Tag Archives: postal services


Yesterday and today were both marked by an upsurge of traffic on the road as kids returned to school and parents went back to work. I was a little later than intended on both days and ran into delays caused by the rush hour. Today’s dark and rainy start did little to combat the congestion or lift the mood.

It did, however, give me time to think about writing and I have just drafted two new haibun. There is, no matter how dark the day, always the possibility of good emerging from it.

We now have four complaints about the non-arrival of packages. One is from Israel, which we were expecting. The Israeli Post Office does not have a good reputation. This is surprising as they generally seem to be an efficient country. I note, however, that they will forward letters addressed to God.

Christmas Stamps

Christmas Stamps

One is from a customer who has had his package. He then changed his story, saying that he wanted to return it as it was a present and the intended recipient already had one. That’s a shame, but not our fault. Unfortunately, we fall under the same legislation as a large company in this matter and will have to accept the return and lose money.

Another has now been waiting a month and now wants their money back. Again, not our fault, but not his fault either. We can, of course, apply for a refund from the Royal Mail but it is likely to be a case where the time spent claiming outweighs the value of the claim.

All these are irritating as we have done nothing wrong but will end up losing money.

The fourth is more annoying. We sent the wrong parcel to someone and had to send them a replacement. Fair enough. They returned the item we had sent in error. While it was being returned (slowly, due to postal strikes) somebody else ordered it. We emailed them saying that there would be a delay but that we would send it in the New Year, if they wanted to wait. They accepted this and we actually sent it to them on 28th December. It is, according to the Royal Mail, on its way. They have just cancelled it as it is taking too long. This seems a trifle unreasonable after we have done our best for them.

Sorry to give so many details of my mundane life, but future researchers may want to know about the reality of doing business on eBay. We managed to hit another feedback milestone today. We hit 10,000 feedback just before Christmas (over 10,000 satisfied customers!) and today arrived at 10,100. So, despite the erratic post we are still keeping most people happy and it is clear that most of the post is still getting through quickly.

More Stampish Inspiration

The header picture is the Post Office 10p from the 2019 alphabet issue of coins. It was, in many ways, a disaster of an issue, with demand far outstripping supply. They were extremely rare in change and mainly being sold by Royal Mint and the Post Office at premium prices. It’s not the way to handle a new issue, as many people like the thrill of searching their change to find coins.

Long Tailed Tit - Rufford Abbey

Day 48

In my haste to complete last night’s post in 20 minutes I see I missed out the news that I have placed another haibun. The other side of that news is that I now have some poems back, as they aren’t required. This is not actually bad news, although it does involve rejection, as it gives me something to work with for the next set of submissions.

Having placed a few things this month I now feel more like a writer again. This is probably helped by the appearance of some new greenery in the roadside trees, and the first crocuses. I like snowdrops, but you can’t beat a good crocus as a harbinger of spring. Soon I expect the birds will get in amongst them and start tearing them up, but it’s all part of  nature, so I won’t complain.

I’ve just been looking at a new house on the internet. It’s in Derbyshire and it overlooks Carsington Water, which I have written about several times. It’s not quite where I had been thinking of retiring to but it cropped up and seemed nice.  I note from the links I just added that I mainly seem to talk about eating at Carsington Water rather than bird watching, natural beauty or water. This is probably an accurate reflection of my life. Three links, two about cake.

We had a package back from Portugal today. It had a customs sticker attached telling us that it was being returned for being non-compliant with recent legislation. As far as we can tell, after research on the web, it followed all the necessary laws and guidelines. Portugal is becoming a very difficult place to post to and a number of people we know are now refusing to post to Europe.

Preparing  a parcel for its voyage into the unknown

It’s all part of Brexit. First our costs go up, then our business declines and finally we are faced with asking if it is all worthwhile. This is hardly the easier, more profitable life we were led to expect. Could it be that politicians have been lying to us?

It used to be had enough when we had Italy to contend with – a country with  a Post Office staffed by thieves, and a population that embraced larceny as a second hobby.  Now we can’t send parcels to Portugal and Spain because the system has become devoted to losing mail in a variety of inventive ways.

The new house? Unfortunately we didn’t win the lottery so the £7 million asking price was a little more than a mortgage and a search down the back of the sofa could come up with. However, a man can dream . . .

Crocus at Nottingham