Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Ordeal by post office

I have been on an adventure to buy the latest issue of stamps due out today. My first stop was a post office in the city, inside a stationer's (because I wasn't sure I'd be able to find a nice little post office since the one I visited in April closed due to retirement and pending relocation).  It was a busy morning there with over a dozen people in the queue for two counters (a third position was closed), to send parcels, letters, to check a passport application and to exchange Sterling for Euros. I watched the screen showing adverts for Post Office and Royal Mail services - travel money, insurance, broadband, yet no sign of stamps old or new. Fifteen minutes of queuing, I finally get to a counter. I ask for the new issue of stamps that came out today to be told Pink Floyd was due out next month and there is no issue of stamps today. I spoke again to say it was the World War I stamps. Their reply was no, they had sent them back yesterday because they were recalled and withdrawn. I left unimpressed and unhappy. So, I jumped on a bus to a little town with a little post office inside a card shop, stood in a little queue but the atmosphere was already better. The post office staff sounded cheerful with their customers. My turn came and the lovely sub-postmistress said that it was the presentation packs that were recalled and she still had the stamp issue to sell. She let me buy a few miniature sheets and I also bought some of the first class stamps. I didn't bother with the £1.52. She said that she will have the Pink Floyd stamps in so I shall go and visit her next month.

Afterwards, I went for a little walk and found some post boxes to photograph!
It is a pity I didn't have a letter finished to feed this one with. I only feed a few post boxes around my town. I have a choice of 2 if it is raining (both in supermarkets), or if weather is OK, then either in the centre of town (two boxes next to each other, the left one doesn't get fed as much) or one at the shop round the corner from where I live (and is of this style).

This one is outside the old post office in Menai Bridge and is near the new post office. I wonder which side gets the most post. 
I passed other post boxes today but I didn't really notice them. I only noticed 8 but I know there are more than that on the route I took. 

Monday, 6 June 2016

Notecards, stamps, a post office closure

Last month, one of the little post offices I visited closed for good, due to retirement. The town will have a new post office but in the Spar. Anyway, the little post office had a closing down sale and I bought some blank cards. I don't use many cards as they are too heavy for international use (well, for the 20g rate) but I can use them for domestic mail. I love this one:

A Great Auk drawn with character. I have a correspondent who likes bird-watching so perhaps this card could be used for her.

The pen, by the way, is a Jinhao and when I showed it to a friend, he wanted one. It is surprisingly comfortable to write with, writing smoothly across the page.

I have a huge pile of post to reply to, but it is all welcome. I was even surprised today by a letter via SendSomething answering the Five Questions I had put up on my profile there.

This was the nice little post office in Beaumaris I went to. Opposite (and behind me taking the photo) is a nice little cafe I could happily sit in all day writing letters. However, I do not live on the Isle of Anglesey and so a trip there is an occasional treat now. Maybe I could still go there after I buy the new issue of stamps from elsewhere. 

I doubt the retired sub-postmaster and sub-postmistress will be reading this but if they do, I hope you enjoy your retirement and new home. I'm sure you won't miss all the paperwork and book keeping weekly.

The last issue of stamps were a bit on the silly side of things. The limbs fold over the edge of the postcard or envelope. However, the stamp issue is in a miniature sheet with two stamps of each value - 1st class, £1.05 (airmail postcard, 10g Worldwide/20g Europe airmail letter), and £1.33 (20g Worldwide airmail letter). There was quite a discussion over on the Norvic Philatelics blog - I wonder how many of this issue will actually be used postally. I have a few sheets so I can use some. However, as a sort of stamp collector, I'm unsure if they'll have much philatelic value. Self-adhesive stamps aren't the easiest of stickers to soak off paper, although there are ways...