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Olivey Lockdown Chronicle

Posted by Giles Henschel on

What's in it? Just two subjects:

Blue Monday? We’re not having any of it. No thank you.

Valentines? Yes Please!

Blue Monday?

It’s around 3pm on Monday 18th January 2021 and today is Blue Monday – supposedly the most depressing day of the year. Well cobblers to that. Despite the fact there is a proper formula for it (see further down) we’re not having any of it and here's why...

OK, so, in the room where I’m seated there are 12 desks where 12 people used to sit.  Now there are just 2: me and Mark. The phone doesn’t ring as often as it used to and the road outside is free of the normal hum of traffic.  The sign on the road inviting people in for Olives, Wine and Bread is still there but we don’t see too many. Are we lonely? No.  Are we downhearted? Absolutely not. There’s plenty to do and it’s quite fun rifling through the abandoned desks and finding all the stuff that’s been squirrelled away from the stationery cupboard over the years. I mean, how many pens and post it notes does one really need?

And as for Production, downstairs in the Kitchen the team are all oliveering away – creating jars and bags of olives, bottles of dressings, jars of sauces and over in the Nut House the roaster is still tumbling away with fresh batches daily filling the air with a heady scent of spices. In the HQ Deli we still make fresh bread every day and pick the orders for sending out. The deli counter is loaded to the gunwales with cheese, sausage rolls, antipasti and charcuterie as well as the odd bowl of olives, naturally. The shelves are all stocked with every manner of jam, chutney, relish and sauce with sweet treats aplenty and the place still vibrates with a nice energy of better things to come.

So where did this idea of Blue Monday come from? According the Independent, the idea was originally coined in 2004 by psychologist Cliff Arnall. He came up with a “formula” for the January blues after he was asked to do so by a travel firm so they could promote their winter deals. It took into account a number of factors likely to contribute to low mood and the formula reads as follows:

Where: 

W = weather
D = debt
d = monthly salary
T = time since Christmas
Q = time since failing our new year's resolutions
M = low motivational levels
Na = the feeling of a need to take action

Arnall has since confessed that the formula is essentially pseudoscience and has urged Brits to “refute the whole notion” of Blue Monday.

We couldn’t agree more. Like we say, cobblers to Blue Monday – sit down, have an olive, put your mask on and carry on.

How about an olivey Valentine this year?

We’re up for it if you are. Now I know we may not all be able to be with the ones we love come the day but there really is nothing lovelier than some carefully selected bundles of decent nosh to settle down with so we’ve created some – especially with you in mind.

Can’t decide where to take your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Kitchen, Living room, Stairs, Garden Shed or simply by Zoom? Either way, we’ve plenty of great food gifts to bring a smile to their face and a spot of delight to yours at the same time.

Three themes to give them (and you) the idea:

The Weekend Away - OK, we know you can't but a spot of armchair travel and munch with a loved one might hit the spot - Try The Marrakech, The Riviera or the spicier side of life with The Levant

The Riviera

The Hunker Games - couldn't resist - our own twist on The Hunger Games - nice selections to hunker down with someone hungry - Catching Fire for a hot night, Sweetness & Lightness to hit that elusive sweet spot or Evergreen Vegan for those that swing that way

Sweetness & Lightness

Staying In Together - like we say, staying in is the new going out so try one of these: The Film Night In so you can curl up and snack on someone tasty, The Fireside Picnic'in so you can do the same but by the fire, on a rug with a glass of red all of which could be just the ticket for The Saucy Night In.

The Fireside Picnic'In - nice, eh?

Whichever you choose, these all come in a handsome and handy ribboned up Jute Bags with the gift message of your choice all on a nifty card that we'll pop in the box for you. Don't forget to let us know what the message should say...

That's it for now. More news as it happens...