Getting your package delievered at home is beginning to be the new normal. |

Sleek Meek

During these bumpy times it’s often been a challenge to get hold of beloved products and so inevitably most of us fall back on the likes of Amazon, eBay and other huge online shopping portals to order our goodies. Then there are the smaller, unique online shops for fashion items and more individualised products. Most of the best brands promise an efficient service.

In theory this system is so effortless. You place your order and are promised swift delivery. But that’s when it all unravels. Companies in the UK place their trust in local couriers but the sad reality is that many fail at the first post.

I found that had teething problems in this respect. I placed an order, stayed at home on the allotted day and received an automated message saying that as I’d been out when the courier arrived. The item was sent back. I remonstrated with and they politely agreed that the company was at fault. They offered a reimbursement so I went to their sister company in the UK and placed the same order. It arrived with a cheery courier two days later. It cost little more than using the Spanish company and has, ever since, proved to offer a fabulous service.

eBay sent me a delivery but the courier never came and claimed that the parcel had been returned to base. When I contacted eBay they told me that the parcel had been lost and they’d reimburse me. Where did it go?

Meanwhile, two delivery companies on this island which vie for a place in the naughty chair are GLS and Seur. Both of these companies handle hundreds of parcels daily coming from all the globe. It’s inevitable, especially with the increase in deliveries during this period, that there’ll be a cock up along the line and boy, don’t I know.

One valiant small UK brand which sells the most wonderful jeans, joggers, cosy cardies, dresses and tops is The Meek Boutique, run by former personal stylist, Lynne Meek. Lynne is well known in the UK for her warm personality, fabulous taste and personal engagement with her clients. A close friend in the UK, a prominent beauty journalist, recommended Lynne’s company so I ordered a pair of black stretchy jeans. Lynne dutifully sent them off and I waited in excited anticipation but nothing arrived. And then, to my frustration, an automated email message arrived claiming that I was not at home and that the package had been returned to the UK.

Suffice to say, that it has been a challenge to find the missing parcel and it has never been returned to Lynne Meek. Being a thoroughly good egg, she not only went to the trouble of finding a different courier company, but sent me another pair of the amazingly svelte trews at her own expense. When my doorbell rang, I flew downstairs and out into the front garden only to find the courier lobbing the parcel over my gate. I asked him why he couldn’t just wait but he just shrugged and said he was in a hurry.

Yesterday I received a call from DHL. You’re not in, I was told. When I retorted that I was standing in my hallway, he was non-plussed. Apparently the courier had just been at my door. Nope, he hadn’t. In fact, the courier had left a delivery note at my neighbour’s house, assuming it was mine. I did get the parcel because DHL is hugely efficient and actually cares about the client. The courier returned minutes later, explaining that in my rural track there was no logic to the numbers on the gates. I agreed but explained that they’d been like that for hundreds of years and we just had to accept that 4 came after 6 and 2 came after 3. Mad yes, but the numbers and names are all clearly marked.

So back to my trousers. They were certainly worth the effort, and came beautifully packaged in black tissue with a lovely note. So, girls, if you’re looking for a company that delivers, visit where you can expect exemplary service and a great choice of fashion items that won’t break the bank.

Beating the bulge

It’s been a frantic time as I prepare for the launch of my latest crime novel, Haunted Magpie, and yes, if I’m honest there’s been far too much comfort eating to cope with the extra stress and plate juggling. So, when my climbing chum, Alison, arrived from the UK, we discussed squeezing in a few more mountains in our 1,000m peak challenge. There are 54 on the island and we have so far scaled 46. With our trusty guide, we set off to Puig Roig at dawn, climbed the peak, hiked the circuit around it, and returned home exhausted with 50,000 steps under our belt. Did I feel the pain? You bet and also I felt the small bulge. All those sneaky nut chocolate bars had taken their toll, a sure sign to woman-up and get back to my regular running routine. We conquered another two peaks yesterday and the pain lessened. Monday we tackle our fiftieth and then Alison flies home. The remainder involve ropes and permits so we have a gap now until January. Time enough, surely, to be back on peak form?