Monday, June 16, 2008

Old person moan of the week

(Pictured: A first class stamp - worth "fuck all" these days)

Is it just me or is a first class stamp not worth the paper it is printed on these days? Last week I spent nearly all of my free time filling in countless application forms, printing out CVs, covering letters, personal statements, photocopying documents and articles from times gone by, before folding them nicely into several big friendly brown A4 envelopes to be sent to prospective employers. I dropped them in the post box, listening to them hit the mountain of post with a satisfying rustle. "Good job!" I thought and ran around the park in celebration.

When I got back, I learned that apparently, there are now special stamps for letters over 240 x165 mm and anything over 100g in weight. I was flabbergasted. By the time I realised my error the postie had been, and there was no chance of getting my letters back. All of my work was undone. I might as well have flushed them down the bog. I called Ma Blackwood in the hope of an explanation.

"What's the deal with this?" I demanded.
"Didn't you get the leaflet?" She said, before casting the phone to the ground to brutally discipline one of my many siblings.

No, I did not get the leaflet. After a quick investigation I discovered that the system had been changed while I was in Japan on Her Majesty's secret service. I wailed in affront.

I remember the days when a single first class stamp would allow you to send even a large parcel containing generous amounts of pornography, a pound of raw sausage meat, Gentleman's Relish and a brick anywhere in the UK and it would be there the next day. Guaranteed.

Not so today. It more or less defies the point of even having ordinary first class stamps if you can't even send most birthday cards with them. As for the 100g rule, who has a set of scales just sitting around to weigh an envelope? Women, probably, but not I. I have to rely on guesstimation.

Even worse is the dawning realisation that Royal Mail may have delivered my letters anyway and charged the editors of ten regional newspapers that I want to work for a surcharge of £1.60 plus the postage to read my CV. This will probably not get me a job anywhere.

I know this is a bit of an old person style moan, and you might think that at 25 I've turned a corner into carmudgeonhood, but come on - Big long stamps? Rubbish!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


(Picture: me, Kaki and Uncle Chuck share a couple of laffs)

You know I'd just love to write a big steaming blog for you all to read but sadly things aren't shaping up that way for old Blackwood. I've got so much crap on at the moment it actually hurts. The NCTJ only have a few more flaming hoops for me to jump through before I can get round to actually being employed (properly) as a journalist. I aim to start soliciting myself for a desk sometime this week - I only hope finding a job in journalism isn't as impossible as everybody I have ever talked to says it is.

I've also been busy writing a novel. It's looking more and more like it might eventually get done. I have finally hit two completed chapters which means that it is no longer a short story and it is time to get someone more qualified than myself to look over it and tell me how to make it readable. I will post more on this when there is more to say.

I hit a quarter-century old last week. So much for all you haters who thought I'd have choked to death in a horrific pie-eating accident by now or even been suffocated by my own beard (which I have now shaved off to due cleanliness issues, and the fact it interfered with various mouth related tasks, such as eating and breathing).

No more right now.