You’re not supposed to open the post belonging to other people.  Isn’t it supposed to be illegal?  And we don’t.  Usually it gets popped straight back into the postbox with a “Return to sender, not known at this address” note scrawled across the front.  This usually works simply because most of the post has a return address on the back of the envelope. 

So why is it that the really important post never does have?  A couple of months ago we received a letter addressed to the previous occupant.  We opened it purely because there was no return address and we wanted to know who to return it to.  It was from a solicitor’s office.  We were straight on the phone making it clear that he didn’t reside here these days.  Last week we received the second of the letters to have no return address.  The problem with these letters is that because they have no return address you know damn well they’re going to be really important.  It was.  It was a fine, presumably for speeding, imposed upon him in court at the beginning of the month.  In his absence. 

So I’ve spent a good half hour of my time this evening writing a letter to the courts to explain that he doesn’t live here, hasn’t lived here since 21st May, and we have no idea where he lives now.  I’ve directed them to the letting agents. 

I do know that it won’t get sorted and that we’ll get another letter in a month or so asking why the fine hasn’t been paid.  Again we’ll open it because we won’t know who to return it to.  Again I’ll have to waste some of my time writing them a letter – phoning is impossible due to the opening times and the spare time we both have during the working day.  Then one day I fully expect that there’ll be a knock at the door and it will be the bailliffs.  And we’ll have to prove that we’re not Paul Bloody C*****y. 

Some people love to cause problems.  And some people love to make those problems worse by not adding a return address to their envelopes.


Tomorrow is the last day of my first half term at the secondary support centre.  I find it hard to believe that the time flies by so quickly.  I suppose that the good aspect of that is it means I must like the job.  And I do.  Really.  Each day is different. The kids can never make up their minds whether to be happy, sad or naughty from one half of the day to the next.  My timetable is never the same from one week to the next.  I’m making firm friends with my colleagues, to the extent that I can now take the proverbial out of a couple of them … it always takes a bit of time to find that boundary of acceptableness and I never like to approach that until I know people fairly well. 

And after work I get to take the train to Gip for a night of drinking with Sam.  How exciting!  I’ll hear all the gossip.  I love to hear gossip.  I’m very much a girl in that respect.   I never used to like gossip.  It must be because I’m approaching middle age.  The Mrs Mangle Syndrome.  Peering through the net curtains at all the widdlings of the neighbours.

I fully expect to become like Mrs Mangle.  I want to be the neighbour that everyone fears because she knows exactly what is going on.  We have a neighbour like that.  Apparently we quite upset her.  The other morning the little old dear, Monica, from over the road “accidentally bumped” into The Blokey as he got into his new car.  She didn’t know who’s car it was.  She hadn’t seen the old car for a while.  Could she have tried putting two and two together?  Maybe she did and came up with five.  Goodness knows what goes on in the heads of little old ladies.  The Blokey called her an interfering busybody.  Not to her face, obviously.  As he got into his car she was pottering about with hers and he noticed her muttering the numberplate of our newbie to herself.  I suppose it is quite sweet.  She just wants to feel safe in her own home.  And it must be quite confusing to be elderly and live in an area of predominantly young people who move on quickly because most of them are just renting.  At that time of life I imagine you just want some stability and sameness.

Goodness I have waffled on.  Tired minds …

please God bless the little old dears who inhabit this world xxx Elsabeth



  1. Awww, some olds do like their routines, and that new spangly motor has upset that old dear’s routine big style.
    I had a similar occurrence re post (and yes, I agree – why does none of the important stuff have return addresses?).  When I was a student, I moved into my house in the second year to discover that Britannia Music were owed almost £100 by the previous occupant.  My landlord had no forwarding address, so I had to ring them and write, explaining the situation.  We then received a baliff warning whatsit thingy, so I rang them again and had to get them to contact my landlord.  Fortunately that was the last I heard.. I did have visions of my guitars being taken to pay his CD fines though…

  2. I am so glad that you are enjoying your job! I hate getting mail for people who lived there previously…b/c as you said there is no return address and no way of reaching the person b/c you don’t even know them.
    I have little old ladies that live on the floor underneath mine and they do seem to know all that is going on in the neighborhood! Kinda nice to know someone is watching out for me but kinda freaky too!
    I don’t think there is a rule for making a comment on every topic covered in an entry, but I always think of things to add to your comments…you’re just so dag on interesting!

  3. I’ve had the experience of getting other people’s mail but usually it’s people who’ve never even lived there.  I’ll never figure that out.
    Yes, little old ladies can sometimes be quite the busybody but I agree with you that they’re just trying to get some peace in their old age after a lifetime of hectic activity.  Well, some of them.  I think some older people are just trying to stir up trouble.

  4. Don’t even talk to me about post for previous occupiers. We got a letter from the DVLA. I opened it, thinking it was for Lee’s heap of crap. It wasn’t. It was for the girl who lived here before, only i don’t have her new address and this is quite important vehicle registration details….

  5. My housemate and her boyfriend have recently bought a house together and are moving in tomorrow.  They keep getting similarly unmarked mail for the previous owner, and opening it just in case.  The last one turned out to be from bailiffs saying that if they didn’t pay up in full, they (the bailiffs) were coming round on Thursday and would ‘knock the door in and take the stuff inside’.  They’re bloody glad they opened the post now, lemme tell ya.. Turns out the old owner owes around £4k that they know of!

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