Running Scarce

Tea, best drink of the day. Or, so the UK advert went. And I agree, enjoying several cups per day. I’m not sure I’m up into double figures, but it’s close!

I also try to avoid using plastic where I can. I’ve tried loose-leaf tea, but my wife has banned it because of the mess I make. So, I look for plastic-free tea bags. It’s not as easy as you’d think.

I know before I start that this is small-fry, but I’m going to post anyway.

A whole brand has formed around Yorkshire Tea. Several different varieties. Is Yorkshire Tea meant to be a tad stronger than Somewhere-else Tea? I’m not sure. They have pages on their web site about how their tea should be biodegradable soon. Please. Don’t bother telling me what you will do, tell me what you have done.

Biodegradable tea bags, in the UK, has traditionally meant designer tea bags. So I was very happy, last year, when a supermarket brand, PG Tips, announced that they were starting to use fully-biodegradable bags, as you see from the graphic.

PG Tips make their tea bags in several sizes (i.e. the number of bags per box) and this logo only appeared on one size. No matter, that size was easy enough to obtain. I figured that a brand like PG Tips (which is owned by Unilever) is so big they probably have one factory per box size, and only one factory had been converted to make fully-biodegradable tea bags.

I mean, this really was the ideal situation. The tea tasted decent enough, the bags were good, and the price was the standard supermarket price.

Until a few months ago, when I noticed that this size box was no longer on supermarket shelves. Neither was it on their web site.

So I contacted PG Tips. They might have dropped that particular size, but to my relief three out of the four remaining sizes are still biodegradable. What they have done, however, is to drop the logo. There is no mention whatever that their products are biodegradable.

I think they’re missing a trick here. If I go online, I can see biograbable tea bags from my local health food shop, but at 10x the price. There is a premium attached to them, so when one player enters into the market and is offering to sell them that much cheaper, it is something to shout about.

Or, maybe I’m one of only a few to be asking fo biodegradable bags – I’m probably more conscious than most – but I surely can’t be the only one to want them? Am I really the last of the tea drinkers?

Tick Tock Tuesday #3 (29 October 2019)

I thought I’d create a new challenge. It is a challenge primarily for me, because I’m new to this platform, and because you don’t really know me yet, nor I you. As my name suggests, I am recovering from a stroke, and I like to push myself in all kinds of little ways… including getting to know the Wonderful World of WordPress. Although this is something I will be doing, I invite you, if this idea takes your fancy, to play along with me and share with me some of your own selections.

My plan is: each Tuesday, until I run dry, I shall post some piece of art with which I have some connection – which has helped to mould me, which makes me tick. Okay, a piece of art is a bit vague – it might be a piece of music, a movie, a book, a painting, or ???? – so my phrasiology is deliberate. It might be anything – I will play this post by ear, so I’m not sure what I’ll think of each week. And, I’ll keep posting on the theme weekly until I run out of ideas.

My rules? Well, I’m not big on rules! My choice will be something with which I feel a connection. That’ll be the important thing, just having some kind of fleeting affection for something probably won’t be enough, unless I’m using my choice as an example of something bigger.

It will be one choice per week – I’m aware that long posts can be quite onerous to read, and I’m in no hurry to complete this so if I have two ideas, I’ll probably hold the second until the next week.

In that same vein, I’ve created this block as a Reusable Block, which I intend repeating for every post on this theme. The block ends with a full-width separator, so if you want to skip ahead each week it doesn’t really matter.

I probably won’t post any lyrics, or any kind of analysis – if you like my choice, the information will be out there for you. But I will try to briefly explain why I feel a connection to my choice, just to try and enhance readers’ understanding of what makes me tick.

I will tag my posts #TTT and I will go looking for other posts with that tag. If you’d like to join in, please do the same, or comment, or pingback to this post, and feel free to reproduce my graphic. Lastly, I look forward to reading about what makes you tick.


I mentioned last week about how Bob Marley started me off listening to all sorts of reggae music, and of course it is by no means all as solemn as last week’s choice.

I was fortunate, living just outside London. There was a massive reggae scene in London. probably still is. So I had good access to reggae music, and one artist who quickly became a favourite was Maxi Priest. More from Maxi another day. Another band who came on the radar was Aswad. It took a while for them to register, because they were enjoying chart success at the time, and I never particularly liked their poppy music. In fact, two of the original band still play together as Aswad today – heaven knows what music they play, but they have a big enough choice!

So Aswad were accessible to me, making music at the same time as I was consuming it, and I got to know their back-catalog. It ticked all the right boxes – equality, social deprevation, and so on. They hailed from an area of west London that I knew well, sang about areas of London that I knew… And, over time, they settled into that small group of favourite bands.

So my choice today is from Aswad, but I shall stay true to myself and avoid the chart hits. My choice today is earlier and a little more upbeat, probably about as positive as they come – I challenge you to sit still while this is playing! Irie can just be translated as happy, everything else you will be able to guess.