Tag: <span>Post Office</span>

I’m currently playing with the new O2 Cocoon, a mobile phone cum lifestyle friend, or whatever warm fuzzy marketing spin they are putting on it.

Essentially a mobile phone with media player leanings, there are a few nice touches that elevate this above your standard mobile phone fare. I’ll post more about how it handles day to day usage in a week or so, but first impressions are good.

And, these days, first impressions start with the box, or more accurately with the unboxing experience. When I picked up the phone from the Post Office I was a bit perturbed at the long thin box I was presented with, had I been sent a keyboard by mistake? I was relieved to see the word Hello, spelled out in an LED font, lightly embossed on the surface of the box.

After cutting through a small piece of tape, I opened the magnetic catch and swung the box lid open to reveal the phone nestled in a large soothing background image of sky and flower blossoms. But where were the usual cables, booklets and other paraphernialia that accompanies every gadget these days? Twisting the box round a small tab labelled “Pull” caught my eye and, on doing so, a drawer slid out containing all of the above and more.

Unlike other mobile phones I’ve received, the dock, a headphone splitter and two sets of cables greeted me.

Now, like most people, I’ve owned a mobile phone or two, so I know the first thing to do is get the battery charged. Extracting the slim white usb power adapter (which will handle other usb powered gadgets, hello iPod?) and the battery from the box. Now all I had to do was figure out how to get the cover off the phone so I could insert the battery. Does it slide? No. Umm.. pull? No. How the hell?? Ohh wait, what’s that little button on the side? Ahhh, a lock for the battery compartment, how handy, if a little different from any of the other mobile phones I’ve used before.

Once I’d cracked that little puzzle, I plugged in and there I saw the first flash of something different, the light blue OLED display on the white plastic surface. Unless you’ve seen one before it’s hard to explain, suffice to say that what looks like a solid plastic surface, actually contains a set of lights underneath, through which information can be displayed. In the case of the Cocoon, it will display the time, message info when received, and the title of the currently playing track. Kinda neat and leads us to the dock which is supplied with the phone. Sitting the phone lengthwise in the dock, the display acts like, well, a clock. Upon investigation I realised that this was a key feature of the Cocoon, and that using it as an alarm clock, was part of the core design.

Thinking about it, it does make some sense. You set an alarm, dock your phone, and you have a nice subtle clock on your bedside table. After all, how many of us have a bedside alarm clock that tells us the time all day, when we aren’t even there. Hmm there are “green” connotations afoot!

Once charged, and with the PAYG sim inserted, I had a quick play with the interface and it’ll come easily to previous Nokia users I’m sure, but I’m not one so it feels a little ‘off’ to me. But that’ll change as I use the phone more often. Nothing is particularly hard to find.

Alas I can’t tell you much more as I can’t get it to talk to my PC, the USB will charge the phone but I can’t connect to it to try and sync my contacts. I’ll try on the Mac later.

Ohh and if you are wondering, no I didn’t buy the phone, yes I was given the phone as part of a promotion, no I don’t need to blog about it if I don’t want to (and if I end up not liking it, it may find itself on eBay). Am I whoring myself out? Perhaps, but if you were thinking of buying the Cocoon then hold off a week or so and I’ll let you know what I think.

Finally, a quick word on O2. One of the thing that has plagued Louise and I is the signal coverage in our house. Orange and Vodafone are sketchy at best but the Cocoon gets a good signal in all parts of the house so, if nothing else, I’ll probably be switching to them when my Orange contract is finally dead.


My parents did an excellent job in bringing me up. Putting aside the fact that I have to say that because they both read this blog, I do truly believe that. They taught me manners and how to have an open mind, two things I value very very highly. It is with the former in mind that I write this post, although the latter does come into play.

For I have a mysterious parcel awaiting me at the Post Office!

Yes, I received that lovely little card from the Post Office. The one that says “we tried to deliver this but you had the audacity not to be at home, you must be at work, so now YOU have to come and collect what WE should deliver”. I hate those cards, why order something to be delivered to your home if you have to go and drive to a Post Office to collect it? And why is there never any parking near a Post Office, surely the majority of people have to visit the ‘”pickup centre” to collect their undelivered goods?

However, I had an added bonus on the card for, yes dear reader, not only do I have to leave work early to get to the Post Office depot before that pickup centre closes (ohh right, so THEY can keep office hours, but I can’t?!) but I also have to pay £1.06 in additional postage! Fab.

The thing is, I have NO idea what this package contains. I am waiting on race numbers for a 5K in a couple of weeks but they’ll come in an envelope (just like the other set I got in the post yesterday).

Which leaves two possibilities.

  1. Some kind soul has ordered something for me which, if I’m not mistaken means IT’S A PRESENT!!!
  2. OR

  3. I’m a numpty and I ordered something without realising it.

If it’s option 1, I’d like to thank the lovely person who has sent me such a lovely present, one that is so BIG that they got the postage wrong. It is a most unexpected surprise and I’m sure I’ll love it. Whatever it is.

Option 2 is possible but as my bank account shows no signs of any untoward transactions it seems unlikely. I’m not discounting the possibility of course, it may be something I ordered a month ago that has only come into production (ohh god, not that R2-D2 DVD projector.. I didn’t… did I??).

No, it must be option 1. One of my dearest darling readers has sent me a present to thank me for all my tireless efforts over the years. Whoever you are, I do hope you left a note with your lavish gift, as I’d very much like to thank you properly. Of course you may want to remain anonymous, with the gift simply a small tribute offered in reverence, and if that is the case I will respect your wishes. Anything that encourages you to send me more stuff!

You know what?

I have the horrible feeling this post is going to backfire.

Update: And I was right!

It backfired. It was the stamp-addressed envelope I am expecting back with my 5K race details in it.

Poo. And I was all excited too…


I visited a small branch of a well known high street shoe repairer this lunchtime — starts with a T, ends in “impson” — and have to admit that they employ people of such high calibre that the mind boggles.

As I approached the door I could see a small handwritten sign stuck on the inside. It stated “Gone to Post Office, back in a few minutes”. Looking past the sign I could clearly see the man behind the counter, and the two customers waiting to be served.

I walked in.

After serving the two guys in front of me, and whilst I waited for my “only take a minute I guess” job to be done, another two customers, like me, ignored the sign and formed a queue.

The guy behind the counter looked up, sighed quietly and took off his jacket.

“Guess you won’t be getting to the Post Office then…” I said lightly, in attempt at mild humour.

“Well it is our busiest time” he replied.

Lost for words, I nodded. It was either that or blurt out the sarcastic thought in my head.. “YA THINK?!!”.



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Car Tax purchased. Phew.

Highly entertaining little old lady at the Post Office as well, insisted on talking to the entire queue about how she didn’t look it but she was 65. It was quite obvious that she was older than that but it made everyone smile and chuckle.

However it did highlight a problem with the new Chip and Pin cards. She couldn’t hear the man behind the screen and when he asked her if she wanted to withdraw all of her pension – he was shouting so everyone could hear him – she said yes, that she got £85 and was entitled to it! Would she put in her pin number, he asked. Yes she said, it’s …..

Awful. She took a while getting her pension sorted and we ended up leaving around the same time. I let her walk in front of me and I followed her into town, for some reason wary that someone may have overheard.

Anyway, that wasn’t what I wanted to talk about (I do have a question about post titles still but that can keep, it’s boring me now). Are the new .xxx domain names a good thing?

I say yes, it should make filtering p*rn sites a lot easier.

Other new domains that have just been approved:

  • .xxx (approved)
  • .jobs (approved)
  • .travel (approved)
  • .cat (approved)
  • .post (approved)
  • .mobi (approved)

The temptation to rush off and purchase www.kitty.cat is very tempting…

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spook office?

The UK police, the secret service, and the tax man can find out where you’re surfing.

In August, so will the Post Office.

If a new rule passes Parliament, over twenty government departments will be able to spy on your browsing without a warrant.

Find out the facts. Fax your MP. Stop the order.


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