Thursday, 5 June 2014


There was a time when you had to go to a shop to purchase an item and have cash to cover the cost. (I don't have a good memory of these times but my parents used to tell me). Then came credit cards. Then came the internet and the blossoming of online shopping.

In the early days of internet shopping your goods arrived with the Royal Mail in the morning delivery. If you weren't in they would leave a card and you could collect the package from the local delivery office. Mine was conveniently situated directly on my route home. They seemed to stop actually carrying the packages and would only bring the card (occasionally I would be in when the non-delivery proportedly happened). But I didn't mind too much because it was easy to get the non-deliverable. 

Now with the post office losing its monopoly things are delivered with a huge raft of other mail-handlers. Which is why I found myself in Star Lane, Canning Town, further into the east of  London than I have any cause to be, collecting an item from UKmail's depot after 3 days of struggling to find an appropriate delivery time. This is a back of beyond place. One massive industrial estate spread wide to enable articulated lorries easy access to warehouses. One prefab caf set up on the side of the road to service lorry drivers and warehouse workers. Nobody comes here, particularly by foot. Desolate even on a sunny morning. Inconvenience in the highest order. Not sure competitive mail services are really better for the customer. Particularly when you can't just wait at home for 3 days for a potential delivery. 

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