Dear So-and-so, it’s been a while

I’ve been missing out on all the ranty fun but I’m back!!!


Dear Tesco,

Your signs are wrong. You do not need to see “ID” to buy alcohol, you need to see proof of age. The fact that such proof is often on a document that identifies a person is irrelevant, you don’t care what my name is but only when I was born.

Yes I know I’m being picky but still, NFAH


Dear Tesco,

Further to that last message, in your parking lot there is a strange aberration. When the pedestrian/bike path has to cross the vehicular traffic lane, the markings switch from pedestrians-left-bikes-right to pedestrians-right-bikes-left. Crossing over the pedestrians and bikes at a busy store and in the middle of the car lanes seems like a bad idea to me, but whatever.

I still shop there, NFAH


Dear Previous Occupants of my Current Flat,

When I moved in, the landlady gave me two names and forwarding addresses for previous occupants. I was rather confused, as I couldn’t understand why I would have to redirect your mail/post. I came to find out that in the UK, the Royal Mail does not forward your mail for free the way the USPS does, and you have to pay a nominal fee (roughly £40 for a year) for forwarding service. That was interesting in itself. The UK post rules appear even more interesting, in that one is (apparently, I am no lawyer) not allowed to just chuck post for previous occupants in the mail but must forward it or return it to sender. I hadn’t chucked it away but piling it in a corner to deal with later when I got an email forwarded from my landlady several months into my living here, from a previous tenant asking about why some post had not been forwarded. I ended up getting my secretary to help me with making return to sender labels because I was receiving vast amounts of post that was seemingly important, like things from the NHS with “confidential” stamps on it, and I did not want to get into trouble from not having forwarded it. But it has also become clear that there were far more than 2 (more like 5) people living here or receiving post at this address and I only had names and addresses for two.

Fascinated by the vagaries of UK snail-mail laws when surely most important communication is done electronically these days, NFAH


Dear sister,

I can’t wait for you to arrive and for us to have our fun little annual trip together. Will we be able to find Korean food in Spain? And will we be able to find a good weekend brunch with great bloody marys?

Love, NFAH


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13 responses to “Dear So-and-so, it’s been a while

  1. But they ask for ID over here. I thought you’d be used to that by now. Or are you just in “that” kind of mood – like I am most of the time?

    Re the mail – just send it back to the sender and let them sort it out. Much better over here when you can have it forwarded for free. If you remember.

    • I don’t think I’d ever really thought about the use of “ID” for age before tonight, so yes that’s more of a general rant than a US-UK one… but true nonetheless!

      And yes, my awesome secretary made me three or four pages of return-to-sender stickers and I just plop them on the envelopes and pop them in the big red box (as opposed to the US blue boxes). But in the US I just chucked out mail for prior occupants…

  2. I forgot one:

    Dear Santa,

    Thanks for my mostly lovely Christmas presents but no thanks for the other one: I was not asking for eczema on my hands this year.

    Suffering, NFAH

  3. Huh, that’s news to me regarding mail for previous tenants. It’s pretty amazing that it’s the new tenant’s responsibility to return/forward the mail! I was keeping the previous tenant’s mail for a few months, but I eventually tossed it. She never paid her council tax and I had collectors threatening me for her owed taxes, so I’m not too concerned about getting her mail to her!

  4. It seems only polite – and not much effort to forward mail (and catches the bits missed by the postman if you do have forwarding setup). It also seems the best way to get it to stop.

    Karen, was some of your previous tenant’s mail council tax bills perhaps?

    • Chris, there’s a difference between a letter here and there and the volume of mail I was getting. But I also disagree that there is an implied need for “politeness” here–my time is valuable and I am being asked to spend some of my valuable time providing a service for free that is available for a nominal fee? I’ll forward the mail if they each send me the £40 Royal Mail charges! Ridiculous!

  5. I totally agree with the whole having to forward post or return it to the sender thing. I still get lots of post for a previous tennant when they haven’t lived here for a year and a half! If something’s important they should remember to inform the company/bank/nhs of their move! And if they forget, its my view that they know where their post is being sent, so they can always knock on my door and ask for it!

  6. 3theperfectnumber

    Dear,
    Sorry for your eczema..there is an excellent remedy..UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER it can be purchased from AMAZON UK I reccomend it …it is healing for many skin troubles. as well as being cheap.

  7. for your eczema..I reccomend UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER .it is excellent for many skin troubles. you can purchase from AMAZON.UK very fast delivery…as well as fast results for your exzema. I have been using it on my grandbaby’s skin, he had follicolitis spreading on his thighs and the back of his arms, the peadiatrician prescribed cortisone based cream, fresh water would have had the same effect…I read about SHEA BUTTER from an American blogger, she reccomended shea butter for stretch marks..My baby’s legs healed completely in a month. Since then I gave some to a friend who has psoriasis…the results have been extraordinary. Happy new year….

  8. I kept getting mail for my landlords while I was at the old house. I kept taking it to my letting agent to let them sort out.

    • Mine’s a private letting and my landlady is an expat living in Asia so I can’t just offload the post onto her. Thank goodness for my secretary making return to sender labels to save me time!

  9. Re: not being able to get “decent” crackers here, I am compelled to ask whether you’ve tried Tuc crackers, Ritz crackers or McVities Cheddars? All of which are closer to what seems to be offered in the US than a cream cracker, water biscuit or butter puff. Also, whilst there isn’t much in the way of decent soya based meat substitute, Quorn (which is a mycoprotein based meat substitute) does a really good job. As does Sosmix, in my opinion, although if you’re not used to UK sausages, this one may be an acquired taste. By the way, I’m not a vegetarian, but will happily eat Quorn and Sosmix, if only to lower the animal fat portion of my food quota.

    • I’ve tried Tuc and Ritz but they’re all sort of… crumbly… compared with a Cheez-it or a Wheat Thin or a Triscuit. Just not the same texture.

      And I do buy Quorn here, but it gets old fast. In the US there is much more variety in texture in the meat-free products, say from a beef-style burger to a chicken-style patty to bacon to sausages, whereas Quorn is just Quorn shaped into different shapes and still has the same taste and texture, IMHO.

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