Tag Archives: postcodes

The Problem with Postcodes

I’ve remembered why I gave up the Postcode Tour last time.

There are just too many postcodes and not enough time to write about them. They ended up taking over last time and they are doing the same again.

I have made a decision – I am only going to use the postcodes from Mondays, or Mondays and Tuesdays if Monday doesn’t produce enough. That way I preserve the random element of the tour but avoid submerging the blog in constant  UK trivia.

Today I have ten postcodes, though one is a duplicate of one from last week – WN7. You can have too much of a good thing so I’m going to leave Wigan out this week. That still leaves me with nine, and that’s still a lot to fit in. However, as my plan calls for 3.5 extra posts a week this may be useful.

I’ve just been looking at the number of postcode areas – I think it came to 121 but I kept losing count. Then there are the ones for overseas territories and the special code – XM4 5HQ. That’s the one specially reserved for Santa, and it gets 800,000 letters per year.

Seems nice and whimsical doesn’t it? All cuddly and touchy-feely. And then you realise that 800,000 letters, even if they are Second Class, need £488,000 worth of stamps. It is pure commercial genius!

British children also send about 100,000 letters a year to Santa in Finland – another £135,000 at International Standard rate for a 10 gram letter. I will say no more, lest the words “Bah! Humbug!” are heard, once more, throughout the land.

This is an interesting article on the Santa Industry if you have time to read it. Uplifting in parts, depressing in others, and proving once again that modern British kids need a lesson in old-fashioned manners.

Just to show I know how to get into the festive spirit (it is October after all and the shops are filling with Christmas crap) this is a picture of me as Santa from several years ago, I scared two of the eleven children who visited, so be careful who you show it to.


Possibly the worst Santa in the World

A Few Bright Spots

The high point of the day was probably repairing my camera with a penknife. It’s nice to know that although everything is now chipped, computerised and digitised a quick jab from a Mk I penknife can still do a useful job.

It wasn’t a particularly technical job, just adjusting the fit of a socket in the side of the camera. I have been having problems with the lead falling out when downloading photographs. I don’t have that problem now, and I’m going to charge myself £50 for the repair. This, I’m fairly sure, would be the situation if I sent it away.

There was a time, when every boy carried a penknife, and knew how to use it for repairing things, sharpening things and opening things. It’s a lost art now. We have unrepairable sealed units, health and safety and cunning packages that don’t need cutting. In addition we have legislation about knives so I daren’t even keep it in my pocket.

I keep it in the plastic box I use for carrying my writing materials and use it for sharpening pencils. (Just in case anyone in law enforcement is reading this).

Over the last few days I’ve added 23 postcodes to the list, including 14 on Monday when working alone. It was hard work on Monday but it’s actually easier working on your own, as nobody takes the stamps or sellotape when you’re in the middle of using them.

At the moment I’m in danger of having more postcodes than interesting facts, so it’s clearly time to get searching.

I’ve also been trying to use as many different stamps as possible: I’m easily amused.