I have been missing Magpie Monday so much due to an ever-increasing workload, but this week just had to get my fix. I took some naughty time-off on Friday, and sneaked off to my favourite charity shop (Force Cancer Charity in Exeter).

It’s been so long since I’ve been, that the rail of dresses has been replaced by a rail of winter coats. I searched the whole shop, but did not find anything I liked, which is unusual for me in this wonderful emporium. But then, I spotted this:


A crystal sugar bowl with a heavily-tarnished metal lid. But no ordinary metal lid, oh no. The arms on top are part of an internal mechanism of scissor-like pincers, that allow you to pick up a sugar cube from the bowl (imaginary ones for now, as ‘contents were not included’ in the charity shop). Now I don’t take sugar, but how could I resist this pot at a mere £2?


The pincers were stamped with the marks ‘The “S.O.S. PASCALL’S PATENTS’, ‘E.P.N.S.’ and ‘PAT. NO. 14048/16’. A quick google led me to similar items on ebay (sold for a lot more that £2), and then onto ‘how to clean E.P.N.S.’ The top answer was to line a bowl with aluminium foil, place the item made from E.P.N.S. (that’s Electro Plated Nickel Silver to you and me) in the bowl, making sure it is touching the foil, and cover with a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and hot water (two teaspoons to half a pint of water), leave for 15 mins, rinse in clean water, and hey presto!:

The lid polished up a treat, and I learnt something in the process. The science of how this cleaning method works is very interesting, read about it here (if you’re into that kind of thing, i.e. chemistry!)

I now look forward to having some sweet-toothed friends over so I can say ‘one lump or two?’ and impress them with my pincers!

Delighted to be back taking part in Missie Lizzie‘s Magpie Monday. Click the badge below to be transported there to see what other thrifty finds the magpies have picked up this week: 

Me and My Shadow

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