Lost Mail and Trashed Houses: A Mini Rant (and A Couple of Great Songs)

Like many of us at the moment, I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time waiting in call centre queues, or more commonly nowadays chatbox queues (where you eventually find out you’re communicating with a robot), trying to fix some error or problem that really shouldn’t have happened. It can be very frustrating and I have a few ongoing situations that just never seem to get resolved. So, rather than moan about the fact that HM Customs are now charging us a hefty fee to have some of our bespoke items lost in the mail returned to us (they were sent abroad so we missed the delivery deadlines)…, rather than moan about the fact my last guests at the holiday hideaway pretty much trashed the place…, time to think of some songs to share.

The recent cyber-attack affecting International Mail seriously impacted small businesses

I wrote about him around here once before, but our regular postman has sadly now retired. At the time everyone seemed shocked I knew my postman so well and spent time shooting the breeze with him of a morning, but when he took on the job later in life he decided to approach it that way. When he retired there was an outpouring of good wishes on our local neighbourhood Facebook group and in some streets Happy Retirement banners were put up. Things have not been the same since he retired and although there is nothing he could have done about the missing international packages, I do think he might have been able to help with my current returns issue.

In that last post I shared the song Please Mr. Postman and I featured the versions by the Beatles and the Carpenters. This time let’s go way back in time to 1961 and listen to the original by The Marvelettes. These girls formed the very first successful all-female group and this song was the first No. 1 single for Motown. As we all know, the hits from that label then kept on coming, but despite their early success The Marvelettes were soon eclipsed in popularity by their rivals The Supremes. The song seems to have been written by a veritable committee but one of those committee members has a very familiar surname, Brian Holland, he who went on to write many of Motown’s hits during their peak hit-making period with his brother Eddie and Lamont Dozier. Between them they helped define the Motown sound in the 1960s. (Music clip the Carpenters version.)

Please Mr. Postman by the Carpenters:

As for my last guests trashing my lovely wee holiday hideaway in The Highlands, pretty much everyone experiences it at some point and we just have to suck it up. The booking platforms’ systems are flawed (people book under ‘borrowed’ accounts), and as they get the lion’s share of the fee from the guest, not the host, that old adage about the customer always being right generally holds true.

Not my actual place but shocking what some some people will do

A song that came to mind when I thought of houses, was this one, A House Is Not A Home written by my favourite songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. We lost Burt recently so the BBC dedicated a large chunk of it’s weekend schedules to him, one of the shows part of a BBC Electric Proms concert Burt gave at London’s Roundhouse in 2008. Burt was aged around 80 at this point so the voice is not what it was but when I watched this performance on Saturday Night I was quite moved. Oh and for the record, when it comes to holiday lets a house is most definitely not a home, however hard we try to please. Some guests treat it simply as a product to be used and abused, which I still find shocking as I would always leave a place as I found it (and sometimes in better shape).

A House Is Not a Home by Chris Golfer:

Anyway, apologies for the mini-rant, but sometimes our blogs are the best place for such outpourings. Everything will be resolved in due course I’m sure but goodness me, just so time-consuming (and less time for blogging). I shall return no doubt in a better frame of mind.

Until next time…

A House Is Not a Home Lyrics
(Song by Burt Bacharach/Hal David)

A chair is still a chair, even when there’s no one sittin’ there
But a chair is not a house and a house is not a home
When there’s no one there to hold you tight
And no one there you can kiss goodnight

A room is still a room, oh, even when there’s nothin’ there but gloom
But a room is not a house and a house is not a home
When the two of us are far apart
And one of us has a broken heart

Now and then I call your name
And suddenly your face appears
But it’s just a crazy game
When it ends, it ends in tears

Pretty little darling, have a heart, don’t let one mistake keep us apart
I’m not meant to live alone, turn this house into a home
When I climb the stairs and turn the key
Oh, please be there, sayin’ that you’re still in love with me, yeah

I’m not meant to live alone, turn this house into a home
When I climb the stairs and turn the key
Oh, please be there, still in love
I said still in love
Still in love with me, yeah

Are you gonna be in love with me?
I want you and need you to be, yeah
Still in love with me
Say you’re gonna be in love with me
It’s drivin’ me crazy to think that my baby
Couldn’t be still in love with me

Are you gonna be, say you’re gonna be
Are you gonna be, say you’re gonna be
Are you gonna be, say you’re gonna be
Well, well, well, well
Still in love, so in love, still in love with me?
Are you gonna be

Say that you’re gonna be

Still in love with me, yeah
With me, ohh
Still in love with me, yeah

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days. I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 57 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team, Bacharach and David. The opening line to that song was, "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

14 thoughts on “Lost Mail and Trashed Houses: A Mini Rant (and A Couple of Great Songs)”

    1. I find it unfathomable how anyone could spend a few days in a place where they never wash a dish, never wipe down worktops, break two blinds, spill stuff on the carpets and sofas then leave as if nothing has happened. I on the other hand am the model guest.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sorry to hear about the bad experiences, especially with the “guests” (I’m with Basil Fawlty on those guys). Still, it’s good that you can use your blog as an outlet to vent. Much cheaper than a psychiatrist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good old Basil Fawlty (although it couldn’t be made nowadays could it).

      As for the venting, I used to do it quite a lot but have been reigning it in of late. These last few months have just been unbelievable though (in terms of running businesses) and this week it tipped me over the edge. Bloggers Circle Psychiatry – we should market it.


    1. Thanks John – as I said to Rol, you trundle on but this week has just been unbelievable and think it’s tipped both of us over the edge. My walking buddy was made redundant last week and she’s actually delighted as she can get off the hamster wheel for a while (she has a very stressful job with night shifts built in). Think I’m at that stage too.

      Yes, I’ll get the spark back but just wanted to explain why my output rate is down at the moment.


    1. Not really troubles so I shouldn’t overegg the pudding, but lots and lots of really annoying things happening on an almost daily basis at the moment. Makes you wonder why you bother providing a good service when there are so many obstacles put in your way and customers who just don’t respect what you’ve done.


  2. That’s just awful and no surprise you’re finding it tough, we just don’t need these extra worries/hassles in life. No need to apologise either – as Rol says, it’s good therapy to be able to have a rant amongst friends here if you need it. Can the guests be named and shamed, so to speak, in any formal way? I know I can’t use certain words on here but the one that springs to my mind straight away is to do with behinds and orifices…
    Hope there won’t be any repeats now of either the post or b&B problem, here’s to better days ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jings, Alyson, that’s awful 😲 our sympathies to you and Mr WIAA. I’ve given up having expensive electronic items (ok, TVs) delivered from south – the occasional breakage or “gone missing” is compounded by the fact that there is usually two separate couriers involved and pinning down responsibility is impossible. As far as the cost of living crisis is concerned, changing supermarket has been a revelation, and we wish we’d done it sooner!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You too Graeme have the issue of being Highlands and Islands – a straightforward delivery for everyone else suddenly becomes a marathon of logistics. Shouldn’t really be the case for us as on the A9 with a train station and airport nearby but often a surcharge – I sympathise.


  4. Someone losing some things then charging you to return them seems a bit off as does someone leaving your property in such a mess.
    Hopefully as Yass once sang things can only get better
    You should continue to use this platform to get things of your chest if it helps.
    You are among friends

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right CC it does seem a bit off. Just more trying to sort things out but that’s life isn’t it.

      This blog used to very much be my web diary too but been sticking to the music of late. Quite nice to have a bit of a rant now and again though. I will return to business as usual asap.


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