Saturday, 12 December 2015

What is it they say about paying peanuts....?

Except in this case, it's hardly peanuts. The cost of letters and parcels is really high these days, making people think twice about what presents they send to friends and family who live miles away, because you've got to factor in that cost haven't you? And you'd think that with the cost, you'd get a first class service. Hmm...

Two parcels sent to me last week from different parts of the UK (Scotland and Wales) were in fact delivered back to the people who had sent them! We are told to put senders name and address on the back... I tend to just put my surname and postcode as that will find me easily, but everyone I know uses the full name and address, which in these two instances meant the parcels went back to them. Then our local postmen, the man in the van and the man pushing a cart, left mail wher it got wet. One left parcels propped beside a meter cupboard on the side of the house, in the rain. It was soaked, right through, but luckily the friend who sent it used bubble wrap so not all was lost. One of the other parcels didn't have such protection and has taken ages to dry out. And today, the man with the cart left post hanging out of the letter box, again in the pouring rain. What is wrong with these people, don't they think? The carts have plastic covers over a basket at the front where they put the next batch of letters to be delivered, but ours never cover the mail  up so they sit in the wet, and if your mail is at the end of the batch, well, it doesn't take a genius to realise what state it's going to be in. Two cards today, wet through. I shall of course, be having words.

I'm famous for having words. Not someone who will take poor/bad service quietly. Like the refuse collectors who sometimes can't be bothered to put the bin at the end of the drive where they collected it from but have a tendency to leave it several doors away so my husband has to play 'hunt the wheelie bin'. Every time it happens, an email goes off to the relevant department at the local council. To be fair, it's not happened in a while.I like to think the message eventually got through.

Still, 'tis the festive season almost, or maybe you class it as having started with Advent? So best not to spend the rare time on the blog having a moan.

Something more fact, something to make you laugh. A silly present for my recent birthday from a friend who claims not to have a sense of humour?!

I've been doing a lot of feltwork this year, and here are the cushions I made, the colours a bit garish as the flash came on, such gloomy weather we're having of late but compared to others of course, nothing at all to complain about.

and this is a Christmas decoration made for a dear friend, who every year for the past twenty years has sent me a small Advent calendar... I love opening those little doors, sad I know.

I've also ddecoupaged a papier mache stags head, some Christmas cards, and started preparing the fabric for a quilt, made from samples I bought from an online company selling gorgeous woollen throws. The sample books cost me a fiver, and once I've cut off the tops where the holes are, I shall have decent sized perfect squares of soft, cuddly fabric in various checks and colourways. I plan to add some felt work to it, flowers, birds and so on, but this is a long term plan so don't expect photos any time soon!

There's been playing of new CDs .... Elvis with the Royal Philarmonic, Aquostic with Status Quo obviously, a Chris Rea to add to my collection, and a remix of With The Beatles, which comes in a card cover like a mini version of the original vinyl which has been played to death almost since I got it fifty years ago.

And of course, there's been some reading....I decided to read Christmas-themed novels, even though some of them are a bit saccharin for me. 'The Christmas Cafe' by Amanda Prowse, 'The Chocolate Lovers Christmas' by Carole Matthews, and 'The Christmas Surprise' by Jenny Colgan. Waiting to be read is 'A Christmas Party' by Georgette Heyer, one of her early crime novels, which I'm looking forward to reading, as well as 'A Year of Good Eating' by Nigel Slater, promising lots of new recipes to try, and for a laugh, adult Ladybird books, written in the same style as the original children's books, illustrated the same way too.... 'How it Works: The Husband' of which I bought two copies, one for me and one for my best friend Joyce. Then there's a new colouring book, a new craft book and the latest interiors book by Selina Lake, 'Winter Living', all presents for a recent birthday.

That should keep me busy over Christmas. Luckily I don't have to rush hither and yon, or be polite to people I don't like because I'm expected to, or plaster a smile on my face. I don't have mountains of food to prepare and cook, I don't have hordes of family and friends descending on my house, some of whom I'd be genuinely pleased to see perhaps, others are just tolerated. I don't have duty visits to make, or anyone making duty visits to me. Instead it will be himself and myself, maybe a new cat too. Ours will be quiet, not hectic or noisy, but relaxed and peaceful, with time for walks and snoozes, books and new DVDs. A time for reflection, to be thankful for having a roof over my head, enough food to eat, for having good friends if not family who care. You can choose your friends etc.

So to those of you who bother to read this drivel, and especially to those who actually leave a comment, thank you and my very best wishes to you and yours for Christmas and the New Year.