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thank you and good afternoon

  • Posted by ade
  • 20 October 2011


We have finally reached the time to turn off the old howies IT systems in preparation to turn on the new.

For the past 6 months we have been working hard on replacing every single little bit of software that runs our business. From the website, to the printers that print the labels that we stick on your parcel.

Everyone who works at HQ has been frustrated that we have not been able to improve many areas of our service to you, just because of our software was old and stuff just moves on. Look at what your phone can do now compared to 2004.

So there is a conflicting buzz in the office today, feeling great to be moving on, but the fear of  having to switch off something that ain't broken.

But before we upgrade we need to say thanks.

Thanks to Matt and George for the old site.  It's done a ton of stuff well, people still like it and it's never let us down. You guys built it well. We are fussy customers and tough to please, but you guys did.

And thanks to David Wellan. A local surfer who wrote and supported our business  system on his own from the ground up back in 2004, that has chugged through 1/2 million orders.  It's how we were able to move to taking orders over the web and  not just by fax.

Take one last look.

Tick tock.

country bump'kin hell

  • Posted by ade
  • 19 October 2011


Our ride to work has a 180 degree hair pin bend on a 20% hill.

It's tricky in the dry, slippery with leaves and moss grows in the cracks. It's even hard to make it round in a vehicle.

This morning with leaves, moss, rain and a fresh 10mm layer of mud laid down by tractors Ruben lost the rear end and landed his best bike face down on the tarmac. And cut his leg.

Took him a while to smile afterwards.


  • Posted by ruben
  • 12 October 2011

Thanks to @maiamedia for sharing this recap of Coed-y-Brenin on twitter.

Things have been so busy here, I almost forgot that I'd ridden the Coed y Brenin enduro a week or so ago. It was a new enduro from the people who brought us the legendary Dyfi Enduro which celebrated it's 10th year in May. 60 & 30k options for riders of all sanity levels.

I turned up to join the 500 or so other riders at the start line for CyB having not touched my mountain bike since Mountain Mayhem in June, so I was only planning to have some fun. I found that I only had a 1.75 ultra-light spare innertube that probably would have served better as a prophylactic than a spare for my 2.1s rolling over what I'd heard was a hell of rock shards (terrain that will sound familiar to anyone who'd ridden Dyfi).

So I set off with the intention of riding smooth and saving my wheels. That didn't go to plan entirely, as I managed to hit a tree stump at about 20k leaving me with a bleeding shoulder and bars akimbo for the next few km til the feed station, where I spent a minute or two recovering.

The rest of the 60k route passed fairly uneventfully for me, with a mixture of big hills, epic views, soggy bits, cliffy bits, and rocky downhills, raising and lowering my spirits in turn until all too soon I realised the car park and the finish line were in sight and the ride was done.

I had thoroughly enjoyed it. Even the bits I cursed. There had been terror, exhilaration, despair, pain, awe, joy and triumph along the way and things got even better when I found I'd finished inside the top 40... I certainly hadn't expected that kind of result when I set out!

Thanks to Joe and all involved in organising such a great event.

If you missed it, there's always the Dyfi next Spring, and I've heard that planning for CyB 2012 is already underway.

Free – Advice Posters

  • Posted by ruben
  • 11 October 2011


John at Advice to Sink in Slowly has just dropped us a line to say that their free poster scheme is now fully up and running.

If you're a first year student studying in the UK, you can now request a free poster through the Advice website.

We're also happy to announce that the free posters are funded by the proceeds made from the sales of the howies sponsored 'Find Some Place' design by Lizzy Stewart.

The Guardian has posted a gallery of the designs this morning and it's certainly worth a look at the Advice to Sink in Slowly website if you haven't already.

Keep your eyes peeled for more great howies/Advice collaborations...

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

  • Posted by alex
  • 6 October 2011


Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

A great loss...

Jonathan Cherry Photography

  • Posted by aron
  • 3 October 2011

Our good friend Chez has been busy recently. He's just added a bunch of new photos to his site, which is certainly worth a good look through.


Washing powder Surf

  • Posted by Shams
  • 6 September 2011


Our uplifting fragrances are available in liquid, capsules and powder. So whichever one you go for, you'll soon see (and smell!) the divine difference Surf makes.OffersWith our heavenly fragrances and great cleaning power, we love to bring a little joy to your day. But just to spread even more happiness, we've also got a few offers up our fresh and fragrant sleeve.

CapsulesYes! All our gorgeous scents are also available in a handy capsule format. One tiny bubble of concentrated liquid detergent contains all the irresistible Surf fragrance and cleaning power that you need for your everyday wash. No mess, no spills, just pop one in your machine drum and enjoy fabulously fresh and fragrant laundry.

Surf powder, our original format, infuses your clothes with gorgeous fragrance and leaves them brilliantly clean. Simply use a measuring cup to pour the powder into your machine drawer.Indulge and invigorate your laundry with the uplifting fragrances from Surf - a treat for all the senses! Available in -Tropical oasis of ylang ylang & lily: 25, 50 and 90 Washes, Lavender & jasmine secret garden: 25 and 50 Washes, Sunshine orchard of lemons & mandarin flowers: 25 and 50 Washes Our Surf liquid detergents are ×2 concentrated which means they use less packaging and you need less product to get the same gorgeous results.

Simply pour one tiny capful of our concentrated liquid into your machine drawer to transform your everyday wash into a lovely load of fragrant laundry.Indulge and invigorate your laundry with the uplifting fragrances from Surf - a treat for all the senses! Available in: Tropical oasis of ylang ylang & lily 18, 28, and 54 Washes,Lavender & jasmine secret garden 18, 28, and 54 Washes, Mystic waterfalls of lotus flowers &
wild freesia 28 Washes, Add a sparkle of magic to your everyday laundry with the enchanting fragrances of Twilight Sensations.

The Cleaner Planet Plan is about reducing the impact of our gorgeous products on the environment - so they're not only great at giving you divine laundry, but they also tread a little lighter on the planet. That's why we've concentrated our luscious liquids and powders, saving both energy and packaging.

Merino in the field

  • Posted by alex
  • 18 August 2011

My friend Tim just got back from an expedition to Greenland. He's often off to the remote reaches of the fjords to take photos of calving fronts. Sometimes he camps with colleagues, sometimes they stay in a research station.

Despite what you might think, the temperature is mid teens in the day time but gets down close to zero at night. So he wears our merino. He swears to me he wore his yellow NBL for the full three week trip and only washed it once. Hopefully the pants (no photos of those) did him proud too... I won't ask if he wore them for 3 weeks straight! "Amazing" was the word he used most.

Sometimes, we're all so busy running and riding in our merino, I forget it's a good thermal layer too!

Thanks for the debug Tim.

Kayaking Around Wales

  • Posted by alex
  • 17 August 2011

Next month, a few of our friends will be setting off on a 650 mile adventure to circumnavigate Wales by sea kayak.

This back-to-basics trip using only will-power, kayaks and tents is to help support the work of the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre. We've got onboard and sent them some merino to keep them warm at night and cool when battling the tide. You can get involved by donating to the cause and helping everybody downstream by supporting the great work of CBMWC.

They will be leaving Newport, Pembrokshire next month and heading North to the wild waters of Anglesey. When they reach Chester, the route heads inland using the canal systems to make their way down past Gloucester and back to the sea. Their journey back to Newport concludes through the tidal races of Pembrokeshire and a well earned pat on the back!

Spread the word and watch out for updates from the boats via podcasts on brainfood soon.

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