I love EBBP. There’s always that frisson of excitement when you send off your parcel with no idea whether or not you’ll receive anything in return – or indeed whether your parcel will turn up at the destination where you sent it! In the second or third EBBP, I received… nothing!! It wasn’t that my parcel was damaged or had been plundered – it just never showed up. Every day for about a month I would eagerly check the mail for a collection slip that never came. My disappointment was so palpable that Andrew (bless!) eventually sent me a few of his home-made pain d’epice muffins to cheer me up. (For the record, the guilty participant wasn’t from Europe and no longer participates in EBBP!) And another time I spent an agonising week waiting for the parcel that I had sent to reach its destination – because I had left out the house number!! And the post office assured me that any kind of addition to the address made after posting was Tampering With The Mail and completely forbidden. (For the record, it got there!!)
So I was inordinately please to come into the office on Monday morning and find a large box sitting on my chair, addressed to meeeeee! Now those of you who have been following the "Tracking the parcels" post will know that this is in fact the second box that I have received in a week. Last week I walked in to find a similar box waiting for me and assumed that this was my EBBP parcel. I thanked the sender, added my parcel to the tracking post and looked forward to ripping open the parcel that evening. You can’t begin to imagine my mortification when I actually read the sender’s address as I was leaving the office and realised that this was NOT my EBBP parcel, but a gift from Cindy (a lifetime’s supply of Carambars!). People are going to start thinking I can’t read and that this entire blog is ghostwritten…
But the parcel that arrived on Monday really was from Barcelona and I knew that this must be Gemma‘s EBBP parcel to me. Within 30 seconds of arriving home I had fetched the camera and was sitting comfortably, tearing away at the wrapping paper. The container Gemma used was far more elegant than anything I could come up with – a black box with silver lettering that formerly housed some rather slinky boots (according to the picture on the side!). But enough of trivialities – in no time at all the lid was off and I was looking at the contents. Gemma had wrapped everything carefully and had thoughtfully included a card (visible in the background) to tell me what was in the parcel.
Gemma must have read my mind. Since my numerous trips to Spain over the past year (once each to Barcelona and Granada, three times to Madrid!), I have developed a love for all things Spanish and a particular fondness for tapas. So I was truly thrilled when I unpacked the parcel and found:
- A bag of hand-made potato crisps (how does Gemma know I have a lifelong obsession with crisps?!?)
- A tin of smoked mussels – perfect for snacking on or using in Nick’s famous stuffed beef fillet
- A tin of olives stuffed with anchovies – the one thing I ask for every time sombody I know offers to bring back something from Spain.
- A bag of "fried" almonds – not entirely sure what to expect of these as the idea of frying almonds is somewhat unusual for me… but Gemma says they’re fried and the label says "almendras fritas" so I’ll take their word for it!
- Two mini bottles of red Vermouth, to quaff while nibbling on the abovementioned.
- And an adorable little creamic dish in which to serve them, together with some toothpicks for spearing the olives and mussels.
Like I said – Gemma, you could not have chosen more appropriately if you’d known me for years! I think this weekend Nick and I must book some quiet time at home and have our own little celebratory tapas feast, and toast Gemma with our red Vermouth!
Muchas gracias, mi amiga!