Tag Archives: parcels

Back to ST7

I didn’t have time to finish last night, as midnight is a tyrant as far as blogging targets are concerned. I need 1.5 posts per day and “day” is defined as a period ending at midnight. To keep up, today needs to be a two post day, or even more.

We’ll start with ST7. It is, as I thought, Stoke-on-Trent.The address we sent the parcel to was in Cheshire and I did wonder if the postcode might be Stockport, which is in Cheshire, but I vaguely remember Stockport being SK. Logically it could also be Stafford, but it isn’t, Stafford’s has a Stoke on Trent postcode, which is ST16 – ST18 and ST20 and 21.

Don’t ask about ST19. It just gets too complicated. I used to travel the Midlands for a living and even I am beginning to find this bit confusing. And dull.

ST7 includes the village of Talke Pits. As you may guess, this was a mining village. It is one of the few places I have ever searched where the Wiki entry has come up short. Some quick research comes up with the information that there’s a shopping outlet there so I may have to pop by one day and find some information to add to the Wiki entry.

I will be touring WN7, SE16, FK4, WN2 and CF83. If memory serves me right that is a tour of Scotland, Wales, London and Wigan (twice). You are in for as treat.

However, I’m off to watch Strictly Come Dancing. If there’s one thing I love to see it’s the torment of an inelegant celebrity. I’m no Fred Astaire myself, but then I’m not being paid thousands of pounds to dance.

I would actually prefer Celebrity versus Lions, but the BBC have not replied to my proposal for a pilot show and are refusing to take my calls.

Albert Ball VC - a Nottingham hero

Albert Ball VC – a Nottingham hero

 

Robins, stamps and Robbie Burns

The featured image is one of the robin Christmas stamps from 1995. I have looked them up and can yell you there were five of them. I can’t recall any of the other designs – this is the only one we seem to get.

We also have a fine selection of Scottish mini-sheets.

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Off to Australia

It seems, looking at the prices charges by stamp dealers, that we are being awfully extravagant in using these stamps for letters. In fact you can buy lots of stamps in the trade for below face value. There are even companies that specialise in this sort of thing – search “discounted stamps”if you want any.

Much of my working day was spent packing parcels as we kept getting orders through the day. We also had phone calls and a few customers actually visited the shop, despite the boarding.

One or two mentioned the boards with questions like “Have you been robbed?”. To which, after a few polite answers, we started replying “No, we’re just going for a shabby chic look.”. A few more and it was “No, we’ve joined a Blitz re-enactment society.”

If anyone else had asked there was a danger, by the end of the day, of the answer being less than polite.

There’s only so much to be said.

The rest of the day was taken up with moving stock and furniture round in preparation for our new security precautions. It appears we are not allowed to dig pits and line them with spikes.Or use guns and tripwires. Or train rottweilers to attack people wearing hoods and concealing their faces.It’s the nanny state gone mad, I tell you!

The spell-checker wants to remove “rottweilers” and substitute “erstwhile”. I originally spelt it “rottweillers” and the suggested alternative was “steamrollers”. I’ve often wondered how these things work. I’m definitely no wiser after this last selection.

I’ve given myself the night off tonight and watched TV with Julia instead of trying to force the writing. I’m not sure she’s grateful.

A Big Order from Peru

We had a big order from Peru this morning. That isn’t a sentence you get to use very often. Indeed, in 61 years I have never needed to combine those words in that order before. In fact, I haven’t needed to combine those words in any order in a sentence before.

Even at 61, life is full of novelty.

I wish I could say the same for the rest of my day, which consisted of parcels, eBay and coin sorting, as the temperature rose and the the office grew more stuffy.

It wasn’t all bad, as the boss treated us to ice creams in the middle of the afternoon. We’d barely finished them when one of the customers arrived, with a gift of ice cream.

The lightweights stammered and stuttered and mumbled. I merely smiled, said thank you and launched straight in with gusto.

Well, it seemed rude not to show enthusiasm.

Photos may follow, if I can conquer the increasing slowness of the machine. Meanwhile, I am off to make marmalade on toast for Julia. Those of you who recognise the link to Peru, should award themselves trivia points, and stop reading Paddington Bear books.

 

 

 

Hoverflies and Broken Dreams

Subtitle: Poppies, Pollinators and Parcels.

I was torn between the two titles, but went for the bleaker one because I’m a shameless attention seeker.

I walked in to work this morning and found we had sixteen parcels to pack, It doesn’t seem much to do in three hours, though it’s probably fair to say that after seeing a couple of customers and queuing at the Post Office we had two and a half hours of packing. Or five hours, seeing as there were two of us.

That’s about twenty minutes per parcel, which seems OK, though when you have 100 loose coins to pack into a non-rattling parcel it can take a bit of time.

Part of the problem is that we have over two thousand items of stock on eBay and not enough storage space. We can locate 95% of the stock with ease, but we have to pack and repack the cupboards each time, which is time consuming, and the system is starting to creak.

To be fair, the cupboards are starting to creak too and I’m beginning to worry about being crushed to death in a cascade of coins and shattered woodwork. And shattered dreams. It was never meant to end like this…

Despite the somewhat gloomy thoughts, I am cheered by the poppy photos – they were absolutely packed with pollinators this morning, which validates our garden choices. They often have pollinators on them but the light and wind often work against me, and the numbers aren’t normally as impressive.

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Poppy with Pollinators

 

An eBay story

We had someone write to us this morning asking if we knew where his coins were.

Ordered 1st April, enquired on 14th, so he was patient.

It took me fifteen minutes to cross-reference and check his order. According to the Royal Mail site we posted the package on the 2nd April and it was delivered on 3rd – signed for by someone called Cooper, which was not the customer’s name.

I told him that, provided him with the tracking code and twenty minutes later he was back on apologising – seems the parcel was taken in by the post room (he had it sent to work) and they hadn’t told him.

Job done, fifteen minutes wasted.

After that I did parcels, then put up some postcards for sale.

Not very exciting, but demanding enough to prevent me to thinking about more interesting things.

Picturegoer Postcards

Picturegoer Postcards

A Difficult Day

There were 21 parcels to pack this morning according to eBay, but in reality there were only 15 because six of the orders had come in on Saturday afternoon and we’d already packed them.

Fifteen is still enough.

When I arrived, via a blood test and McDonald’s, there was a telephone van outside the shop but he drove off as I unlocked. I went in, set everything going, and settled down to do the questions. There were five questions, one of which didn’t merit an answer. I wasn’t able to answer the other four so that was soon done.

Then I listed the items that needed packing, reached for the first one and started to pack. I pressed the button to find the address, and the internet died.

When the boss arrived ten minutes later I was busy switching off, restarting and prodding the reset button with a paperclip. And muttering.

He revealed that there was a telephone engineer outside again. On enquiring about our service, we were told he couldn’t possibly be to blame as he didn’t know which wire was ours.

Neither of us found this terribly convincing as any idiot with a tool box is capable of causing disruption, regardless of knowledge.

We struggled through the next hour using the boss’s phone and an unsecured BT account we found whilst searching.. It was slow and tedious.

Then, as if by magic, the internet returned. We looked out of the door and found that the telephone engineer had gone.

That’s a coincidence isn’t it?

Despite this we managed to get all the parcels packed and despatched. We also managed to serve a rush of customers, who started coming in as soon as the internet flickered back to life. It was almost as if they knew we had things to catch up on.

At least I didn’t have time to be bored.

In the afternoon I got rid of four bags of books, coughed a lot at the dust and got told off by Julia.

It’s been a difficult day.

The picture is a Great Tit in the Mencap Garden. There were several about with nesting material in their beaks when I was down on Friday. As usual, I couldn’t get a decent shot so this one, with no nesting material, will have to do. I’m going to try again tomorrow.

A Day Passing in a Blur

Today passed in a blur. Perhaps you guessed that from the title.

First there was the blood test. In the absence of a panicky phone call I’m assuming I passed, though tomorrow’s post will bring the full details.

Things have changed over the last few weeks. When I had my blood test five weeks ago it was still almost dark when I left at around 7.15. Two weeks ago it was definitely verging on daylight. Today it was bright and springlike. Not only is it easier to see where I’m going but I’m feeling decidedly more cheerful.

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Irises in Spring

In the last month they have blood-tested 6,893 inpatients and 4,694 outpatients. The average wait is, they say, nine minutes. I’m dubious about the nine minutes but I’ll let it slide for now and start timing my wait from now on. I have a stopwatch on my phone and I’m obsessive enough to use it.

After that I took Julia to work and then went to work myself. On arrival I ate my sandwiches for breakfast because I hadn’t had time to eat anything this morning.

We had a dozen parcels, a couple of customers and put some stuff on eBay, but nothing particularly interesting.

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Crocuses

After that I drove to Newark, spent a few hours chatting, shopped, ate another sandwich and went home. Once home I read some blogs, answered some comments and started cooking in bulk for the coming week.

I’m now writing today’s post as tonight’s stew simmers.

Julia is out visiting a neighbour. She’s got the car keys so I expect she’s going to fill the car with junk and expect me to be happy about it.

It’s all part of life’s rich pageant for a married man…