The following is perfectly timed to coincide with this story (which the Normalizer commented on) and an item I heard on Radio 2 news today, about a Staffordshire postie who had 17 000 items of stolen mail stashed in his house.

This morning, I came downstairs to find in my post a thick envelope from a photo developing lab I use, wrapped inside a plastic container from the Royal Mail. The container was printed with a message from the same offering me their “SINCERE APOLOGIES” for any loss or damage that had “occurred” to the contents.

I scrabbled it open, thinking to myself “Christ, they’ve destroyed my Paris photos, the useless bastards“. The envelope was unsealed, battered and stained, and the film holder inside wasn’t holding any film or prints—if it ever had. All that was left was a bunch of ads from the lab and a covering letter apologizing for their not being able to enclose an up-to-date price list. Apparently they were still updating it when they sent the letter out—back in March 2002.

(In the same pile of letters were a VISA bill from 25Mar02 and an invitation to try out my old college’s alumni site posted on 12Aug02. I wonder when the rest of 2002’s post will arrive.)