideas

To avoid the question "What do you want for Christmas this year?" I've compiled a simple list of ideas;

Ear plugs for protecting my delicate old ears at noisy events (waiting for a bus for example);

A combination sharpening stone such as this 1000/6000 grit one, nice and fine for mirror edges;

All that 10 year old Port that I recieved last year was nice, and got drunk far too soon

Slippers and a nice warm dressing gown

Austroflamm stoves, now at Orion Heating
Over at Orion Heating in Stansted - We are now selling Austroflamm woodburning stoves from Austria. Hopefully our patch should gnerate plenty of interest form Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridge. These stoves are supper nice high end stuff, but packed with gizmos.
Mr internets, why so many business directories?
A few Orion Heating reviews would be nice, so I'm trying to decide which directory to opt for and direct customers towards. This big list serves many purposes, some shameless googlebot feeding, a bit of traffic analysis and a reminder which listings to update every few months.

'Orion Heating - Wood Burning Stoves and Cookers' is listed in many directories. Here's what I think of them;
>, a high ranking directory service. Always appears high in google. 'Upgrade Service' for high impact listings. Might be worth an upgrade.
>, promoting reliable wood fuel suppliers in East Anglia
> - Smart looking and easy to format buisness lisitng. One of the better ones.
>, a government funded organisation for promoting the use of wood fuels
>, a directory specialising in well formatted and high ranking discount vouchers
> /, one of the new "premium service" directory listings. I agreed to a salesperson visit and it was no fun at all, hard-sell combined with criticism of our other advertising. No thanks.
>, new to me and populated with out of date information
>, a clever google maps overlay, outlining local sites and buildings
>, the original directory, but now delivering confused results based on the package purchased. This gets poorer each years, more disappointing an worse value for money.
>, what appears to be bview vouchers replicated on The Independents website
>,  nice looking an accurate business directory. I've never seen it before and have no idea where they got our details
>, I think they got bored updating our details after my second request so this is out of date. Not too helpful for people shopping in Stansted because it has our old Elsenham address
>, not one that I've signed up with, the page is chock full of google adverts and little information
>, one of the best looking and informative directory sites. New and selling itself as a "premium service". Sign up and they phone immediately with the polite but hard sell routine. It's basically  high monthly charges for an upgraded listing. Possibly a good contender for the money we currently give to
>, limited and out of date info. Trying to sell 'upgraded listings' to appear at the top of a fairly well categorised directory
>, Morso/Morsø are one of the few stove manufactures to publish a full list of local dealers. It's an open invitation for bargain hunters to ring round and shave a few quid off the retail price. Not really the best idea for a high end stove brand

More sun please
zak likes bubbles
Pizza Ovens at Orion Heating
Orion Heating Pizza OvenWe have something new for the summer months, very cool garden pizza ovens. I've been searching and reading up on Pizza Oven kits for many years, and thought it was a good idea to give this one a go during the summer months.

We now have one in the shop set on a small brick wall and it looks great. The oven is made by a Bristol company called Vitcas. They use one of their own refractory brick materials, so the oven should be pretty much furnace grade.

We might even lug the thing to a few summer fetes and shows to drum up some further interest.

The number of cooking methods possible in one of these ovens is impressive. It can easily be used to bake bread and cook meat. Plus for serious cooks, the oven can be used over many hours to slow roast meats and bake many types of loaf. Our little kit oven can be insulated to turn it into a fully blown garden oven.

If interested take a look at our Pizza Oven page, over at
The greatest cake?
I like cake. There are so many cakes to choose from, is it possible to try every cake? Luckily I get to try many new cakes, baked by my brother and his girlfriend.

Here is one that they made again recently, it's superb;

Torta Margherita/Paradise Cake

It's almost white and extremely light due to the potatoe flour in it. Really tasty and well worth trying. There are full instructions if you follow the link, long with lots of other recipes.

Otherwise just have a browse around to see what else they are upto. Mainly travelling and eating, but what's wrong with that?
Franco Belge wood buring stoves
We've begun selling Franco Belge stoves from the shop in Essex. The company is over 80 years old and one of the few that have their own foundry. Here in the UK ESSE cast their own iron up in Lancashire, Morso have a foundry in Denmark and Nordpeis manufacture all their appliances in Norway.

This Franco Belge model, the Savoy Elegance, has possibly the grandest window on the market. A vast expanse of glass giving you a view of the fire from any part of the room. Plus it's a pretty handsme looking stove, maybe as nice as the Morso Badger?
Savoy Elegance Multifuel

Savoy Elegance Multifuel
view this stove

David's Christmas wishlist 2009
  • Unnecessarily precise kitchen scales
    - Tick. Thanks, they are indeed very precise and accurate up to half a kilo. I now know the weight of coins, seeds, biscuits and other small things.
  • Some nice Port so that I can dine in the manner to which I am accustomed
    - Tick. Thanks again. Tesco Finest 10 year aged Tawny Port. Delicious and luxurious.
  • A bottle of absinthe (such as this one)
    - Hurrah, it was that one. Mansinthe, crafted in partnership with Marilyn himself, a well know absinthe drinker. It's very nice and has a crazy Manson designed label.
  • Some nice glasses to drink nice booze from (whiskey, brandy, longer drinks)
    - an idea for next year perhaps. Or perhaps I'll just buy some
  •  A new flickr pro account
    - bought that myself.

Special Edition Caravan

Special Edition Caravan; Dell Secretarial Explorer. Upgraded tow hitch to cope with fast and frequent mount/dismounts, wipe clean surfaces and wash room with personal decontamination facility. Escape hatch in floor and Gideons Bible glued to ceiling. For a test tow ring after 3:30pm.


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