SCRAMBLING

The ‘Scrambled egg’, of Royal Navy chiefs, (those that sport gold braid for those of you not in the know) is currently made up of admirals, vice-admirals and rear-admirals, in total,  forty-one top banded naval chiefs. 

P1030154 2010 July 27th An Elegant Ship

With constant cuts ‘efficiency savings’ the number of naval fighting ships stands at …..FORTYYou would, and rightly so, consider there is one admiral spare .

 Kayaks On The Thames

 

Well, I’ve got news for you. In the last week, I have received several letters which clearly show my elevated status, I am now addressed as Admiral M.  So, here I am chummy,  we can join forces!

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SHIPS AND BOATS AND PLANES……..SPROUT WINGS

My surface mail to Canada and America went off in time for the last surface mail posting date in mid October 2016.

The packages would take minimum four weeks and a maximum of five weeks to arrive, said the post office clerk.  

The stated timing was perfect; early slow mailing is economic and in any case, there was plenty of time for slow delivery.  The packages could have taken six weeks to arrive and still been in time.

Five days after posting, I received my first thank you email for my gift.   It was soon followed up by a second one……………. Ships, coach and horses, obviously sprout wings.

THE ROYAL STAMP OF APPROVAL -SPIRALLING

I read that Royal Mail ‘International Economy Mail’ for for post of a weight up to 20g and specified small measurements was 81p.

A quick bit of mental arithmetic immediately told me that I might save a whopping 16p per item on the 97p ‘Standard’ International Mail. Read on…

If I was not in a hurry for mail to arrive, it would be at destination within two weeks. At the end of November 2014, there was plenty of time for my international Christmas mail to go Economy class.

This was getting quite exciting…… (in a post-ish sort of way)

I scrolled down the page where I found an invitation to print my own stamps at ‘no more cost than it would be at a Post Office counter’.

Now that was definitely rather far fetched. I would be using my printer ink; my paper; my labels; all at my cost, and I would pay the full up postage costs. Also, I would still have to physically post the mail into a mail box either outside the Post Office, or, a mail box at the Sorting Office, equidistant in the opposite direction. It definitely was not difficult to decline the invitation to be my own post mistress. Anyway, I rather like having a fully functioning Post Office to take my business to.

Scrolling down a bit further I was invited to click for further guidance;

International Economy Mail is the smart new name for what we used to know as Surface Mail – Enlightenment dawned; that’s why using this posting method would take some time to get there, but that’s okay, time is on my side.

Uh oh. The definition for ‘International’ is lots of places on the map except the land mass we know as Western Europe.

Except Western Europe !!!!

So, Folks, it’s great news if your mail is going mostly anywhere but in Western Europe. If your mail is going west, your extra pennies will go with it at a minimum of 97p per letter, up to maximum weight of 20g and within specified quite small measurements.

Bah! Humbug.

GOOGLE

Google….I wanna tell you that your blasted constant pinging notifications that your most useful ever tool is being discontinued, are doing what you intended, they are really annoying me… though, not quite badly enough to make me take the action you are asking me to take. I will not, repeat… I will not uninstall the app that takes me directly to my mail page. I never much cared if I was notified whenever I had mail. From what I have seen in chat rooms, I am not sure if that is what everyone else wanted either. I do hope there are lots and lots of people like me who are ignoring your instructions to nuke the app.

GOOGLE

Google….I wanna tell you that your blasted constant pinging notifications that your most useful ever tool is being discontinued, are doing what you intended and are really annoying me… though, not quite badly enough to make me take the action you are asking me to take. I will not, repeat… I will not uninstall the app that takes me directly to my mail page. I never much cared if I was notified whenever I had mail. From what I have seen in chat rooms, I am not sure if that is what everyone else wanted either. I do hope there are lots and lots of people like me who are ignoring your instructions to nuke the app.

A POST SCRIPT ABOUT GOODWILL MAIL

At the risk of being boring, here is a post script to my last post on the cost of goodwill mail.

I had absolutely no idea that there were measurement gauges for all parcels, that is those parcels that do not look like packages; when did that happen? I was under the misguided impression, parcels were still charged by weight. I was surprised to see a shoe box size parcel placed into a box before a charge was imposed for it. You haven’t seen the half of it….said the post mistress, when I expressed my surprise. This is the second one we have had this year. The ‘new’ gauge is the same width and depth as the previous gauge but is 10cm SHORTER (A whole four inches in old measurements, shorter!!!) >:XX

There is likely to be a backlash with all these ruses for raising prices,I said.

It’s already happened. My small business customers now use couriers. They can get a straight £4 charge for each of their regular parcels. She continued… I don’t see them much now; I can’t ask them how good the courier services are.

COSTS OF GOODWILL MAIL GOING THROUGH THE ROOF!

There have been charges based on measuring gauges and weights for letters for a few years.  The goalposts have been constantly changed to screw out maximum charges for the postal services offered to customers.

I was under the misguided impression, parcels were still charged by weight. Parcel Force, the name now in use for what used to be the parcel delivery arm of Royal Mail, will not carry large or outsize parcels over a certain weight. I had absolutely no idea that  measurement gauges were in use in the U.K for all standard parcels, that is those parcels that do not look like packages.  When did that happen?  I was amazed to see my shoe box size parcel placed into an empty box, a gauge,  before a charge was imposed for it.  Fortunately for me, it just fitted the gauge. Another layer of wrap might have made a big difference to the cost of posting it.

You haven’t seen the half of it….said the post mistress, when I expressed my surprise at the measuring process. This is the second gauge we have had this year. The ‘new’ one is the same width and depth as the previous one, but is 10cm shorter, (A whole four inches in old measurements, shorter!!!).

There is likely to be a backlash with all these ruses for raising prices, I said.

It’s already happened. My small business customers now use couriers. They can get a straight £4 charge for each of their regular parcels.  The postmistress continued… I don’t see them much now; I can’t ask them how good the courier services are.

THE RUNAWAY BUS CAME OVER THE HILL AND IT BLEW!

Because of the storms last week, post and other deliveries have been seriously delayed. No commercial planes were flying passengers, nor to distribute post to outlying areas, or, to heavily populated ones either. Just imagine the bulky back-up of Christmas and business mail that resulted. Some long distance passenger buses tried to maintain a limited service when the trains could not. The bus drivers were brave, and the buses that battled with the weather, were extraordinarily late in their arrivals. They did, however, arrive. Passengers had some hair-raising tales to tell. It is just possible that a mail van limped through the stormy trail as well, though one of those, by no means, would have dented a sizeable backlog very much.

Trickles of mail arrived here at home by Friday evening. Apart from one letter, everything else was local. Is it possible that the bosses had allowed the local sorting office to do their own local sorting rather than bag everything up to travel hundreds of miles South, only to return North again ❓ I still have difficulty mentally sorting out the economics of that exercise.

At about 4.30pm, Monday 12th December 2011, a wadge of mail landed on the mat, mostly Christmas mail. No packages or parcels have arrived. Don’t get me wrong, I am not expecting tons of presents, I am however, expecting our usual arrivals of mail order, which haven’t shown up. It is this current pattern of deliveries that leads me to believe that there is quite a backlog of mail somewhere in the system, much of it caused by extreme weather conditions. Now, we are waiting for the next severe weather experience that is forecast, which, is bound to have a further impact on mail and courier services.

From past experiences, especially that of last Winter here, I am sure the individuals who work for most of the delivery services will do their level bests to meet the extra demands of Christmas and get their post and parcels to businesses and households. I cannot speak highly enough of the local postal services and the efforts they made in the severe Winter of 2010/2011 with the most difficult of weather conditions – blizzards, ice and deep snow underfoot.

KEEPING SMALL LETTERS SMALL

How to avoid a small letter becoming a large letter. :>>

1)Iron the folded contents flat.

2)Once the paper/card is in the envelope, Use the iron again and iron it very flat.

3)If you haven’t got an iron handy and there’s no breakables or other issues, hammer the envelope.

4)Otherwise, prepare everything a day or two in advance of posting and spend some time sitting on the envelopes to flatten them.

5)When you are sure all your mail is slimline enough for the wafer thin Post Office measuring template, stick stamps on it and post.

COUNTER WITCHES AND BROOMSTICK MAIL

Spurred on with the Xmas wrapping and posting, a couple of calendars left these shores by surface mail, two days after the last posting date. (click link)

My package for Western Europe was in good time – Halloween- and I requested surface mail for it from the orange headed witch – cum – counter – clerk. After tapping her counter computer box, she informed me the rate was not available. She could not have written or read the enormous hand written last posting dates notices stuck on the counter windows. “Western Europe”, I read, “last posting date 22nd November” .

She shook her head and then there was light…”It’s right at the end of the list” she stated

The cost was £5.40p……”Really…so, how much will airmail be?” I asked, incredulously. 8|

A bit more tapping around on the counter box; obviously happy, Counter Witch had found Western Europe, she triumphantly announced…..£4.60p. It didn’t take high level maths calculations to work out that airmail was a whole £1 sterling cheaper!! I refrained from asking if transit by broomstick might be more economic.

I asked her to check the surface mail cost again. Counter-witch’s brow furrowed. A moment, and a few taps later….yes, she said, that’s right. It doesn’t make sense does it.
:crazy:

I opted for airmail, even if the package got to it’s destination far too early, reminding counter witch to deduct the cost of the stamp I had already stuck on the package. She forgot to do it.

Was I paying in cash…if so, the transaction data could be input and some plus and minus keys could be tapped out at the end of the sale. There was a quick explanation on how to do it from the manageress, which got muddled up. Patiently, I waited till counter-witch and I got the all-clear.