Tag Archives: Royal Mail

The Tracks of my Tears

In which The Author has come unstuck in time again

Last Wednesday I wrote about some young lads in a rock band, who were clearly stuck in time (in the late 1980s or so). Since then, we’ve had a full moon and an extra day in the calendar, both of which seem to have had very peculiar effects on Time.
I decided to treat myself to the current Concise Oxford Dictionary last week. I was going to to buy it in Cardiff, when I was there for the Plaid Cymru manifesto launch a fortnight ago. But it’s a bit bulky to carry about, and I also wanted another book which Waterstones don’t stock. Chris G. assured me that the warehouse had plenty of the second book, and offered to order it in for me. But I told him it made sense to order them together online and save on the postage costs. Free p&p online; nearly three quid p&p from the shop; eight quid on the train to collect it in person. You do the maths!
I placed the order on 23 February, and it was confirmed almost immediately, with an estimated delivery time of ‘5-7 days’. That meant (in theory) that I could look forward to my books arriving early this week.
Anyway, on Saturday morning I was feeling pretty unwell. I’d come away from Thursday’s karaoke early. I had a sore throat which meant my grip on the tunes was more precarious than usual. On Friday I was full of cold, which was threatening to go to my chest. I had a duvet day, and didn’t leave the house except to grab some fish and chips from the Hot Pot. I didn’t feel much better on Saturday, so when someone knocked the door just after ten o’clock I figured it couldn’t be anything important. I stayed in bed instead.
Needless to say, it was the postman trying to deliver a parcel. I knew I couldn’t possibly be the books I’d ordered, so I thought maybe Gollancz had sent me another proof without any prior warning. That was why, on Monday morning, I was at the sorting office in Aberaman, having narrowly avoided the Brain-Dead Bints I told you about last time.
The item waiting for me turned out to be the books I’d ordered from Waterstones. 5-7 days had suddenly turned into 3-4.
I mention this only because Waterstones emailed me last night, at 1819, to tell me that ‘the item(s) has been shipped and should be with you soon’. They’d also included the tracking reference for my parcel. Just for fun, I’ve been on the Royal Mail website this morning, and this is what I found:
Screenshot from 2016-03-03 10:11:35
As the late great Sir Terry Wogan would have said, Is it me?

Second Post

In which The Author finds himself at the halfway mark

Here we are at the midpoint of NaBloPoMo. I’ve managed fourteen posts in as many days (and I threw in a bonus post in case I ran out of steam.) Here I am. It’s Friday night. I’m in Aberdare. It’s Children in bloody Need night.
I’ve been here before, in case you were wondering. Nose-Painting, Sleep and Urine pretty much covered my views on telethons and other enforced methods of charitable extortion.
After being captured by (in order) Rowland, Gema and Martin H. (all of whom have gone home in various states of play) I decided it was time to mark the passing of Lou Reed by spending a quid in the Prince jukebox: Venus in Furs, Waiting for the Man, and White Light/White Heat back to back.
Lauren B., the barbint, was horrified by the white noise typhoon which engulfed her while she was playing with the stove. She got off lightly – as soon as my selections had finished, we were back to Carly Simon and David Soul (who pass for cutting-edge in this place.)
I selected a track from Miles Davis’ 1959 LP Kind of Blue in here about a month ago. That very nearly caused a riot. Tonight, I cranked the timeline forward by a decade or so, and just about lived to regret it. Pre-punk garage rock from when I was in nappies is way too progressive for the fucking dinosaurs in here!
I’m really just posting this to prove that I’m still around and still participating in NaBloPoMo. Check back through the Foreword & Contents, and you’ll see that on times I’ve gone for a couple of months without posting anything.
At other times, I’ve posted twice a day.
Second Post.
I remember when the Royal Mail used to post twice a day as well. In his very funny and insightful examination of the English language Mother Tongue, Bill Bryson pointed out a lovely linguistic incongruity. I still point it to out to friends of mine who are studying English – mainly because I’m extremely jealous that I didn’t spot it first. I can’t remember the exact words, because I lent the book to a friend of mine when we were students, and both of them vanished without trace. However, it goes something like this:
In Britain, the Royal Mail delivers the post. In America, the US Postal Service delivers the mail.
Go figure…