Thursday, February 9, 2012

Credit where credit is due.

Living out here, I find I do quite a lot of shopping online, and there is a big difference between companies as to how friendly, helpful and efficient they are. Just occasionally I find a company that stands out and I like to give them credit for this, so 'thumbs up' to Fairtrade Clipper Teas, for fast and efficient service every time. Those who know me are aware that my choice of drink is a cup of tea, whatever the time of day, and I mean proper tea; not a tea bag in a mug of hot water. I like to use loose tea leaves, brewed in a proper teapot, so I was rather dismayed to find that the only loose tea available in Spain is the many fruit and herbal infusions that are on sale in the markets. So I wrote to The Clipper Tea company because I like to buy Fairtrade whenever I can, and I had used their brand when I lived in UK. I asked them if there was a supply of their tea in Spain and they said 'No', but directed me to their on-line store which they said would be happy to deal with me. So I have used them ever since. Not only are they the best tea ever, but their prices are lower than the local shops (for tea-bags), and if I spend over £30 then postage is free. Ever keen to promote fair-trading, I have encouraged friends at my church to share my order so that I get the free shipping without having to order in too huge quantities just for me, at any one time. I was running low on my favourite brew so I placed an order online on Tuesday morning. That evening I had an e-mail to say my order had been dispatched, and it arrived first thing today (Thursday). It is dispatched from Dorset, and is delivered by our village post lady, so one has to wonder why some of my mail takes weeks to arrive! But full credit to my tea company. I hope they keep trading for a long time to come.

We have had some very mixed weather just lately, and we have been wondering whether winter was going to come at all this year, but it has now! We still have had very little rain but we were on the edge of the Siberian weather front that has swept across UK and this weekend it was really cold. Saturday was World Cancer Day and there was an event on the seafront at Mojacar that I wanted to go to. The organisers spent the weeks before the event, selling pink ribbon for 1€ a metre, and their aim was to make a 10,000m 'ribbon of life'. I had sold some of the ribbons at church, so I wanted to go to see how they were getting on. It was a bright sunny day but there was an icy wind that cut right through you. We easily found the place because there was music coming from loud-speakers and much activity around the food area where they were doing a good trade in hot dogs, hot chocolate and roasted chicken, while a giant paella was cooking ready to serve at 2.00. One group of people were frantically tying together lengths of ribbon but the wind kept whipping it out of their hands. All along the promenade there were stalls selling hand crafted cards, jewelry, jam etc, and there was an excellent turnout of both Spanish and English people. As you can see in these photos, everyone was well wrapped up in scarves and hats. It was the first time this winter that I have worn my coat, but I was glad I did. Had it been a kinder day, the crowd would have spilled onto the beach, but it was quiet and empty but very beautiful.

We could only stay for part of the time as we were booked to go for lunch with Gallarte, the art and craft group that I belong to in our village. This was really our Christmas dinner, but we were all too busy to go then, and the restaurant that we chose is closed for the whole of January, so we booked for the first week in February instead. There was quite a crowd of us - enough to fill two tables, and we had an excellent meal in good company.

Sunday remained just as cold but the blue sky quickly disappeared under a covering of cloud which got quite black in the afternoon. I decided to sit in the lounge and do some knitting and from my chair I could just see a small area of sky between the houses opposite ours. As I was watching a reflection of the sunset, I saw a small section of a rainbow appear across it, so I grabbed my camera and went outside. It was an unusual sky because the sun sets behind our house but the pink and red were reflected at the front and there was almost a complete rainbow in it. Then I went out to the back to see the actual sunset and by then the sky was really red and in this photo it looks as though there is a face in the cloud pattern looking back at me!

We had a relatively warm day yesterday, though it soon gets cold when the sun sets. The nights have been very cold and we have brought the dogs in each evening and made a bed for them in the passage outside our bedroom, because it has been too cold for them to sleep outside, even in their house. It was my turn to take them out this morning and although there was a decent sunrise, the grass and wild flowers where we were walking were white with frost. We very rarely see that in the village. However it turned into a lovely day. The fierce wind had dropped and in a sheltered spot it was quite comfortable to sit outside. In fact we sat out to eat our lunch today and then we both had a short snooze on the swing seat. You can see how sunny it was by how dark our reactolite glasses have gone. Chris looked at the thermometer in the pool, and while the sun was on the water, the temperature was 8ยบ. Now the sun has gone down and once again I am wearing two jumpers and a fleece body-warmer, and have a rug tucked around my legs. (There is a lot to be said for central heating on a winter evening!). But we are so lucky to have such lovely days in February, so we are making the most of them while we can.

1 comment:

  1. I remember the first time I tried that Clipper tea and was a bit sceptical, however I was not disappointed. I want good tea for a good price, and the flavour of this beats my previous favourite (PG), so I'm now a regular customer.
    Good pictures again Kate.


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