Thursday, 5 March 2009

A Post on Post

Before Christmas, I sent a small, padded envelope to a friend in London. It contain a small, crystal angel (Christmas present), a silver ring (late birthday present that hid in one of those 'safe places' and got forgotten), and a beautiful blue-green velvet scarf that friend left behind on her last visit. Nothing of huge value, but each piece with a story. I used Online Postage to print the Royal Mail label, and as well as her address, mine was clearly printed on the label too.

In February, friend told me the packet had not arrived. Now, I discover that her text, which had provided her new address, had said 31, whereas 61 was the correct house number. The point is this; why had the recipient at 31 not put the envelope back in the post, marked 'Return to Sender', or 'Not known at this address', when they received post clearly intended for somebody else? Honesty no longer seems to be the best policy.

The Post Office don't want to know unless I can provide a proof of posting. Even if it had been possible after all this time to find the computer record of printing the label, money could not make up for loss of the original articles. And we are back to honesty, and trust. Why would I say I'd posted them if I hadn't? Suspicion and mis-trust rule, more's the pity.

In complete contrast, on the plus side of of postal services, we need to travel further afield. To Delhi, believe it or not. After David McMahon mentioned his novel, Vegemite Vindaloo, I searched on Amazon to see whether a copy was available. One was - for the princely sum of £69. Further Internet searching, showed I could buy one from The Eastern Book Corporation, Pitampura, Delhi. Total cost plus shipping, around £15. As UK can charge £4.95 to send a book within this country, I considered £15 good value, especially since Air Mail would be involved.

Yesterday the parcel arrived. A real, brown paper wrapped, tied with string, parcel, the like of which I'd not seen for many a long year; corrugated cardboard inside, for protection, but elegantly cut and folded brown paper outside, just large enough to function as it should, but not adding one superfluous square centimeter to the amount of recycling waste it would eventually create. Even the label was ordinary paper, glued on - not the horrible, sticky backed, plasticised horror so often used here. A perfect parcel. Thank you, Delhi. Now I'm going away to read the book. Byeee!


  1. I have recently had two packages delivered to me on different occasions, both wrongly, both intended for someone in an adjoining road. Foolishly, I signed for both before I realised the mistake. However, I was able to return them to the postman the following day who returned them (I trust) to their rightful recipients.

    On another tack, afriend recently sent two letters about a fortnight apart, from within the UK. The second arrived first.

  2. Read the book and let us know how was it.
    And from now onwards if u need any thing from India specially Delhi let me know (don't even think for split of second)...believe it or not i am 20 minutes drive from Pitampura, Delhi...and I would have send it with supreme gratification.


  3. Say it isn't so. I have visions of British mail being delivered on the very same day as posting, or the very next. It happens in the books, you know. Of course, they're time pieces. :(

  4. Can't say our postal system here, which I fondly call the Alligator Express, is much better.

  5. I too have had some bad experiences with our mail service here in the UK. But on the plus side we have the most wonderful postman, who is polite, caring and a joy to meet every day. Even when letters are addressed wrongly and he knows it isn't the usual name that live there he will always ask before leaving the item, some letters with the wrong number on and he knows so, he will make sure it gets to the right house.
    I see अविनाश above is willing to post you a parcel from India at anytime... you have a friend there.
    Love Granny

  6. So sorry that parcel went missing. Your story about India reminded me of a family story of many many years ago when my husband's sister wrote to him when he was in hospital in Bangalore. She was obviously doing several jobs at once as she put the address as Bangalore, Leicestershire. The post office crossed out Leicestershire and wrote Try India!

  7. It is sad that trust and honesty are not self-evident (is that the correct word?). And it's sad that your parcel disappeared.
    I want to ask you if you will give us your review of David's book, but suppose you don't like it? (it's hard to imagine, it must be a wonderful book, but still....) So I won't ask you ;-) You could get it signed by him, but then you will have to send it to him and you never know what might happen on the way over there or back :-(

    Hugs xx

  8. I am sorry to have to tell you this but I bought David McMahon's Vegemite Vindaloo from the online for about £7.50 including P&P. Admittedly it came surface mail instead of air mail but I was not in a mad hurry to receive it. I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

  9. Hello Jinksy, thanks for visiting my blog! I'm so glad to find my way here. Loved your line about your drain man charging you extra!

    Glad you had a lovely Delhi experience!

  10. I don't have much problems with our postal service. However, I just read in the paper that a woman was invited to her nephews graduation---for June 1977. The family decided she was not able to come for some reason and just overlooked it. Glad you got your lovely package on time and are enjoying your gift.


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