Tag Archives: Ebay

Randomness & Remembering

We had seventeen packages to send before lunch yesterday. One consisted of 200 coins, which needed sorting before packing. It was hard work, particularly when besieged by phonecalls from people with “rare” and “valuable” coins, and a couple of people with “urgent” telephone orders.

It was very tempting, but I behaved in a a cheery and professional manner and nobody was advised to go away and stop bothering me.

Then we went to Sheffield to clear Number Two son’s room. It was hot and traffic on the M1 was slow.

On the way back we stopped at a service station to empty my aging bladder. I treated Julia to a drink and a pastry while we were there, and handed over the equivalent of an hour and a half’s work for two coffees and two lemon tarts. Food for thought…

In the evening I pottered about on the internet. I was doing some research on medals when I found a picture of an avuncular old cove who, with the addition of a beard would very much resemble a whisky-drinking Santa Claus.

Brigadier Peter Young DSO MC

War hero, raconteur, historian, author and founder of the Sealed Knot, it’s Brigadier Peter Young DSO, MC & 2 bars.

The photograph appears several times on the internet so I’m hoping nobody is going to mind me using it.

They don’t make them like him any more.

That led on to the Sealed Knot Book of Remembrance, which, in turn, led to a maudlin half hour of reading and remembering.

I didn’t feel like writing much after that so I turned to writing doggerel for the daily post. I’m trying to become more regular in my habits.

While the Cat is away…

It was all going so well…

I dropped Julia off at work, parked right outside the shop, found all the stock for eBay parcels on my first attempt and had everything ready for the post by the time Eddie turned up. The Boss was at the York Coin Fair today so I was then able to relax.

I wrote a reply to an email that had arrived overnight, and then kept my fingers crossed.  Then I wrote another email, demanding action from someone who was being slow with a parcel.

Finally, I composed a message to KFC in my head. I had to administer a touch of firmness to them earlier in the week after a rather disorganised meal on Sunday. We ordered four things – they were only able to supply one. Not good enough,  I told them.

Their, reasonably quick, reply agreed with me, told me that training would be administered and told me they looked forward to seeing me again soon.

Why would I go back soon after the meal I just had (a very different one from the one we had ordered)? The staff were disorganised, the manager was ranting and the bins were overflowing. And it was not as if they were busy. It was a far cry from the last meal I enjoyed there.

After reading their reply, I was left with the distinct impression that they were taking the mickey.

The last laugh is with me, of course. I will stop eating KFC, will save money, lose weight and, in all probability, be better off without them.

As I was savouring my imaginary victory my mobile rang with the reply from the first email. It was a positive reply, which was good.

I then put some things on eBay, served customers, unwillingly stayed an hour late to serve another customer, went back at 7.00 the see another customer (by arrangement  – he’s a market trader who needed stock but had been unable to get down sooner).

Now, after refreshment, I’m off to pick up Number Two son from work. It’s cheaper than paying for the bus.

 

 

 

Fun with Stamps

We get offered a lot of stamps in the shop, and turn most of them down. The stamp market is such that there is no real call for First Day Covers, schoolboy collections or, indeed, most stamps we are offered. We even turned away a Penny Black the other day. As you can see from the link – they printed 68,808,000 of them and many used examples were saved. They were hand cut from unperforated sheets and only ones that have been well cut, with four even margins, are really worth anything. They frequently sell for under £30 on eBay, with several under £20. It’s not much for a cultural icon. (On the other hand, Stanley Gibbons have a nice one for sale at £250,000. Well, I assume it’s nice for quarter of a million.)

The ones we buy are the Presentation Packs. We then break them up and use them on parcels. As long as they are priced in decimal currency you can still use them. You can even use the ones priced in 1/2p denominations even though we stopped using the 1/2p coin in 1984.

It can take a while sorting all these stamps and working out the postage, as you can see from the accompanying pictures. It’s good for your mental arithmetic, if nothing else.

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Bluebells and Winnie the Pooh

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A very orange stamp

The first perforated stamps were Penny Reds. They were originally issued to replace Penny Blacks in 1841, and continued until 1879. In the beginning they needed cutting like the Penny Black but in 1854 they were issued perforated for ease of use.

1854 – we couldn’t run an efficient army nursing service but we could perforate stamps…

Bins, boxes and barbecues

We only sold four lots over the weekend. Two of them sold on Saturday afternoon, after the Post Office closed, so we packed them before we left. Two sold on Sunday. Then, as we looked at the small pile of post someone bought another lot.

Five parcels.

I think we might have to postpone plans to buy a new box of teabags.

Meanwhile, I just had a phone call from Malta. Apparently the weather was great at East Midland Airport, glorious over France, lovely over the Alps, grey over Italy and murky in Malta.

It’s a lovely evening in Nottingham. Nice and bright and warm and I didn’t need to queue up, sit on an aeroplane or defy nature to get here. I just sat on a chair.

It’s also, according to the photograph Julia just sent, dark in Malta. You’ll have to take my word for it as I’m struggling to download the photo. It seems to have plenty of water and reflected lights in it so I’m sure you’ll love it if I manage to download it.

Julia left me a packet of Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewells. It was waiting for me when I returned home and helped ease the pain of parting. Unfortunately I can’t provide you with a picture of that either. I suppose I ought to be ashamed of myself.

I had ham sandwiches for lunch. I also had ham sandwiches for tea. At the moment I’m debating having ham sandwiches for supper. I like ham sandwiches, and cooking for one keeps the shopping simpler. I’m considering what to buy for tomorrow. If I buy a piece of gammon I can cook it and use it to make ham sandwiches for the next few days.

So far I’ve only used white cobs and Branston pickle. I have multi-seed bread and a choice of mustard or tomato relish available, so I’ve barely scraped the surface of the variety of choices available in the world of ham sandwiches.

I may even consider salad.

If ham sandwiches start to lose their appeal, and I don’t see why they would, I have a reserve stock of cheese.

It’s fairly clear from this that the difference between a normal man and a recluse with a ham fixation is only a few hours. That, I suppose, is why it’s good for men to get married.

Today’s pictures are some I took in the Mencap garden last week. The theme is recycled waste bins, boxes and barbcues. That gives me an idea for a title…

 

 

Boredom, what Boredom?

Yes, I’ve been doing cards again. I’ve done Star Trek, The Beatles and yet more A&BC football cards (the orange and red backs from 1972-3). Thanks to an informative website I’m now in possession of much more knowledge than I really need on this subject.

I think my brain may be grinding to a halt, but I think I’ve isolated the point when the rot set into football. The 1970 set shows footballers with serviceable haircuts and quite a few broken noses. The 1972-3 set shows straighter noses and shocking haircuts. That three year window was the thin end of the wedge, and look where we ended up – diving, spray foam and perms.

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Look at that haircut…

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…and that moustache.

I grew my first moustache in 1975. It wasn’t a success. In truth they rarely are. Some things from the past should be left there – moustaches, I feel, are one of those things. As are rickets, platform soles and The King’s Evil.

For those of you interested in why one photo is upside down I have to confess that I don’t know. I struggled with a glitchy internet last night and had problems with a lot of photographs being upside down on the photo card. Eventually I just used two that seemed to be cooperative.

This morning I found that the post hadn’t actually loaded and one of the photos was upside down again.

So I gave up and loaded the post again with extra lines to explain the upside down photograph.

For those of you more arty types it’s an ironic take on the topsy-turvey nature of modern sport.

For the others, it’s what happens when you hand modern technology to a man who is barely past the crayon stage of artistic evolution.

 

Evening and Annoyance

It’s not been a productive evening.

I  bought two lots on eBay last night and both transactions have turned complicated. One is my fault because I forgot to press a button and sent my home address instead of the shop address. I tried to alter this by email later but the vendor had already organised the post and sent it amazingly quickly. He has now apologised three times for what is actually not his fault, as I keep trying to tell him.

The other is having problems with the address too. Despite me confirming the address he still says he is confused. I think that’s because the system allows me to use a delivery address but shows my home address too. He either cannot handle ambiguity of thinks I’m embarking on a major fraud for £46. I’m not sure which. All I know is that I’ve had to write to him twice tonight (so far) trying to sort it out.

It’s not easy writing polite emails as there’s always the possibility of causing accidental offence, even without the added problem of being irritated, having connection problems and wanting to plan tomorrow’s trip.

Then I wiped off an entire answer by accident and had to do it again.

And I had to double check some auction bids I sent in haste this morning. I bid too much for something but I’ll let it stand as I hate cancelling bids and messing people about.

Number Two son did his final exam this morning. The landlord had chosen this day to decorate the room and wouldn’t delay to allow for a more relaxing lead up to the exam. When he returned in the afternoon they had also replaced his bed. They had, however failed to empty the storage drawer in the old one and had taken all his shoes away.

Idiots.

Julia is trying to watch The Woman in White on BBC i-player but it’s not going well. We appear to lack bandwidth, despite paying an arm and a leg to BT every month. She couldn’t watch it last night as we went out for curry.

I have to cook tea now.

I suppose I’ll probably burn it.

Tomorrow we are going to Bempton Cliffs to see Puffins. Looking at what happened last year I’m worried we might not see many. Fingers crossed.

And, as I try to find Puffin photos the system has seized up again. I really must write to WordPress. For Puffin photos you will need to use the last link.

The featured image is just plucked from stock at random. I wanted something calming with blue sky a fresh green trees.

Blood Testing Blues

I went down to the hospital early and was rewarded with a choice of parking spaces. This was good.

Little did I realise it was to be the high point of my morning.

My first clue to trouble ahead was the crowd by the door of the Phlebotomy Room. The second was my ticket number – I was ticket A134. The first ticket called after I sat down was A119. (Yes, it’s run like a supermarket deli counter).

Fortunately I had a book with me. It’s not as interesting as it may seem, as my forthcoming review may mention. For now I’m keeping an open mind. I had nearly an hour of open-mindedness to devote to it this morning.

Little did I realise etc….

It took three attempts in the right arm, and one in the left (including one with an old-fashioned syringe used with a stab it and hope approach). If we’d been fighting a duel honour would have been well and truly satisfied by all that blood and wounding. At that point she called in help.

It seems that I may have some scar tissue in the arm from the number of blood tests I’ve had, and this is causing some problems in drilling for fresh blood. If I live to be ninety I expect I’ll have arms like sacks of walnuts and they’ll be using power tools.

The reinforcement didn’t mess about. One swift jab with a massive needle and the blood was drawn.

It’s a shame she couldn’t have done it sooner as it would have saved me from having to pay £4 for car parking.

It normally only costs me £2  but it went over the hour so it cost £2 extra. Next time I’ll take a flask and sandwiches and have a picnic until the time is up. I like to get value for money.

I took these pictures of flowers at the Mencap garden on Monday when I took Julia down to water the polytunnel. They have a close-down week this week, when they just shut up shop and all have a holiday. Of course, this was all decided by people who don’t have a garden to run.

In the shop we didn’t have as many parcels to pack as yesterday, just a mere five today. I sorted five lots of American coins for eBay, added to my numismatic knowledge via Google (after all, you need to know something to write about them properly), served a couple of customers looking for postcards, answered the phone, polished the counters and cleaned 24 silver ingots in the shape of postage stamps. They will be going on eBay by the end of the week.

Finally, someone brought a medal in to part exchange.

 

It’s the South African campaign medal with the bar for 1879 – the year of the Zulu War. It was originally instituted in 1854, and the date 1853 was placed was at the bottom of the reverse (or “the exergue” if you want to be technical). It  was awarded in a back-dated fashion for campaigns dating back to 1835. In 1879 they decided to re-issue it with Zulu shields in the exergue and a set of date bars relating to wars in 1877-79. The date 1879 is for troops who served in the Zulu War of that year – the one that saw British troops with rifles and artillery severely mauled by Zulus with spears.

It wasn’t all plain sailing in the days of the Empire.

Although it’s a great bit of history, it has been spoiled as a collectable because it’s been re-named. This means that the original name has been removed from the edge and another name has been added. Unfortunately, though this was clearly done in Victorian times, it ruins it for collectors.

Soldiers, you see, would often sell or pawn their medals when short of cash and, when posted away at short notice, be unable to get the medals back. Rather than admit to the military offence of selling or pawning their medals they would merely buy one from the pawn shop and have their name put on them. But that is a subject for a different day.