The Lobby: Off-topic discussion

Hello and welcome to The Lobby! Your place to discuss subjects that just don’t fit in our other conversations. Make yourself at home!

Do you want to discuss an issue but can’t find the right place to post it? Or maybe you’re looking for somewhere to chat with your community pals? Well, you’ve come to the right place…

As with any community or conversation it can – and does – wander off-topic. This is perfectly natural, but it hasn’t always been possible to do so on some of our posts because of the precisely defined nature of each subject.

So, at the behest of some of our community members, we created this off-topic discussion area – The Lobby.

Any ideas spawned here in The Lobby could generate new posts for debate and discussion on Which? Conversation, so you – our community members – are able to help shape the direction of our community.

What happened to the original Lobby?

Why do we have two Lobbies? Well, like all good franchises, we wanted to experiment with a sequel. But seriously, the original Lobby was so popular (with almost 13,000 comments), it was becoming hard to load the page.

So we’re starting fresh with what we’re affectionately calling “The Lobby 2”.

No comments from first Lobby have been deleted, and you can still link to comments, but you won’t be able to add new comments.


To ensure The Lobby remains a healthy and friendly place for you all to share your thoughts, musings all of our Community Guidelines apply, with the exception of one:

You may go off-topic… that is the purpose of The Lobby.  🙂

Looking for other areas to talk?

• Website feedback: Let us know about any technical issues, and share your ideas on the future of Which? Conversation closure: A discussion about the closure of

Which? Members: Discuss issues related to our organisation, including governance

Welcome to the Lobby!

So without further ado… welcome! What are you waiting for!?


I wonder what instigated the phrase “second bite of the cherry”. My experience of the cherries we see in this country is that the first bite and it’s gone. Maybe it refers to this “” but I have never had the opportunity to test my eyes or my teeth on one. Incidentally, relative to ordinary cherries it might be but not 34cm as the link wording suggests; they are 3.4cm as the text makes clear.

I doubt it’s much to do with fruit. other than the appearance and texture. It’s quite old.

Defined as the pulpy drupe of a well-known type of tree, c. 1300, earlier in surname Chyrimuth (1266, literally “Cherry-mouth”); from Anglo-French cherise, from Old North French cherise (Old French, Modern French cerise, 12c.), from Vulgar Latin *ceresia, from late Greek kerasian “cherry,” from Greek kerasos “cherry tree,” possibly from a language of Asia Minor. Mistaken in Middle English for a plural and stripped of its -s (compare pea).

Old English had ciris “cherry” from a West Germanic borrowing of the Vulgar Latin word (cognate with German Kirsch), but it died out after the Norman invasion and was replaced by the French word. Short for cherry-tree from 1620s. As an adjective, “of the color of a cherry,” mid-15c.

Meaning “maidenhead, virginity” is by 1928, U.S. slang, from supposed resemblance to the hymen, but perhaps also from the long-time use of cherries as a symbol of the fleeting quality of life’s pleasures (and compare English underworld slang cherry “young girl,” attested from 1889). Cherry-bounce, popular name of a cordial made from fermented cherries, is from 1690s.

Language and words are always tied directly to life and living.

That explains it then 😀

Welcome to Religion Day, the day in 1966 when Indira Gandhi was elected India’s Prime Minister and the day in 2013 on which Calcium deposits were discovered on Mars.

Have you ever imagined a world without hypothetical situations?

How can you tell when you’re out of invisible ink?

How do ‘keep off the grass’ signs get where they are?

Do as I say, not as I do.

Welcome to Penguin Awareness Day, the day in 1841 China ceded Hong Kong to the British during the first Opium War and the day in 1952 the British army occupied Ismailiya, Suez Canal.

Having seen hundreds of penguins in their natural habitat – and felt some guilt about intruding into their space – they seem to be a very self-contained and self-sufficient community. I would question whether they want an Awareness Day. Were they consulted? Wouldn’t they prefer to be left on their own to get on with their lives and raise their young in one of the most wonderful ways on the planet? Their numbers are not greatly under threat if we leave them alone and don’t seek to commune with them or displace them from their realm. We have made them into cartoon characters and put them in duffel coats [!!] in order to sell boiler repairs. I just hope we can have awareness without damaging patronisation. In the main, penguins are where they belong, as are polar bears, and ne’er the twain should meet.

If nothing sticks to Teflon, how does it stay on the pan?

There is a brief explanation here:

Teflon (PTFE) coatings are ideal for saucepans but it is not a good choice for frying pans because the temperatures involved can damage the surface and release rather nasty chemicals in to food.

I kept the grill plates that had to be replaced because food stuck to them thinking I might be able to them re-coated.

I found it was common in the USA to get them re-coated with Teflon and you can even buy a spray to do it yourself.

I also read about the dangerous chemicals in these sprays, so not advisable to do it.

I would be very interested to know if there was a safe way to get the grill plates re-coated. By not using the grill on full power, I think will elongate the lifespan of the current ones, but their coatings are not as good as Sage make them out to be.

The advantage of a using a thermostatic grill is that it should be possible to avoid temperatures that cause degradation of PTFE, which is more difficult with a frying pan. I agree that avoiding maximum power should extend the life of the grill plates.

I don’t know anything about re-coating anything with PTFE, Alfa. Most of the sprays sold in this country are for lubrication. I presume that a company would grit-blast the plates to remove residual PTFE and grease and this would provide a rough surface to improve adhesion.

Although PTFE is a very valuable material, it persists in the environment – even more so than plastics.

I noticed that du Pont make no comment on the release of chemicals if the Teflon surface is impaired by excess heat.

We and lots of others use the frying pan on a high heat to seal and sear meat before cooking. It is only a brief exposure and I would hope little harm is done.

The quality of the coating is probably critical. If it is not very good then some food will stick and mechanical means will be used to clean off the residues thus increasing the potential for surface degradation.

DuPont is no longer responsible for Teflon. I presume that they disposed of the brand because of safety concerns.

I have some aluminium non-stick saucepans dating from the 1980s and they are still in good condition. They are not used every day but have seen a great deal of use. The matching frying pan did not survive for nearly as long because of the higher temperature involved in frying, even though I was careful not to overheat it.

It’s common knowledge that metal utensils can damage non-stick coatings but granulated sugar will do the same because it is very abrasive.

Years ago, I stopped seasoning steak with salt and pepper before frying because I thought the gritty textures shortened the life of a non-stick frying pan.

I treated myself to a new set of saucepans when the kitchen was finished but the frying pan is not faring as well as the rest of the set but does have a long guarantee that could come into play in the not-too-distant-future, as it still has some non-stick left in it.

Salt is certainly an abrasive but that might not be the only cause of damage to non-stick pans.

I have two large pans that have mainly been used to make soup and the no-stick coating is slightly rough in places. I presume that the salt in the soup has penetrated imperfections in the Teflon coating and caused corrosion of the aluminium beneath. I now make soup in stainless steel pans. I now use the large non-stick aluminium pans for general cooking of larger quantities and they don’t seem to have deteriorated further.

I used to have anodised aluminium pans, but the coatings wore off and I wasn’t sure I liked what I read online so they got binned along with the old kitchen.

Is it bad luck to be superstitious?

What was the best thing before sliced bread?

Bread knives.


I am being hounded by a company called Search Point UK. I had a call with them before where they tried to get me to sign up to their google listings service. I said for them to send me the information, just to get rid of them, as they wouldn’t take no for an answer and they never sent me any information and yet they keep calling me saying I need to pay for the service, despite me never agreeing to it. I have reported them to TPS and on but they are still calling. I see which have also posted an article on them, but it was not clear as to whether not paying them is going to effect my credit score?

Hi annabelleh,

I have reported your comment and asked if Which? legal can give you some advice.

The company was dissolved in November 2018 so I can’t see they how they can affect your credit score, but I am not a legal expert and hopefully someone who is will reply to you soon.

Someone posted how to report them to Google here:

And you probably found this convo:

Welcome to Squirrel Appreciation Day, the day in 2008 on which the FTSE 100 had its biggest ever one-day points fall, European stocks closed with their worst result since 9/11, and Asian stocks dropped as much as 15% and the day in 1990 John McEnroe became the first player ever to be expelled from the Australian Open

A couple of fleas are planning a trip to the far side of the house. One says to the other “Shall we hop or take the cat?”

I was expecting a shaggy dog story.

Myth: a female Moth.

Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?

Good question. It’s just not good enough. Perhaps Jane objected.

He had a shave before filming. 🤓

Welcome to Celebration Of Life Day, the day in 2001 when the government launched a pro-vaccine campaign and the day in 1831 when Charles Darwin took his BA exam at Christ’s College, Cambridge, coming tenth out of 171 candidates.

Is there another word for synonym?

Whose idea was it to have the letter ’s’ in Lisp?

Reminds me of two ancient quips from much younger days.
Pupil. I’m thick.
Teacher. Your are not thick you are very clever.
Pupil vomits.
Pupil. Thee, I told you I was thick and you didn’t believe me.

“Mummy says I lithp, daddy says I lithp, but I don’t lithp do I? Listhen to me calling my puthy. Puth, puth , puth.”

Someone without a lithp.

Ever noticed the word ‘monosyllabic’ has five syllables?

Syllabic syllabification syllabizes syllables syllabically.
Not forgetting the female of the species Poly-syllabic