One of the advantages of writing a blog is that occasionally you get free stuff to review. The idea of presents is always exciting so I like it when it happens, just as long as two tests are passed. Number 1: I have no serious reservations about the company. I know commercial companies are commercial companies and their main aim is not to sprinkle good cheer and fairy dust but I need to know they are not shysters and mountebanks (luckily banks have no great interest in running blogs). Number 2: I would use the product. I do not want stuff for the sake of stuff. I want to be polite: if someone gives me something I want to be able to write something nice about it.
Recently I was offered the chance to choose a running jacket from Up & Running and this pleased me mightily because they are a company I am more than happy to endorse. They run my nearest running shop, in Watford, and every time I have used it I have come away happy. The staff have always been extremely friendly and helpful and that human contact combined with the feeling that the person is both keen about running and knows his stock adds an awful lot to the transaction. It is one of the reasons it is important for local shops survive in the face of competition from online bargains.
However my sample product came from the online arm of the business and a very strange choice it is. Normally, in summer, I would not think the thing I need above everything else is a windproof, water repellant jacket but such has been the glory of June that is exactly what I thought. Crazy!
Now that I've got it I'm sure the weather will improve and there will be days of blue skies and balmy air with need for nothing more than a T shirt and shorts. I will just check. Oh no - Wind and spitting rain. Looks like my jacket is an excellent choice.