Monday, 18 January 2016

Excess packaging, flat rate delivery charges and desert island music

                                                 A sunny morning in the nearby woods

The photo has nothing to do with the blog post, but it's one of my favourites, a reminder of sunny days last week when a quick walk in the woods on the way back from the village shop was a nice way to start the day.

I'm starting though with a gripe, well, two actually, as you may be able to tell from the title of the post.

Why oh why do firms use so much packaging? I ordered two bars of handmade soap, a treat for myself, two bars which would have easily fitted into a paperback-sized padded envelope. But they came in a box measuring about twelve inches by eight inches by five inches, full of polystyrene wotsits. I don't know the biodegradable properties of these wotsits, but that's beside the point. They were totally unnecessary, it was way too much packaging for two small items like the soap bars. And this isn't the only example, I could go on to tell you about small items my other half ordered for his model railway, that come in way-too-big boxes, that could again have fitted into small padded envelopes. Presumably these companies find it cheaper to just order one size fits all cardboard boxes?But what a waste, in more ways than one.

Then there's the flat rate postage, again over the top. Items that could be sent for just over a pound yet you have to pay anything from £3.50 to a fiver for delivery. No doubt there are some who will say it's the price you pay for online shopping, but if this is the only way, the best way, to do your shopping, is it fair to have to pay over the top for the privilege?

OK, little rant over, now for something jollier.

A friend and I had been discussing Desert Island Discs and decided to try and do our own version. do you know, it was incredibly hard. Take the music choices for instance... so much music I absolutely love, but some I wouldn't choose because it makes me sad.... the Pearl Fishers Duet by Bizet for example, makes the hairs on my neck stand on end, makes my eyes fill up as it was my late father's favourite piece of classical music and formed part of the background to my teenage life. Then there's Harry Nillsons' 'Without You', another song which affects me deeply on an emotional level as it was 'our song' for my late husband and I, married in 1972 with such hopes, ended four years later when he collapsed and died from a brain haemorrhage.

No, the music would have to be uplifting in some way. So there would be three classical tracks.... Samuel Barber's 'Adagio for Strings', Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 (the music from 'Brief Encounter'), and a piece by Pachabel which I have forgotten the name of now. There would also have to be 'Rockin' all over the world' by Status Quo because that always gets me dancing, and if it was a small desert island there wouldn't be much scope for walking - and I can't swim. Something by Chris Rea is a must, but there are so many favourite tracks it's hard to pick one - though definitely not 'Driving home for Christmas' as this might make me miss home too much. 'La Mer' sung by Bobby Darin is one for the list too, as is something by Sinatra - again hard to choose one track, but possibly 'I've got you under my skin'. 'Tears dry on their own' by Amy Winehouse another definite. And I'd have to have something Tamla, but goodness, there's dozens of favourites, if not hundreds. Maybe  a bit of Northern Soul, possibly Millie Jackson, anything that again would get me moving to the music and lift my mood. Shame you can only pick such a small number, but it does concentrate the mind! But don't get me started on the book choice.....

How about you, could you pick your favourite music?

Thanks, as ever for reading, you happy few!


  1. I wonder about packaging too! Sometimes it is very over the top, and then other times you wonder how the item ever got to you without breaking. I wish that there was some sort of formula they could follow! xx

  2. I agree about the packaging and also about postal charges. I buy a lot of stuff online and sometimes the postage is ridiculous for what they are sending. It really annoys me paying over the top and then seeing it has been sent Royal Mail for a fraction of what I have paid. Choosing for "Desert Island Discs" would be really hard. Millie Jackson is a bit of a blast from the past. My lovely friend used to listen to her and it always makes me smile when I hear it. Xx

  3. Thought provoking post, and another example of a blogger sharing some life history with us, which is a privilege to read. Music is so emotive, I honestly wouldn't know where to start. Rather than complete songs, I might just choose phrases or even certain chords or riffs that just make my hair stand on end. Oh and yes, packaging, I so agree, absolutely crazy, especially when combined with punitive rubbish/recycling collections. X