Abel and Cole – old-fashioned, friendly service in the 21st century

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, organic fruit and veg company Abel and Cole are just so great. I cannot sing their praises enough, and I wanted to introduce them to those of you who haven’t yet discovered them!

As part of my healthy new lifestyle I now get a weekly box of fruit and veg from Abel and Cole and it’s totally worth the money. It encourages me to try stuff I wouldn’t normally buy and to eat way more healthily than I was. It also means you eat with the seasons – so rather than eating imported, insipid stuff all year round, like you get in the supermarket, you eat stuff that’s meant to be eaten for the time of year – and it tastes so much better.

This is what a box from them looks like. This is the 1-2 person box of mixed fruit and veg, and as you can see, apart from the tomatoes you don’t get all the unnecessary packaging that you do from a supermarket. You get different stuff each week but there are usually the staples like potatoes and carrots.

With each delivery you get recipe suggestions for inspiration, and you get loads of free stuff too! I’ve been with them a month and so far have received eggs and milk with my boxes as a surprise. It doesn’t even matter that I’m out at work – they just put the box in the back garden for me! Even better, they take away last week’s box for recycling! And you can tell them if there’s stuff you don’t like and they’ll substitute it for something else. You can also skip deliveries if you’ve still got plenty left from the week before.

Their customer service is second to none – when I had a query, I went on their website with a view to emailing them and found that they have live chat. It was nearly 10pm and there was a friendly person online to answer my questions! How great is that!

In this day of impersonal corporate giants, it’s such a refreshing change when you find gems like Abel and Cole who really know how to take care of their customers. It’s the 21st century equivalent of going into the village greengrocer. You rarely get service like that anymore and when you find it, you have to cling to it and make sure everybody knows about it!

Anyway, if you want to order your own box, mention my name when you order and you’ll get something free!


Big Newsy Update

It’s been a while since I’ve written on this blog because I’ve had my head down concentrating on, well, improving my life. So I thought I would write a bit of a news-based post to update you all on what’s been going on in the last couple of months!

New job!
By far the biggest change in my life has been the fact that I now have a new job. For reasons which I fear it would be impolitic to disclose here, I made the difficult decision to leave SEOptimise after working there for over a year and a half. I learnt a lot and made some great (and I have no doubt long-lasting) friendships there and it was a tough decision, but for numerous reasons I think it was the right one.

I have now joined a lovely company called Torchbox, an ethical web design and development agency specialising primarily in the charity and not-for-profit sector. I have joined as Search Marketing Manager and am really looking forward to the challenges of this new role and working on some truly worthwhile causes. The company is full of very interesting, individual and intelligent people, who have all made me feel welcome. The office is lovely and even has a dog – an adorable elderly Labrador called Stanley!

Even better, Torchbox is situated on the picturesque Cornbury Park estate, the second largest estate in Oxfordshire (after Blenheim Palace). I’m not at all sad to have traded in the Oxford Science Park for the beautiful surroundings of the Cornbury Park lakes and deer park, and since I am very much a country girl at heart, the rural environment suits me down to the ground. And all this is just five minutes’ drive from my house, or a beautiful 20 minute walk if the weather’s nice. So I save a fortune in petrol, don’t have to leave the house until 8.50am and can have lunch at home if I want to! I can’t believe my luck (long may it last!)!

New house!
A couple of months ago I received the sad news that the elderly owner of the beautiful cottage I rented had passed away. I was told that it would be up to the beneficiaries of her will as to what would happen to the cottage – whether I could continue to rent it, or whether it would be sold. I’ve always hated uncertainty, and in the face of it, I decided to start looking for another house in Charlbury. It’s a popular village and houses don’t come up that often, and I knew I wanted to stay here. On the spur of the moment I responded to an advert on the Charlbury website and within hours I’d been to view it – just a couple of roads down from my cottage. I fell in love with it and ended up getting it! I’m really happy here – it doesn’t have the historic character of the cottage, because it’s a lot more modern – but it’s a heck of a lot warmer and less damp! And quieter, not being situated on a crossroads, as the cottage was. I do miss the cottage sometimes, especially the view, but overall this has been a step up in overall comfort.

New car!
My aged Fiat – known affectionately as Giuseppe – all but gave up the ghost on the Easter weekend last month, and so with a lot of help from my dad I have acquired a rather marvellous new car, a nearly new Ford KA Zetec (one of the new models, not those silly-looking bubble car things). I have called it Kingsley – KA, get it? I could not be more pleased with it, and nor could I have been more pleased that I didn’t have to drive to Lancashire and Newcastle in the ailing Giuseppe the following week.

So as you can see, there’s been a fair amount of upheaval and stress, but it’s definitely all been worth it. It always annoys me when people complain about their lives but make no effort to improve things; it’s a cliche, but life’s too short to be miserable all the time! My new life isn’t perfect – nobody’s is! But it’s a great deal better than it was, and worth the hard work and determination. So look forward to more regular blog posts from me henceforth!