Patience Rewarded

A few days ago, our friend Barrie sent me a CD of his weekly radio programme in which he had featured my post ‘Death Of The Brown Velvet Suit’. A day or so afterwards I received a ripped open envelope with nothing inside, packaged in The Post Office’s transparent apology envelopes. These containers bear a phone number for complainants to use. Suspecting a deliberate act here, I retained the package, intending to check with Barrie.

Today, a lengthening thread on Streetlife, the local internet noticeboard, was begun. Apparently this is now rife in our area. I smelt a rotten apple, and telephoned the complaints department. This is what I then posted on Streetlife:

‘I have just phoned the complaints department. After the usual string of options, I got a person. I made it clear that this problem is rife in the area, and that ‘someone in your office is tampering with our mail’. I was given a reference number, a promise to report it immediately, and also of a written response. Watch this space’.

Damaged envelopeMy own notes have been added to the envelope.

Jackie has done a marvellous job of eradicating most of the more persistent brambles and sticky Willies. Today I put in my twopenn’orth and cleared the few I could find.

Bee on geranium palmatum

Here is the now customary bee picture. This one collects nectar from a geranium.

The parent starlings, striving to satisfy their boisterous brood, are now becoming quite cantankerous with me. In fact I was thankful I was not another starling, such as the one Jackie had seen yesterday daring to approach this family’s territory. Starlings normally gather in a murmuration, such as that collective that stole the chips at Mudeford on September 9th 2013. But not, apparently, when they are rearing chicks. Our pair saw off the intruder in no uncertain terms. They are satisfied with warning me off from a safe distance.Starling 1

Now they perch on the rooftop for a while, squawking at me, fly off in a feint

Starling 3

then return,

Starling 2

drop down, and dive into the facia.

How they can create such a racket with their beaks so full is beyond me. It took three days of intermittent standing with varying degrees of patience to get these shots.

There was a queue outside Mr Pink’s fish and chip shop in Milford on Sea, where another bout of stationary waiting around was rewarded by the usual fresh and crisp cod, chips, and pickled onions that we enjoyed sitting in the car on the sea front.Queue outside Mr Pink's

The gentleman in the check shirt told me that this queue was nothing. It usually trailed many yards down the road. Whilst enjoying our meal and, in Jackie’s case, Hoegaarden, and mine, the last of the Cotes du Rhone, we watched a soaring seagull make a beeline for the P&O cruise ship Adonia passing yachts and the Isle of Wight on its way out to the ocean.P&O cruise ship and yachts on The SolentP&O cruise ship passing Isle of Wight

This made me think of our friend Jessie, who is rather partial to her cruises.


  1. I never realised that the Isle of Wight was so close to the mainland. And I had to Google Sticky Willies – which thank goodness over here we call goosegrass and not something else… And I had forgotten the word murmuration! This blogging business should replace ever having to go to school!

    1. Many thanks, Bruce. ( I once set a crossword, I think for the Saturday Independent advanced cryptic, based on collective nouns, when, e.g., you solved a clue giving you starling it wouldn’t fit because you had to enter murmuration, and vice versa, so the answer murder would require the entry crow.

      1. OMG! A bloody genius follows my blog! I could never finish a crossword like that! Not in a month of Saturday Independents! A wonderful talent to have created such things Derrick.

  2. Derrick, Although you got nowhere with the postal department…when my mail was ripped open and money stolen last year, neither the post office nor the police even bothered to take a report. I moved my mailbox. It is kind of an invasion!

  3. Derrick, so sorry about your mail, but your photos keep me wanting more. The starling and bee pix are stunning.Fish and chips? I can’t ask for more.

    1. Thanks Luanne. Glad you appreciate the pics. I only lost a CD of a friend’s radio programme in which he featured one of my posts. He will hand deliver another copy

  4. Sadly Royal Mail is not as reliable as it once was. Nowadays, if I must send anything by ‘snail mail’, I pay the bribe known as ‘Signed For’, so I can be sure it reaches the other end. Your parent starlings sound just as protective as ours. The youngsters have fledged now, though they are still returning to the nest in our roof in the evening. We find they hide out there when it’s very cold in winter too.

  5. Terrible thing having your mail ransacked. It is just wrong wrong wrong… Good luck with the complaint process and fingers crossed for a result.
    Your awe inspiring pictures of the nature which surrounds you keeps me coming back for more. Just lovely, thank you.

  6. I liked how you tried to reach the complaint department of the post office and how you wanted to get down to the root of the problem. I have had things ripped open by the stamp scanning machine. I don’t think any postal workers here would try to get into our mail. They are well paid and usually pretty nice. I liked the hanging plant with pink flowers and the starlings.
    The Isle of Wight pictures showed bright blue water and sky. Your blog photos have always been superb, Derrick.

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