At Newlands last night

40,000 turned up last night at a bitterly cold Newlands to watch the Emerging Boks side taken on what was, in truth, a second string British and Irish Lions team. It was cold, stormy, windy, wet, very wet and very cold, but at least there was red wine and brandy on tap.


The Lions’ new defensive formation left gaps out wide

Of course, that was just for those of us in the posh seats. The guys down in the stands didn’t have such luxuries. Although one of them had a vuvuzela. Naughty! And then, with the Lions 10-0 ahead, Earl Rose set up the ball for a kick at goal (or whatever they call it in egg-chasing) and the heavens properly opened.


So much of rain at Newlands

Rose was unperturbed (although I’m sure I heard him murmur “Bugger!!” under his breath), got Luzuko Vulindlu to lie face down in the mud and hold the ball and went about missing the kick anyway.

Half time and I headed off to expunge the brace of first half Peronis. Now, I know that there is a certain urinal etiquette and that one looks ahead or down, never left or right, but it is kind of difficult to obey the unwritten rules of public weeing when you find a six foot Danger Mouse on your right and a slightly shorter Mr Incredible on your left. Seriously. And then I passed a Ninja Turtle on the way out of the loos. Either the British contingent were there in full fancy dress or those beers had been tampered with.

To cut a cold story short, the game finished 13-13 and we headed home, cold, but satisfied. My car said it was 6°C, but I’m sure it was lying. Either that or the minus sign (never tested) doesn’t work.

Bed never seemed so inviting.

Amazon.co.uk #fail

I got my Dad two brilliant books for Father’s Day. He’ll love them, if amazon.co.uk and their “premium” courier company, ShittyLink, ever actually get around to delivering them.

The story so far = two failed delivery attempts + a wasted day + a stinking email complaint + a grovelling reply.

But still no books.

Bring forth the sarcasm and the crying child: 

Thanks for your last email. I was consoled. 

Briefly. 

However, my father has had to continually ring Citylink and (having stayed in all day as he said he would) has now found out that the parcel has been in Rotherham all day. Poor parcel. But that’s beside the point. 

So – you (or rather your courier) didn’t manage to leave a note when they allegedly came to deliver the parcel on Saturday, didn’t fulfill their obligation to deliver after 10:30am on Monday and have failed to show up at all today despite my Dad wasting his entire day at home. 

In summary, it’s not great, is it? 

You know, I actually have no problem when things sometimes go awry. It happens to all of us from time to time. I used to work in a hospital lab and once almost killed a patient by mistake. (She got better). But when a company has one task – namely to courier goods from one place to another, not anything as taxing as therapeutic drug monitoring (which is really difficult and can easily go wrong) – and they mess it up time and time and time again, it annoys me. When they repeatedly waste the time and effort of their customers, that annoys me more. And when they claim to be offering this as a “premium service” – well, it’s just like some sort of sick joke, isn’t it?
I want to laugh, but I can’t. I hurt too much.

Truly, it probably doesn’t even matter when this order turns up now. You’ve ruined Father’s Day for my Dad; you’ve wasted an entire day of his life today and you’ve wasted his money in having to chase your “premium” courier company all over South Yorkshire on the phone. 

My 3 year old son keeps asking why Granddad hasn’t said thank you for his books. I told him that the useless company I ordered them from couldn’t get their arses into gear to organise a simple delivery. He cried. Copiously.
I reckon that’s basically a whole lifetime of potential orders you’ve lost – and who can blame him? 

I look forward to hearing how you plan to sort this out.

It’s raining here in Cape Town, I’m off to the rugby this evening and have plans for tomorrow as well, so I’d appreciate some sort of solution preferably within 48 minutes and not the 48 hours you promised in your last email. 

Yours, in foolishly optimistic anticipation,

6k.

I’m actually really disappointed. I’ve only used amazon.co.uk three times over the past year or so and this is the second time that they’ve let me down. Suffice to say, it’s going to take a lot to get me to use them again.

Tomorrow: my next letter to them, because the books blatantly aren’t going to arrive plus a report on what could be the muddiest game of rugby ever. It’s been raining HEAVILY for 24 hours all over Newlands. Handling errors deluxe.

Apartments for dwarves

Following the Air France crash over (or rather ‘into’) the Atlantic Ocean a couple of weeks ago, a further incident involving an Airbus A330 has been reported – this time en route from Hong Kong to Perth.

Perth, Australia – A Qantas plane hit turbulence and suddenly lost altitude over Malaysia, throwing terrified passengers around the cabin and leaving seven people injured, the airline said on Monday.
The Airbus A330 with 219 passengers and crew aboard was flying from Hong Kong to the Australian west coast city of Perth overnight when it struck “severe turbulence” over Malaysian Borneo, Qantas said in a statement.

Passengers later described the panic and confusion in the darkened cabin as passengers not wearing seat belts were hurled from their seats.

“It appeared like we’d just dropped out of a 30-storey building,” uninjured passenger Keith Huxtable said. “It was dark … people screamed.”

Passenger Michelle Knight, also not hurt, said the crew told her the plane had plunged 30 metres.

Six passengers and a crew member were treated on board for minor injuries, Qantas corporate affairs manager David Epstein said. The captain reported minor damage inside the cabin, Epstein told Fairfax Radio.

Now, I sincerely hope that I am never involved in an incident such as this, but if I ever am, I would hope to get my thoughts together before speaking to the media once I’m back on terra firma. Because otherwise, I might say something silly.

Take Keith Huxtable, for example. Measurements alone are not enough for him to describe the bumpy ride. No. Keith has to illustrate the distances involved using tangible objects, so we can better appreciate the terror. But he does it very carefully to make it seem a whole lot worse than it actually was.
See how he says it was “like we’d just dropped out of a 30-storey building”? Well, maybe it was – but not from the 30th floor.

Sadly for Keith, the media also chatted to other passengers on board the aircraft and it’s blown his story wide open. 30 metres is about 10 storeys.  Either that or Keith builds apartment blocks for dwarves. Or maybe the bit of the plane that Keith was in fell three times further than all the other bits of the plane. Although that seems unlikely.

Either way – given that there will inevitably be a full-scale enquiry into any aircraft related incident, I think it’s best not to exaggerate, since the truth will out.