Friday, November 09, 2007

The Royal Mail has lost my MP4 player :-(

I've been trying to learn a little Japanese so that I can talk to Kaori, other Japanese friends of Austin's and any stray passing shop people, train people and, well, Japanese people that we may run across when we're visiting him next April. I've borrowed a language kit from the language collection at work and been beavering away, learning how to say "hello" and "it's a nice day" and "I would like a pizza and some orange juice" (very useful that last one, in Japan!).

The Builder has been working this week in Dronfield. He leaves at around 6:30, which is much too early for me, even for a lift to the Dronfield station - I'd have to wait about an hour for the train; not all the Chesterfield to Sheffield trains stop in Dronfield. So I've been going in on the bus and the train and coming home on the train and The Builder meets me there and we then head wherever it is we’re going (usually home, sometimes to Sainsbury, occasionally out). Excellent time for learning Japanese, waiting for trains, travelling on trains, hanging about on bus stops. So I put one of the CDs from the kit on my MP3 player. And that was OK, but it’s very fiddly on my cheap little device to listen to the same thing over and over again. A new, less cheap device was called for. One with buttons and things. So I hopped onto eBay and found a nice little MP4 player. Not an iPod, so not £140+, but a Samsung, so only £30. Nice one.

It was posted off to me, and on Saturday when I got home from a hard day in the Salt Mines, I mean Adsetts Centre, I found a card telling me that a registered package was awaiting me at the Sorting Office in Chesterfield.

Yesterday I went to collect it. The man looked in the relevant box. Nothing. He looked in a cupboard. Zilch. He hunted out the back. Nada. He looked in the box again. Did I actually get the card on Saturday? I sure did. He hunted all over all over again. In the meantime, a queue was forming behind me. A long queue. An increasingly fractious queue, muttering about Royal Mail cuts and lack of parking and few staff and stuff. The man came back. “I can’t find it,” said he. An entirely redundant comment. It had been obvious for some time that he couldn’t find it! He has photocopied my delivery card and taken my number and is planning to ask our local postie what he’s done with it. I hope it’s the right postie he asks – we have a couple who deliver in Tupton.

So no Japanese learning for me for now. And it’s Thursday again, which means that Midland Mainline are on strike again and who knows what chaos there may be on the trains. Would have been a fantastic chance to listen to a few odd words.

Marlo is a very odd cat. We had bonfire celebrations all weekend. Bonfire night was actually Monday but there were parties and fireworks and things on each night of the weekend, plus on Friday. I had Marlo shut inside, catflap locked. He was not impressed. Not impressed at all. He batted at it, pushed at it, miaowed at it, threw himself at it. I resisted letting him out for the fireworks were loud and bangy. Then I realised that when he wasn’t trying to escape, he was sat in the window watching them. I gave up and let him out. And he spent several happy hours on each evening sat outside on the “lawn”, patio or table, watching the bonfires and the fireworks. That cat has no fear! Except for of window cleaners, ladders, long squeegee thingies and chammy cloths. But not, oddly enough, of pails of dirty water. Strange beastie.

A couple of weeks ago, they had a lovely Toast & Marmalade casserole on eBay. It was Blue Toast, of which there are not many pieces and it is now a discontinued line. I have never seen this casserole anywhere. I knew the collectors would be out in force. I collect Toast & Marmalade china, both the standard black and the blue variety, but I am not properly a collector. I won’t pay silly prices for things, and I do use them once I have acquired them. No sitting about in locked cabinets at my place! The collectors did indeed come out to play and the dish went for just under £90 (plus £10 or so postage and packaging). Needless to say, I didn’t buy it! However, something went wrong and it was re-listed. I have been watching it, idly. I stopped watching idly when I realised last evening that it had 12 hours to go and was still sat at £50 with the reserve not met. I watched it with interest. Today, when it had 20 minutes to go I put a bid on it, expecting to be knocked out the way by collectors rushing to acquire it. They must all have been at work in places where access to the Internet is not quite as ready as it is here, for my bid of £56 not only reached the reserve – but was the top bid. Hooray!! I might make my Christmas seafood bisque in it in celebration (I use my Toast & Marmalade stuff but not for everyday. Christmas is not Everyday!)

So I am a happy Frannie. £56 plus a tenner is much more reasonable than £90 plus a tenner.

Oooh. And even more happy. The Chesterfield Sorting Office has just rung to say that they’ve found my parcel!!!!! HOORAY!!!!! I said I would go and collect it on Monday, but there might be time if we leave a few minutes early to pick it up on Saturday. They are open after 7, and I don’t need to be at Psalter Lane until 09:45. Excellent. I hope they don’t loose it again :-S I had to buy an iron after they lost it the first time! Can’t afford to keep buying new household appliances every time I go to visit the Sorting Office
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