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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rear Window

When you read as much crime fiction as I do, you soon start to recognise that the fact that your mobility is impaired renders you invaluable to the average detective. (See? And you thought it was all bad...)

Those of us who don't get out much are evidently unable to make our own entertainment, with the result that we are thrown back on the hardly-at-all clich├ęd expedient of staring out of our windows and watching the world go by.

Until very recently, I have proved to be something of a failure in this role. Living on the first floor as I do, I would actually have to stand in front of the window in order to get a good view of what is happening on the street. Given that

a) I am very bad at standing;

b) I am far from convinced that much of any real interest happens on my street; and

c) on the occasions when it actually does, the police helicopter appears to have everything pretty much covered,

my sense of civic duty doesn't compel me to spend my days with a thermos flask of weak tea in one hand and a pair of binoculars in the other.

However, it is now clear to me that not all suspicious behaviour happens at ground level. Oh no.

I was sitting at my work computer the other day when my attention was distracted by movement across the street. What had caught my eye turned out to be a sash window being raised on the first floor of one of the old Victorian houses opposite. Once he had the window open far enough for his purposes, a man wearing a white vest and blue boxer shorts reached out for something small, shallow and round which was sitting on the windowsill and took it back inside with him.

Admittedly, I couldn't see what the something small was, but that's got to be suspicious behaviour, right? I mean, if you lived in a first floor flat, what would you store on your windowsill? (Other than possibly a pint of milk, and this definitely wasn't a pint of milk.)

Suggestions on a postcard, please, to the usual address, marked for the attention of: "No, I am really not turning into my mother. Honest."

The Editor

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Saturday Night Specials

Yes, I do realise it's actually Sunday morning. But that will make sense by the time you've read this entry in its entirety. Honestly. Would I lie to you?

Ok, so this probably won't interest a great many of my readers. If my every mention of Etsy has you immediately snoring over your keyboard, then it's probably not worth your reading any further. (Unless I can assist with your insomnia, of course...)

But, if you meander through Etsy at all - and particularly if you have always felt that you would like to buy from it but that the combination of your DLA and your IB (and whatever other pittances the government reluctantly releases to you in recognition of the fact that you successfully completed its incredibly-demanding claim forms to exactly the standard it required) won't stretch even as far as one teensy pair of earrings, one candle, or one bar of hand-made soap, then read on....

Every Saturday, a thread is launched in Etsy's "Promotions" forum with the title, "Saturday Night Specials - OFFICIAL thread for April 19th - post here". (Er, obviously the date element changes. But the rest stays the same.)

This thread is an opportunity for Etsy sellers to publicise short-term special promotions in their shops.

The value of these will vary: some offer only free shipping (which doesn't sound all that exciting initially, but can mean that you'll be able to go ahead and buy the one really small item you had your eye on, but which wasn't worth buying on its own because the shipping would have effectively doubled its price); there are quite a lot of 'buy one get one half price', 'buy two get one free' etc, offers; and store-wide discounts of anything from 5% to 75%.

As per the wording of the official thread,

"The SNS runs from 5 p.m. EST/NY time and *must* officially end at midnight Samoa time (which is 6 a.m. EST/NY time). You can choose to end your SNS earlier in a different time zone of you wish."

Confusing, no? If you're in the UK, the thread will appear at bang on 10 pm Saturday. Experienced SNS sellers are poised with their marketing threads ready in draft, so there's a pasting-in frenzy the moment the thread opens, resulting in at least three pages of offers in about the first thirty seconds.

If you're already tucked up in bed by 10pm, it's worth bearing in mind that the offers from those sellers who do run their promotions right through to 6 a.m. EST (which, to be honest, is most of those who take part) will still be open when you get up the next morning.

As with anything so short-lived, there's always a risk that you will purchase on impulse and experience buyer's remorse afterwards. So, if you know that you're by nature an incorrigible impulse buyer, the whole thing is probably best avoided. Personally, I've been surprised at just how many of the items I have been "hearting" on my list of favourites have turned up much reduced in an SNS thread. Anything which has survived more than a couple of months on my regularly-weeded favourites list is definitely something to which I'd be happy to give house-room: so, if it's once dramatically reduced in price, it seems daft not to snap it up.

The process of shipping from the US to the UK is evidently labyrinthine in its complexity, so don't be surprised if a US seller asks you how they should go about it. My response in the past has always been one of apology that I couldn't assist but, the next time it happens, I will be able to send the seller a link to this extremely useful entry on The Beading Tree's blog.
So, there you have it. Not the most gripping blog entry in the world ever, admittedly, but moderately informative, I trust.

The Editor

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Air on a G string

Lady Bracknell is given by her editor to understand that she has today been sent an electronic communication entitled,

"Used g-strings for sale".

Given that Lady Bracknell is sadly deficient in the musical accomplishments traditional to those of her age and class, and therefore has no need for a g-string - used or new - she has instructed her editor to delete said electronic communication unread.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Another fine mess

Ok, so it was early in the morning when I found her by chance on Etsy, and I was extremely pushed for time: however, I feel a lingering sense of guilt that I didn't find the time to send a message to the American jewellery maker whose shop blurb begins,

"I put a little bit of spunk in everything I make"

and explain to her what it is about that statement which might discourage potential buyers from the UK.

The Editor

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Mucking words fuddled

I find myself - I hope, temporarily - articulacy-impaired.

Normal service will resume as soon as I have regained the ability to string words together into coherent sentences.

Or on the twelfth of never. Whichever happens first.

The Editor