Readers! Sorry for the impromptu absence last week. This week we need to catch up on all the useful info you have sent in reply to readers' letters. And what a lot there has been! Lesley Bairstow's request for soap leaves (18 April) and Helen of Hampshire's search for brown wellies (18 April) end here...
Snowbee, which supplies the needs of fly fisherfolk, has a pair of "Prestige" neoprene field boots that are largely brown in colour for pounds 49 (see page 10 of the catalogue). Contact at Unit 2A, Parkway Industrial Estate, St Modwen Road, Plymouth PL26 8LH (tel: 01752 672226). E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.snowbee.co.uk.
Ivor Jones, via e-mail
Thank you Ivor. Snowbee is a good make and neoprene-lined boots will keep you warmer than the normal unlined wellington.
Jane, via e-mail, Deirdre from Ardrishaig and Robin Trebilcock, via e-mail also wrote to tell me that a company called Hoggs in Scotland makes brown wellies for pounds 30-45. It does mail order, Helen, so write to: 55 High Street, Strathmiglo, Fife, KY14 7QB (tel: 01337 860202).
After reading the letter from the lady who thought Calvin Klein's CK1 was refreshing and lovely (18 April) I decided she must have led a very sheltered life. After my last trip abroad I tried CK1. The Duty Free shop only had it in 100ml bottles but I bought some anyway as it said it was for men and women (I was going to share it with my husband). It smelt absolutely vile on both of us so the lady in question is more than welcome to my bottle which has only been used the once!
Dianne Barratt, Leeds
Although I agree with you that CK1 is a horrid fragrance, I think we are both being a bit mean to the hundreds of people who like it. Your offer is kind so if Lesley Bairstow wants to take you up on it and sends me her address I will do the rest.
I have a suggestion for Lesley who was looking for a lemony, inexpensive scent. French Connection Bathroom has a lovely eau de toilette that costs from under pounds 10.
Alison Bick, via e-mail
Thanks for that. For your nearest French Connection stockist, tel: 0171 399 7200. While we're on the subject of fresh smells does anyone remember 4711?
Barbara Beaumont faxed me regarding Trevor's dirty leather gloves (7 March). She's always washed leather gloves "by putting them on and simply washing my gloved hands with a good quality, mild soap. Then rinse and pat them dry with a towel and apply a good hand cream. Take off the gloves, ease into shape and dry naturally away from direct heat or sun. I have a pair of delicate taupe leather gloves, cashmere-lined, which are now teenagers." Thank you BB. I had heard this was the best way to clean leather gloves, but having never tried it myself was nervous of passing on the info but I feel reassured to do so now.
Lesley Bairstow's humble question about soap-leaves caused one of the biggest responses to a reader's letter ever! The general consensus is that Norfolk Lavendar does them (tel: 01507 466466, fax: 01485 571176) and most National Trust properties sell them for a few pounds (tel: 0171 222 9251 for details of your nearest property) (and while you're there enquire about joining cos it's a very good idea). Thank you to all those who wrote in. I wish I could mention you all but there were just too many of you to do a roll-call, sorry. And for all who wrote in to suggest Culpepper and Crabtree & Evelyn, just to let you know that they no longer do soap leaves, but yes they used to.
Following the wooden shoe-trees problem from Catherine Amely (21 March), Broadbridges of London W13, got in touch. It makes natural red cedar-wood products and its shoe trees start at pounds 16.95 for a women's pair (tel: 0181 567 4711). They're not the cheapest, and I can't vouch for the quality but this could be useful if you haven't a local stockist nearby, and a full refund is given within 14 days if you're not satisfied for any reason.