Monday, December 1, 2008

Post Tripped

I want my weekend back.

Firstly, I'm not certain that Saturday even counts as a day. If it doesn't get light, that's not a day, it's just a 40 hour long night. When I first told people I was moving to England, they all gleefully told me about the long, dark Winters. I haven't really minded the dark so far. It doesn't matter when it gets dark, if I'm stuck in an office all day. It can get dark at lunch for all I care.

But this wasn't just a case of it getting dark at 3:30pm. It was freezing cold, with pea-soup fog all day. It never got light at all. Cars were driving around with their lights on at lunch. That's just wrong.

Whatever the conditions, I had a job to do. I donned my woolley hat, mittens, neck gator, Winter jacket, and boots, and - with my glasses rapidly misting - I strode forth. I finished my Xmas shopping, got back home, wrapped the presents, and headed back into town to the post office. The POs are closed on Sundays, so I had to get this finished by 5:30 on Saturday. Racing against the clock, I got to the shop, bought a parcel box, presents wouldn't fit, bought a larger box, bundled it up to the counter and asked for the postage cost. I was hoping to get some change from a 10 pound note.

54 pounds. 54 freakin' pounds. When the guy at the counter said "54 pounds", I actually made a BOOF sound, like I'd been punched in the guts. I'm sorry Mum and Dad. I love you, but...54 pounds? I'll take photos of your presents and emailed them to you. Remember, it's the thought that counts.

I flashed the guy my "go on, be a pal" smile, but I'd eaten a German hotdog for lunch at the market, and I probably had dessicated pork bits in my braces. It didn't convince him to lower the cost any.

{Mental note. Remember to phone my agent RE: possible new Bond villain - Wursttooth. A porcine-dentured malcontent driven insane by the English postal service and trychinosis.}

After my recent entry about the absence of school exercise books, my Mum kindly sent me one. Because I live in a row of terraced flats, we have a mail slot in the door. The postman folded the parcel in half and crammed it through the slot. English postal service: You all around totally suck.


Maybe I'm being melodramatic about the weather. I've just spotted a little grey squirrel running around in the garden. I thought all the squirrels had flown south for the Winter by now, but this one's out there, doing the hard yards, fighting the elements, and he just did a big power dive from the tree to the top of the fence. He's the Richie McCaw of the squirrel world.

Wasn't there a Beatrix Potter story where all the squirrels walled Squirrel Nutkin up in his hole to starve? How horrific. How come Richard III became a villain for doing that, but Beatrix Potter is a beloved children's author?

Speaking of rugby, I forgot the game. When I remembered, I only lasted for 1 minute before I got bored. I'm a bad, bad patriot.

No photos this week. Norwich is going to have to wait. With all the good will in the world, I'm not going out that door if the excursion has to be akin to Amundsen's. No one wants to read a blog post featuring the phrases "frostbiten stumps" and "frozen cadaver".

{Monday update: Split the package into 2 parcels and sent them. 24 pounds total. Not too bad. Smashed my previous Christmas preparedness record by 24 days.}

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