If you want to buy a tea towel, good quality but not expensive in price, try the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). All Lifeboat Stations, where there is a shop, have an amazing, and ever changing, selection of tea towels. But if you don’t like being out and about in the times of the Pandemic, then they have a stunning online shop. I know all about the online shop because Liz told me (after my birthday). She had been using it as part of her commitment to the Birthday Tea Towel Challenge. After all, it was her idea so she needed to think of some unusual tea towels, that she hoped I hadn’t already got.
Liz had realised that when she had decided to buy me some tea towels, she was not going to be able to do this in a ‘real’ shop (a) because there are few tea towel type shops near us and (b) if she was going further afield, I’d need to be pushing her wheelchair. Life’s complicated.
It all started with Nigel Farage, how embarrassing is that? It makes me cringe but, in fact, I’m really proud of what Liz did. Her note, with the first two tea towels, said “These, and the other RNLI tea towels, were inspired by Nigel Farage; and how he would hate that. On 28 July 2021, when he criticised RNLI for assisting people trying to reach the UK by boat and getting into trouble in the seas, saying that the RNLI was a ‘taxi service for illegal trafficking gangs’, the RNLI stood firmly by their values, stating they rescued people in trouble at sea and did not, and would not, make decisions about who was ‘worthy’ or not”.
The RNLI has always been clear that it has a duty, under International Maritime Law, to continue to respond to Coastguard Callouts, regardless of people’s reasons for being in the water. Liz continued “This was followed by a Twitter Storm of the best kind, resulting in RNLI raising a large amount of funds (The day after Nigel Farage’s appalling words, donations increased by 2000% over the day before he spoke). As well as donating, I got drawn to the website shop, just to check if they had any tea towels I thought you didn’t have already. Not only did I find a number in this category but they were a great price. I like the idea of the Nautical Statistics set and hope you love using them”
I do have a lot of RNLI tea towels but certainly not these two, although I do admit to ‘Tea Towel Envy’ when I saw someone submit ‘International Code’ as part of #thejoyofteatowelsharing. I thought it was unlikely that I was going to get one of those, any time soon. How wrong can you be?
However, I am including one more tea towel in this Blog: “These are not a set or a pair but two identical tea towels. (Only one displayed). Unfortunately, you only have yourself to blame. There I was trying to quickly order some tea towels while you were out of the room, for what I thought would be long nough. Then you appeared. ‘What are you doing?’ you asked. (In fact, as I write this note, you asked me who I was texting). I guess you’re thinking I’m writing a very long text. ‘Nothing/no one’ were my less than perfect answers. They seemed to satisfy you, strangely. Going back to my purchases, I didn’t realise that I’d bought two identical tea towels. Oooops. They are lovely though and you can decide who you might bestow the spare one upon, as you laugh at what happens when you’re nosy”. While I do find it amusing that Liz, Queen of the Computer, can make such a basic error. What is more disturbing is that I sound like some kind of stalker, or evil creature who needs to know everything that is happening. I’m not, really.
For me, the RNLI is very special; special because I was rescued by the Mallaig Lifeboat in 2007. A small boat I was on, touring the Scottish Isles, got into trouble on some covered rocks and had to be towed back to Mallaig. And was I pleased to see them! I remember watching the horizon for the lifeboat to come, and then seeing it riding the waves, bright orange, and miraculous. We made the papers but I’m not sure I would ever want to make the papers for a reason like that again. Fortunately, this was not anything to do with me, I was merely a passenger. It was a calmish, maybe slightly choppy, sea. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the boats that Nigel Farage was decrying. It must have been terrible. The English Channel, an international shipping lane, rough water, not particulay sea-worthy boats, and desperation. Because people do not make such journeys if they are not desperate. Those comments of Nigel Farage were despicable.
My Birthday Tea Towel Challenge turned into a good fundraising effort by Liz. I think there were seven tea towels in total, two Face Coverings which are rather stylish and a book.
So watch out Readers, someone is going to get a RNLI tea towel for Christmas!!! A birthday that keeps on giving.