Bellerophon symbol, variation 7
Wednesday 2nd April 2014

Cockersands Abbey?! How did this occur?!

Monday 7th April 2014

Paris, Day 1

Tuesday 8th April 2014

Paris, Day 2

Wednesday 9th April 2014

Paris, Day 3

Thursday 10th April 2014

Paris, Day 4

Saturday 12th April 2014

A meal out somewhere

Sunday 13th April 2014

Leighton Moss
P4138222.JPGP4138221.JPGP4138218.JPGToday we took Mouse and Simon to Leighton Moss. It's recently dawned on me why I find this place so peaceful: there are no dogs. They don't allow ordinary dogs anywhere on the reserve and I think Guide Dogs (why have I gone upper case there?) are permitted by prior notification but then why would someone with limited or no vision want to visit a bird reserve? So yeah . . . we like it here.

Wednesday 16th April 2014

The Waitrose / CityLink Wine Delivery Disaster, part 1

Thursday 17th April 2014

The Waitrose / CityLink Wine Delivery Disaster, part 2
This might get a bit confusing, with all these dates and times. This entry here is my attempt to log all the trials and tribulations recently faced when trying to get an order of wine delivered to my home. The story spans several days but rather than spread the story over several blog entries, I'm keeping it all here . . . Dates and times are shown in bold, grey type-face.

Also note: CityLink's "Track a parcel" page for this delivery can be seen here: (personal details removed)

Monday 14th April. 12:00
As a leaving present for someone at work (fond of his French red's), I thought I would order a nice gift-set of French red wine. With M******'s help, I managed to track down the 'Fine Red Wine Gift Set' from Waitrose. Around about midday, I placed the order. Keen to have this delivered as soon as possible, I paid for the next day delivery option (£4.95), selecting tomorrow as the delivery date.
Monday 14th April. 12:08
Confirmation order received from Waitrose. I won't bore you with the details of that e-mail . . . just standard order confirmation stuff. The important is this, though:
"Delivery 1 - Tuesday 15 April, 2014"
Monday 14th April. 20:33
According to CityLink:
"These goods have been scanned at the collection Depot and are now on route to the delivery Depot."
Monday 14th April. 21:09
According to CityLink:
"Details of the consignment have been received from the consignor, but the collection Depot has yet to scan any goods."
Tuesday 15th April. 00:13
E-mail received from Waitrose confirming shipment details. Again, this is just a standard automated e-mail. Delivery date is repeated:
"Delivery 1 - Tuesday 15 April, 2014"
Tuesday 15th April. 05:48
According to CityLink:
"These goods have successfully arrived at the Depot ready for delivery."
Tuesday 15th April. 06:29
According to CityLink:
"These goods have been loaded onto a van for delivery today."
Tuesday 15th April. 19:05
At around this time I made a phone call to Waitrose's customer services. Realising that my delivery had not been made today, as promised, I was rattling my brains for plan B, plan C and plan D. The lady I spoke to at Waitrose informed me that the £4.95 delivery charge would be refunded (woo hoo!) and that she might be able to do some speedy delivery from another nearby Waitrose (Manchester?!), in time for delivery tomorrow. The Waitrose lady asked if she could give me a call back, as she needed to ring round a few nearby Waitrose's. I said "yes" but needed to know that she would be calling back before 19:30; this was confirmed, so I ended the call.
Tuesday 15th April. 19:24
According to CityLink:
"These goods are in our network."
Tuesday 15th April. 19:30
Probably sometime before 19:30 . . . Waitrose rang back to inform me that the 'second' delivery attempt would take place tomorrow between midday and 2pm.
Tuesday 15th April. 20:38
Further confirmation that I was indeed home . . . At exactly 20:38 I answered the land-line phone to M******'s dad. M****** was at Sainbury's for some of that time but was back at about 21:00.
Tuesday 15th April. 21:47
According to CityLink:
"There was no one to receive the goods at the delivery point so a card was left."

Now this is the interesting bit. I'm assuming CityLink attempted delivery at 21:47 but without success. Quite what was delivered, where, when and how . . . I have no idea. Save to say that neither myself or M****** was aware of anyone making a delivery at 21:47 and also . . .
So what's going on, CityLink?!
Wednesday 16th April. 06:45
According to CityLink:
"These goods have been loaded onto a van for delivery today."
Wednesday 16th April. 11:55
I left work, getting home about 6 minutes later. During my lunch break, I spoke to two of my neighbours and they confirmed that they would be happy to receive the CityLink delivery on my behalf. Note left on door to that effect.
Wednesday 16th April. 13:15
Left the house, returning back to work.
Wednesday 16th April. 13:30
According to CityLink:
"These goods have been successfully delivered."

According to the 'Track a parcel' notes, the delivery was signed for by 'LAID', whoever the hell that is. Again,
Wednesday 16th April. 17:15
When I got home, as there
, I had to randomly try a few of my neighbours. Eventually working out that my next door neighbour had the parcel in question. At this point we turn to the many photos I've uploaded, which I think speak for themselves . . . P4178247.JPG The photo to my right is my absolute favourite. Just to make this perfectly clear: CityLink had obviously caused substantial damage to my red wine gift box thing, resulting in one broken bottle (out of three) and damage to the remaining bottles and also the gift box itself. Unfortunately I'm not able to convey the strong smell of alcohol emanating from the delivery box, although you can make out various stains and discolouration resulting from escaped wine. So the obvious solution that CityLink went for: re-package the lot in a Virgin Wines box (reminder: my order was placed through Waitrose) and scribble on the side, "1 bottle smashed. 2 okay." I rang back Waitrose to explain all of this to a rather apologetic customer sales person. I was promised a full refund (which has since been received), although that barely covers the pain I've had to go through here. No mention was made of the remaining two bottles of wine.

Friday 18th April 2014

Fell Foot Park

Saturday 19th April 2014

Easter stuff over at Jo and H's

Sunday 20th April 2014

Some kind of Easter cake thing, I'm guessing

Saturday 26th April 2014

Bolton-le-Sands or thereabouts

Sunday 27th April 2014

Farida Group has grown from a tannery to many shoemaking divisions

Monday 28th April 2014

They are often overlooked by predators and collectors
P4288379.JPGP4288380.JPGP4288381.JPGNot entirely what's going on here or where we are. Anyone?! Does this look familiar?