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A day sorting out stuff - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
A day sorting out stuff
Though it's still a dreary day here, the winds and rain have ceased and it is peaceful, if gloomy, outside. Inside, in the warm, I suddenly felt that I just had to have a day Sorting Out Stuff.

Due to bringing carloads of Stuff here from my Dad's bungalow, our house is a mess and it has reached the point where I can no longer ignore it. Also, now Dad's post is being re-directed here, Stuff (in the form of begging letters from charities) drops daily through the letterbox, adding to the clutter that's already here. I decided it had got to stop. I am therefore busily writing letters and emails requesting that Dad be removed from their mailing lists.

Charities are like seagulls on the promenade at the seaside. If you make the mistake of feeding one, before you know it you are being mobbed by hordes of birds, demanding more and more! I do worry that they put elderly people under pressure to donate when they may not be able to afford to. I also dislike the waste of all the "freebies" like pens and Christmas cards and address stickers that they send. The most bizarre was a small brown stone sent by Farm Africa, who claimed that mothers boil up stones to give the children the illusion that they are cooking dinner. I know they are trying to guilt me into donating, but all that happens is that I get cross and want nothing more to do with them. Anyway, I hope that today's purge will at least reduce the flood to a more manageable trickle.

Then, over the weekend, I need to sort and wash all the items that I brought home in order to donate to our local Red Cross charity shop.

The other thing I've done this morning is to email Amazon to inform them that someone has set up an account using one of my email addresses. Obviously it's not the address that is linked to my own Amazon account and it's not one I really use at the moment, but I might want to start using it next year, so it needs sorting out. For a while I thought that my near-namesake would realise that she wasn't getting email receipts for all the trashy Kindle romances she was buying, but it seems that she hasn't. So I've emailed Amazon using that address and asking for it to be disconnected from the account that isn't mine. I will let you know what transpires!

Current Mood: busy efficient

14 comments or Leave a comment
From: cmcmck Date: December 6th, 2013 12:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know what you mean about the charities- we got this after my MiL's death and it really isn't the time or place as they ought to damn well know!

We managed to set up the D2D opt out with the GPO online which means we no longer get this crap. It should be made a great deal easier to do.

Edited at 2013-12-06 12:28 pm (UTC)
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 6th, 2013 12:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course Dad is still alive and well, albeit rather frail, so it's not as emotionally upsetting as after a death, but as he has care home fees to pay, he doesn't have any money to spare for charities. I have registered his address with the Mail Preference Service, so I hope that will help too.
From: cmcmck Date: December 6th, 2013 01:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
You could also google on D2D opt out and do an official stop with the GPO which should cut out quite a bit.

MPS doesn't stop the GPO's mountain of junk mail- they're the biggest single deliverer of same.


Edited at 2013-12-06 01:13 pm (UTC)
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 6th, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I investigated the D2D opt out when I set up the mail redirection. He doesn't actually get too much of the un-addressed To the Homeowner type of mail so it wouldn't make all that much difference.

I actually have fairly tolerant attitude to most advertising because they heavily subsidise the postal service. Heaven knows what it would cost to mail a letter if businesses weren't using it for advertising.
nutmeg3 From: nutmeg3 Date: December 6th, 2013 12:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
ITA about the address labels, etc., though no one has ever sent me a stone. There's one charity that always sends a nickel (which I cheerfully stick in my pocket before throwing away their begging letter) and another that once sent a $2 check (which I tore up, because I have my limits). It's just crazy.

Good luck with Amazon. I bet the woman just made a typo, since she seems to be using her own credit card. But hey! I started my career editing "trashy romances" and wrote a book about how to write them. There's plenty of crap out there, but there are a lot of good writers there, too. :-)
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 6th, 2013 01:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
It relates to this XKCD cartoon

I've had a "my first name" + "my second name" at gmail.com address since Gmail was in beta and you needed an invite to join, but people either genuinely think it's their (or their friend's address) or forget to include the number that ought to be in there.

Regarding the "trashy", I apologise for dismissing my near-alter ego's reading taste. :) Not that I'm averse to trashy myself, on occasion, but sadly romance has never floated my boat, so it would be fantasy or SF in my case.

nutmeg3 From: nutmeg3 Date: December 6th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Love the cartoon! And don't worry about the trashy-romance comment. I'm not upset, and honestly, I love all kinds of genre fiction and I'm not a real fan of most capital-L Literary fiction.
jhetley From: jhetley Date: December 6th, 2013 12:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
We still get stuff addressed to my mother, who died over ten years back. Every now and then, something for my father -- he died over thirty years ago. One of the latter was an invitation to a political get-together. I've known about the graveyard vote, but didn't know they needed to recruit it . . .
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 6th, 2013 01:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
LOL! Someone must be using very old, out of date lists.

My Dad is still alive and well, albeit rather frail, so dealing with this is not emotionally upsetting like it would be after a death, but as he has care home fees to pay, he doesn't have any money to spare for charities. We have a thing called the Mail Preference Service (like the Telephone Preference Service, but for snail mail). Reputable companies are supposed to check their lists against the system and remove people who have said they want to opt out. I don't know how reliable it is, but hope that will help a least somewhat.
aellia From: aellia Date: December 6th, 2013 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I particularly dislike the TV appeal for Crisis asking for £21.84 to give a place for the day to a homeless person. I think how they will feel when they are turfed back out again after being given,for what most people is,a normal Christmas day.

Good luck with your sorting out. I'm still not inspired to do mine.
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: December 6th, 2013 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I admit that I do donate to the Salvation Army. Despite not being a Christian (or at least not one that most Christians would recognise as one), I do feel that they help some of the most difficult and desperate people.

Ideally, people wouldn't be homeless because we do have a relatively good benefits system in this country, but drug, alcohol and mental health problems mean that people fall through the net. However, as you say, just housing them for a day or so over Christmas and then turfing them out onto the streets again isn't the answer.
julesjones From: julesjones Date: December 6th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't approve of the Salvation Army's politics, but I do approve of how much money they spend on helping people and not on guilt-tripping people. Which is why I feel slightly guilty about not having made it over to our local guy-with-tin yet to stuff in some money now that it's turned cold and they'll need more funds.
trenton22 From: trenton22 Date: December 7th, 2013 01:26 am (UTC) (Link)
I remember that Stone Soup story, but I never once thought it took place in Africa. I thought it was in some shire not far from where Robin Hood lived. Right?
kaishin108 From: kaishin108 Date: December 7th, 2013 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
That is so strange about the Amazon account. Oh that reminds me, did you read how they want to start using drones for deliveries, yikes! I think in 5 years they say...
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