Not long ago I saved a couple £1,000. Before you all ring up, let me stress that this isn't something I can do often.

It happened to concern a firm that greatly valued its reputation in the convenience sector, so they waived a fee over a 'misunderstanding'. We were all pleased, even the company concerned.

Then I was somewhat overwhelmed. I received a thank-you gift. I've had them before and let me also stress that I never expect them but this was rather splendid and had a bit of a story to it, so here goes.

Alan and Heather Dunn run Open All Hours in Keswick in our lovely Lake District. (This prompted a nostalgic memory of a family holiday there in rented cottages. So, if you are looking for a great holiday in the UK, I can personally recommend.)

The Dunns also run a business called The Personal Drinks Company (www.personaldrinks.co.uk). I got to know about this because half-a-dozen bottles of chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon showed up on my doorstep. The Dunns are clearly psychic too how else did they know my two fave gargles? And these were not just any old bottles. They are highly personalised. 'Chateau Jac' it says on the label and, in case anyone is in doubt, there's my mugshot too (unbeknownst to me, acquired from head office!). And furthermore, the taste is, oh yesss.

What an interesting sideline this couple have dreamed up. I know there are catalogue companies specialising in monogrammed/personalised everything because I get them occasionally through the post.

But this is real DIY enterprise. Have a look at their website. It could answer some of your own gift problems. Beers, wines, champagnes and prices start at £19.95 including delivery. 

Cheers.

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