The curse of on-line shopping

IMG_0232I am waiting for a parcel to be delivered.  Thoughtfully, the courier has sent a message to say it will be ‘delivered today between 7:00 and 20:00 – Just the thirteen hour window for me to spend waiting then. Thanks.

I didn’t get this message until about 7:30 this morning, so just got up at my normal time 6:50.  I didn’t rush to get showered and dressed. Then I saw the text.

I am now afraid that the doorbell will ring as soon as I:

  • step under the shower.
  • settle on the loo for my morning poo.
  • Give in to the dog’s pleading looks and go and play in the garden with her (she’s not getting her morning walk, that’s just asking for trouble)
  • I get on the phone to any of the people that I promised I would get around to ringing today
  • Try and do anything that requires more than a minute of concentration – it’s a wonder that I’m typing this.

I guess you’ve got the picture.  Much as I love on-line shopping an’ all, the waiting for parcels bit is a such a bore.  Why can’t they give you at least a morning or afternoon slot? Or better still, an hour or two time slot?

My daughter was telling me that in Cardiff Amazon have set up lockers in some shops where you can pick up your parcel whenever you like. This seems a step in the right direction.

But hey, we’re trying not to shop at Amazon – remember the tax stuff? Well, I’m not succeeding anyway, let’s face it they’re cheaper than anywhere else, AND they’ve given me a free trial of Prime, that’s free delivery over the Christmas period, can’t go wrong. I’ll stop using them after my three months honest (except for kindle stuff) (oh, and other things I can’t get cheaper anywhere else…) Oh god, I’m Kaye and I’m addicted to Amazon….

However, I’ve not heard of any scheme like that ‘round these parts, some of the villages around here haven’t even got broadband yet for goodness sake.

What happens in your part of the world?  I hope it’s easier.

Anyhoo, I think for today, I’ll sit and do quiet things, and treat it as time out from the world until the nice man turns up. Lovely.

But boy, do I need that poo…

No Ho Ho

Now I promised myself I wouldn’t write a post about Christmas.  Too obvious.  It’s all been said before. It’ll only be yet another tick in the ‘are you a scrooge’ box.  Bah humbug…

But this is relevant.  Honest it is.  It’s about how not working is even more brill at Christmas time.

I’ll be frank, like many others, I dread Christmas, and the overlong run-up to it.  Good grief, even back in September people were asking me if I’d started my Christmas shopping. No I bloomin’ haven’t.  It’s wrong. Starting that early is wrong.  Suppose I see something better nearer the time? Suppose someone asks for something in particular and I’ve already gone out in mid-summer and bought early? And besides, buying presents should get you in that jolly ol’ Christmas spirit just at the right time.  Should.

In reality,  I’ve always left it to the last minute.  We live in a small market town, which is nice, but not especially good for full-on Christmas shopping sessions, so I’ve always had to take a day off work to go to the nearest shopping mall, and a day is never enough. I’m not one to pick up the first thing I see and buy it.  Oh no.  Instead, I’ll make a mental note and go back to it if I can’t find anything else, which I invariably can’t.  It doubles…triples, the time and stress involved.  Then, of course, you ‘re trying to manouevre through crowded aisles with huge heavy bags that are cutting into your fingers and turning them as blue as the air is from the cursing.

‘why don’t you shop on-line?’ you may ask.  Well, this would be a very sensible option, but of course, working full-time, I have never been home to take in the parcels when they arrive.  I don’t know which I hate more, those cards through the letterbox asking me to ring to arrange another time (I’m always at frigging work don’cha know), or ‘we’ve returned your parcel to the depot.’  Which means a trek across town to queue up while a surly post office bloke searches through a mountain of other peoples parcels before asking me for identification which I more often than not have forgotten to take.

Anyhoo, this year it’s different.  This year I have shopped on-line at my leisure, and been at home to accept my post from the smiley delivery folk, all of whom, to a man/woman, are relieved that for once, someone is home and they haven’t entirely wasted their day.

I’ve also ferreted about in the corners of our town which remain untouched by the pound shops and bargain stores, and managed to find some lovely privately owned shops selling unusual and delightful bits and pieces.  It was actually fun.  You actually get to chat to the shop owners, who actually care.

So despite not having so much dosh to spend (perhaps partly because of that too) this year my Christmas shopping has been, so far, happily, relatively stress-free. Now just need to face the supermarket to stock up on a mountain of seasonal food….ho, bloomin’, hoho…