I suppose when one is in a bad mood one notices minor irritations more, and one allows them to blow up out of ALL proportions until they become MAJOR irritations a.k.a domestic catastrophes. And then something occurs like the real catastrophe that happened in Paris on Friday and one's own irritations are shoved firmly back into perspective and one thinks how lucky one is, really, with one's own life and circumstances.
But still...(and for the purposes of a ranty blog)...it has been one mightily irritating week here at Much Malarkey Manor.
Firstly, Christmas shopping. Normally, I'd have it all done and dusted by now but after enjoying enormously the low-key non-commercial Christmas we had last year I wasn't in a rush to revert to 'The Old Ways' of blind panic vis a vis shopping, and thusly decided a bit of genteel on-line shopping was in order. One book for good friend duly ordered from Amazon. And somehow, during the payment process, Amazon decided I had elected to have a free trial of Amazon Prime. I had not. I know this for 100% positive certain. I rarely use Amazon these days, and I always opt for the free delivery items anyway, and so why would I want to pay monthly for the privilege of a service I do not need, nor nay indeed want?
So I had to go through the rigamarole of cancelling the free trial I didn't want and will now be in a certain state of paranoia that Amazon will ignore my cancellation and start stealing money from my credit card regardless on 8th December.
Anyway, the book duly arrived via courier and into the greenhouse as per my delivery request. Which is more than can be said for the next pressie I ordered from a lovely lady who runs a lovely independent shop up 't North. She sent an email on Monday thanking me for my order and saying it had been dispatched. On Wednesday I got home to one of those red Royal Mail delivery cards saying the parcel had been taken back to the depot because it was too big to go through the letterbox. On Thursday I drove to the depot which takes an age now as two new housing estates have appeared this summer and it's like Milton Keynes roundabout-wise. I handed over my red card and identification and, after much tapping on and frowning at her computer, the counter assistant said there was no parcel.
'But I have a card,' I pointed out. She agreed this was the case. 'I'll go and check out the back,' she said. 'It might not have been registered yet as being returned to depot.'
She was gone an AGE. But no - no parcel. 'Your postman is Gary, isn't it?' she said. I shrugged. I don't know these things. 'When he comes back from his round I'll ask him what he did with the parcel,' she said.
'Brought it back here, according to this card,' I said, trying not to grind my teeth.
Anyway, the counter assistant took a photocopy of the card, returned the original to me, said she'd phone as soon as she had spoken to Gary and arranged for the parcel to be delivered on Saturday.
Gone on - ask me. Has she phoned? Did the parcel arrive on Saturday?
Did it buggery no!
So tomorrow I shall have to go to the depot again and find out where my parcel has gone. Aaarghhh!!!!!
Next, I ordered Andy's Christmas present for me to collect as there was no way I was having it delivered . Got an email - 'Please collect on Friday 13th or Saturday 14th.'
So on Friday I went to collect my order and guess what? Yup...not there.
'Oh, it'll probably be in tomorrow,' said the assistant, a bit too breezily if you ask me. 'There's been a system failure.'
Oh yeah? It's always a 'system' failure, isn't it? Something is ALWAYS wrong with the 'system.'
'That's no good,' I said.'I have to collect it now. I was told it would be ready to collect today.'
The assistant did one of those non-committal shruggy things. 'You can come back tomorrow.'
'No I can't,' I said. 'I am in London all day tomorrow. Which is why I am here today, as requested by the email.' And I left. Grinding my teeth.
(Heather took me to London to see the Dawn French show yesterday. It was HILARIOUS!! And we had a lovely lunch in Bella Italia and got home in time to see Strictly, just as promised.Fab!)
Now, I could go back to collect Andy's present tomorrow, because I doubt it will have been sent back or sold to anyone else despite it now being 'Out of Time' for collection. BUT as I haven't yet paid for it, and because I am still in a fit a pique about service-provider imcompetencies, I have decided not to. In fact, I found the exact same product at a different retail outlet at £10 cheaper, so, having decided my non-collection débâcle has led to a moment of serendipity, I have re-ordered the aforesaid (but secret) item and will take my business elsewhere, thank you very much.
Tomorrow, our new living room carpet (blue) is being fitted, and this morning I have taken the opportunity to refresh the paint on the walls (pink...well, 'heather') because I can slosh paint around without worrying about it getting onto the old carpet.
All I can say is that it had BETTER go well tomorrow. My parcel had better be at the Post Office depot, the carpet and fitter had better arrive, and well, you know, it had better be a day of NO hassle or I may just have to run around screaming and eating massive amounts of chocolate. It is a method, Dawn French assured us yesterday, that has served her well for stress-relief over the years.