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Those of you who follow my writing may remember my blog, ‘Milestones’ posted earlier this year in May, which, among other things, heralded the arrival of my first grandson. I wrote then: “…I was delighted to be told that my son and his partner are shortly to have a baby. With the advent of the ultrasound scan it is now possible to determine the sex of the baby, and it’s a boy! This was absolutely superb news and I’ll be so pleased to be a granddad again – I’ve already got two delightful granddaughters; my daughter and her husband’s children, and I would have been just as happy with a baby girl. But about 24 hours later I realised that my son and I would now have another male heir to carry on our family name, and there’s something primeval and very satisfying in this knowledge.”
Well, the happy event duly occurred last Friday, and I now have a handsome grandson to add to my two beautiful granddaughters. I am indeed very lucky, as not only are we a close family, we are also a ‘close’ family, in that both families live within minutes of my home and we see a great deal of each other. We share relaxed, natural times as three generations interact as effortlessly as any family will, and I imagine our new little man will settle easily into this environment. Being so close and convenient, my wife and I do get called on for extra baby-sitting and back-up duties, but it’s a small price to pay for the delight of seeing our family grow every day.
We are also fortunate to live near a village in the Peak District, in a spectacular valley where the kids can run free and the local people are familiar, caring and friendly, with lots of interesting and amusing characters. We have a tiny village school, to which my granddaughters both go, and where they are taught, not only the three-Rs, but also about the natural world around them, with regular visits to local farms and outings with the National Park Ranger to experience and understand the upland countryside which they can see from their classroom window. It sounds idyllic and indeed it is, but these remote areas also suffer some pretty extreme weather too; we get a lot of rain, snow and wind, and it can be quite bleak at times with the mud, floods and biting cold. But do you know what? I don’t think any of us would choose to be anywhere else, especially when I’m propping up the bar near a roaring fire in the village pub!
So I guess it’s not too surprising that we know and understand country clothing. Long before we became involved in the commercial aspects of selling British countrywear, we were wearing the stuff on a daily basis. We soon discovered that cutting corners on quality led to misery, discomfort and sometimes serious risk. Exposure is maybe a word most people might hear on the news, but up here in the Peak District it can be a real threat, and not only in the depths of winter. So we were customers of Barbour, Hunter, Johnstons, Loake, Viyella, Joules and Nikwax many years before we considered selling these brands, and in those days we bought them not because they had a certain cache or style, but because they WORKED and kept on working. I have to admit once, many years ago, I bought a waxed jacket from a stall at a horse show. It cost me £34.99 and it leaked from almost every seam - I literally threw it away in disgust, vowing never to sully my hands on such trash ever again. At the time a Barbour waxed jacket would have cost around £70, but the difference is I’d still be wearing the Barbour today! So my £35 piece of garbage was total false economy. That was twenty odd years ago and you’d think that the market has moved on and useless and ineffective outerwear might have been a thing of the past, but I’m afraid not. You don’t have to search far to find cheap foreign copies and garish anoraks which purport to be weatherproof, but which have little or no rain resistance at all.
So when Country Attire was established to sell countrywear there was only one word which superseded all others in selecting products, and that was QUALITY; British quality for the most part; the best of the best regardless of price. And the devotion to this crucial theme has always influenced every product selection. But simply selling quality products is not enough without that same quality colouring every aspect of Country Attire. A top quality customer experience is guaranteed at CA, from the friendly, thoughtful person who takes your order, to the warehousing people who pick your product from one of the world’s biggest stockholdings, to the packing and despatch staff who make sure your order is correct and will reach you safely as promised.
And, even though your order was delivered free anywhere in the world, and almost certainly in the UK arrived within 24 hours of you ordering it, the CA experience does not stop there. If for any reason whatsoever the product is not quite what you wanted, or you’ve simply gone off the idea, you can repack the product in the same packing in which it arrived and, in the UK, send it straight back to us for free replacement or full refund at no cost to yourself at all. And you can keep doing this until you are happy with your purchase.
As I said above: The Best of the Best – No ifs, No buts.... ever!