Tag Archives: Mug

Simple Pleasures – My ManBeeCo Busy Bee Mug

The simple pleasures in life are often underrated. Thick vellum paper and the flourish of a fountain pen, birdsong in the garden early in the morning, drinking good coffee out of a perfectly proportioned and well loved mug.

As long as I can remember I’ve had a special mug, handmade and hand painted, it’s been the only mug I’ll happily drink coffee out of at home. There’s something special about drinking out of a hand thrown pottery mug. It’s hard to describe but it definitely falls into the simple pleasures category.

busy bee mug

As a born and bred Mancunian, I’ve been a supporter of the Manchester Bee Company since they sold their first mugs three years ago. I think I was one of the first people in Manchester to have a brew in a worker bee mug. Whenever visitors come for a brew they get it in that mug, it’s an ideal opportunity for me to deliver my now famous lecture on the origins of the Manchester Bee.

The “Busy Bee” mug from The Manchester Bee Company (ManBeeCo) is handmade in Scotland by Tea With Jud. It is a natural glazed mug with a hand painted bee on one side. Each mug is individually hand crafted, so each one is slightly different and totally unique.

The Busy Bee Mug is both microwave and dishwasher safe, and holds 350mls of a proper brew. 

busy bee mug

This is my new favourite mug and I use it every day. It’s beautiful. It looks small but it’s like the tardis of mugs and it really is a simple pleasure to use it every morning. It’s been in my service now for a few weeks, been in and out of the dishwasher daily and it’s as good as new. 

I’ve coveted this mug for ages so I’m delighted it’s now in my cupboard next to it’s original worker bee cousin. For any Mancunian or bee lover, the Busy Bee Mug is the perfect gift. I know it’s just a mug, but like a fountain pen on vellum paper it’s a simple pleasure which makes life just a little bit lovelier. 

busy bee mug

You can find the lovely ManBeeCo products in the Royal Exchange craft shop, the People’s History Museum shop, the Manchester Museum shop, Visit MCR and the Tourist Information Centre in Piccadilly Gardens. The People’s History Museum have a limited stock of the hand made mugs, but they can be ordered online here

Vintage Writers’ Essentials from IWM Shop

This month I’m starting an online food history course with the University of Reading, it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so I’m excited to be taking the plunge. Naturally I’m preparing for it in the best way I know how, not by reading relevant texts and getting up to speed, but by buying notebooks and stationery. This week I’ve picked up a few writers’ essentials which should see me though work and study over the next few months.

The Imperial War Museum Shop is one of my favourite places to find vintage style stationery and homeware and they’ve really come up trumps with this beautiful notebook.

Writers' Essentials

This lovely large leather bound journal is similar to the notebooks soldiers will have carried with them during the first and second world wars. It is stunning, the pages are hand stitched inside the leather cover and there is a band of leather to wrap around it to keep it all together.

The natural paper is thick and speckled, so it looks really authentic and almost handmade. The notebook has a real vintage feel about it too, just having it on my desk makes me feel happy. It’s beautiful and I know when I take this out to meetings or lectures to make notes that it will turn a lot of heads.

The large leather bound journal measures 15.5cm x 11cm and costs £20. It is a real statement piece of stationery and I’m very much in love with mine.

Writers' Essentials

It’s almost impossible for me to do any work without a brew by my side, and I couldn’t resist this mug with one of my favourite non-swears on it. Blimey is something I say quite a lot (and get ribbed for). I’ve always said it, but since becoming a mum I’ve toned down my “effing and jeffing” a bit and I’m all about the blimey and the crikey these days.

Writers' Essentials

There are two different versions of the non-sweary mug, Blimey and Crikey. Either would have suited me well. These porcelain mugs are the standard size for a proper cuppa and cost £9 each – perfect for fans of retro non-swears like me!

Writers' Essentials

I’ve got a few more bits to buy before my course starts, not least my text books, but I’m loving my vintage style writers’ essentials. I always think if you’ve got nice things to work with, then work seems like less of a chore and more of a pleasure.

You can find lots more vintage and retro stationery, books and other goodies on the IWM website.

Note: I was sent these writers’ essentials in return for a review, all images and opinions are my own.