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A Shein order

Shein... Said like "shine"? said like "sheen"? Apparently it's said like "she-in". Go figure.

Anyway, I was idly browsing through some stuff when I saw a couple of things that I liked the look of, and they were not expensive.

Let's start at the beginning. The website... is bloody awful. It seems to follow in the steps of several other Chinese websites, notably Alibaba, that are a barely-organised mess where finding stuff is more luck than intent. Both of my sweatshirts are described as being "dessin animé".

Payment and ordering was simple enough. I used a virtual one-time credit card (obvs, right?) and told them to deliver it to a collection point at my local Lidl as I wasn't sure what would turn up and if it would fit into the letterbox.
I was expecting to pay a little something (it's not clear what, exactly) for postage, but nothing was demanded. <shrug>

They estimated that it would arrive between the 29th of April and the 3rd of May. It came from Ireland, I think, by Mondial Relay and arrived yesterday morning.

The first thing I did was chuck both things into the washing machine on the default "Magic 40" cycle. One of the garments says to gentle wash at 30. I do everything on Magic 40 with extra rinse (it's a fairly quick programme, the EU standard Eco 30-40 programme takes 2½-3 hours!).
The water was pretty clear on the way out. For a cheap garment, I was worried that it would bleed colour. Or maybe that's just a problem with girl clothes (handwashing some of mom's stuff was a nightmare for the colour bleed).

As I was putting stuff into the washing machine, I noticed that both garments said "S". After a moment of panic and checking the website, I was reminded that something even worse than the disorganisation of the site was the total and utter lack of giving a shit over the garment sizes. You're supposed to search according to size (like XS, S, M, L, XL etc) but they're all bloody different.
My advice - find a tape measure and wrap it around your belly. Remember that measurement.
I'm about 108cm, and my BMI is teetering on the far side of normal, so there's no way in hell that I'm an S. When I'm shopping here in France, I look for "L" or "XL" (depending on the shop, some are a little more generous than others). At Shein, sizes are all over the place. It's rather ridiculous.

Here's the first thing, a sweatshirt that says "SOME PEOPLE JUST MEED A PAT ON THE BACK". Yes, "MEED". I have 'corrected' that with a magic marker. Not perfect, but hey, I think it's funny and it cost something like six euros. It is also extra thick for warmth.

Some people just need a pat on the back
Some people just mneed a pat on the back.

The second sweatshirt was a little more expensive. Maybe because it has colours? ☺
This one is cute. The Japanese looks like it makes sense, and translates as "Shiawase e no michi" which means "The road to happiness".

The road to happiness
The road to happiness.

Would I order again from this company? Maybe. I say that hesitantly as the website's chaos is frustrating.


Royal Mail losing the plot

I read in one of the online newspapers that there is quite a problem with fake postage stamps, and it looks like the postal service has hit upon a brilliant way of dealing with the problem.


If they detect that a letter is using a fake stamp, the recipient will need to pay a fiver to collect their letter.

Yup. That's about the dumbest example of victim blaming since calling a guy wearing a kippah "openly Jewish".

But then, that's a very British response isn't it? Utterly incapable of dealing with the real problem, they'll go out of their way to punish the helpless in spiteful ways - just look at those who are a couple of quid over the arbitrary thresholds for carers allowances (and, of course, they'll sit on their arses for years so when they ask for money back, it's often a ruinous amount).


So British

Speaking of British, here's the back of a pack of battered cod.

British style fish
British style fish.

The "So British" is because it is fish battered in the British style, a crunchy batter, rather than breadcrumbs.

If you look at the "So British" in the red part, you'll see (3) beside it. This indicates that there is a translation someplace.
Indeed there is. Barely visible on the bottom right it says "Tellement anglais!".

That's because we're all les anglaises, but really it ought to say something like "Tellement brittanique!" because, well, here's the thing:

England, Britain, and the United Kingdom are actually three different things.

I'll say in it French for the Frenchies:

Angleterre, Grande Bretagne, et Royaume-Uni sont en fait trois choses différentes.

All three contain England. The difference is what, if any, of the rest is included.

Great Britain is the large island - that is to say England, Scotland, and Wales.

The United Kingdom is everything commonly referred to as British, that is to say: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
The actual proper title is "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". You'll notice that's what it says on British passports.

Just to throw a spanner in the works, there's also the British Isles which refers to the group of islands, and thus includes the entirety of Ireland.

Confused yet? British history is a bit of a mess. But, then, French Guiana in South America is a part of the French Republic (departément 973) and is therefore a part of the EU and uses the Euro as its currency. Plus Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Réunion...


Tea on a schedule

"Tea time", also known as Afternoon Tea, happens between 3:30pm and 5pm. "High Tea" is a quaint name for a fuller meal taken by working class people at the end of the work day.

Speaking of which, whether the midday/evening meals are lunch and dinner, or dinner and tea, is predominantly a north/south divide within England. Southerners tend to refer to the meals as lunch and dinner, while northerners tend to use dinner and tea.
It is, interestingly, not a class divide, but simply a geographical one.
There is a third word for the evening meal - supper. But very few people use it.

That's all well and good, but we're not here to talk about that sort of tea, though I will use this as an excuse to put the kettle on...


Having looked at Alarm, it does indeed seem that the built-in RISC OS alarm clock only has a way of setting task alarms, which aren't terribly useful. The actual "user alarms in the alarm database" only seems to be possible by messing with the database which is a bit of a non-starter if Alarm is currently running.

So the big change in this version is that I have built a scheduler into Tea.

To add a programme to a schedule, there's a new "Schedule" button in the programme information window. You can also Adjust-click on the programme in the grid.
When a programme has been scheduled, it will appear with a cream background in the grid, like this:

Setting a schedule

If you set another schedule that clashes, you will be warned of this, however you can choose to set it anyway, in which case the clashing programmes will appear with an orange background, like this:

Clashing schedules

To cancel a schedule, Adjust-click the programme in the grid whilst holding down Shift.

Five minutes before a programme is due to come on, Tea will pop up a notification to warn you that a programme is pending.

A pending schedule warning

You can see what programmes have been scheduled in the schedule list. Either open the iconbar menu and choose Schedule, or simply Shift Adjust-click on the iconbar icon.

The schedule list

The schedule is always sorted by time. There are four possible colours that entries may appear, as shown above.

Black is the usual colour for a scheduled item.
If it appears in Blue, then it is pending and will be on soon.
Programmes that are currently on appear in Green/Khaki.
And, finally, clashing programmes are shown in red.

Programmes that have finished will be periodically expired, you don't need to delete them.

Other changes are a couple of bug fixes.

Download (365.70K)
For RISC OS machines.



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jgh, 29th April 2024, 00:27
That batter doesn't look like proper batter. That looks more like pancake. Proper batter should be a danger to unwary teeth.
David Pilling, 29th April 2024, 02:09
Royal Mail, old rules meet new problem. If you put insufficient postage on the receiver has to pay - double ISTR. Running a mail order business it was always a concern that Royal Mail might take it into its head to decide something had wrong postage. 
Temu has been the recent thing. Been some anti-Temu things on You Tube - accusing them of polluting the planet with cheap rubbish. In the FT, serious comment on how do they manage the low prices. Both might be competitors not liking the competition. Meanwhile local would-be influencers are posting videos of their Temu freebies. 
In the old newsreels, WW2 was England against Germany. As a kid I sort of thought it was all called England. Would not make that mistake now. 
Zerosquare, 29th April 2024, 10:21
I don't like defending Royal Mail (or La Poste, for that matter), but in this case, how would you solve the problem? 
If they simply rejected the piece of mail and sent it back for free, people would use the old trick of sending to a non-existent address, and putting the actual recipient's address as the return address. 
Not to mention, there may not be any return address in the first place. Someone knowingly sending mail with a fake stamp would have to be really stupid to include it! 
Regarding the EN/GB/UK thing: you know you're wasting your time, right? Nobody who doesn't live there has ever managed to remember that Venn diagram. :p
Rick, 29th April 2024, 13:18
David: Ah, yes, Temu. The site so awful (and so full of trickery) that I gave up. 
Zerosquare: Maybe better to simply say mail with a fake stamp will be binned? That way no return and no potentially penalising unsuspecting recipients. But would need them to be actually damn certain the fake is a fake. 
Oh, and I know the Venn Diagram is a losing battle, there are plenty of English that don't know and don't care. "It's England, innit?" 
Rick, 29th April 2024, 19:00
Oh, look. They seem to be having difficulty telling real from fake. 
Hell, if their special machines can't manage it, how are us meatsacks supposed to?
jgh, 29th April 2024, 19:53
Nowadays I never use stamps, I always send my post via a Post Office counter where they weigh and frank it. 
The they-aren't-actually-barcodes were supposedly introduced because people were steaming off stamps that hadn't got cancelled through the sorting machines. 
Typically of government and quasi-government organisations, they tackled the wrong end of the problem. The fix for this was making sure the cancelling machines were properly working. Just like demanding photo ID for voting, but doing nothing about postal voting, tackle the wrong end of the problem. Nothing to see here, look, squirrel!
David Pilling, 29th April 2024, 21:31
A fond memory of childhood, is of us all sat around the kitchen table with the kettle going, and being shown how to invisibly open letters and steam off stamps. 
We don't know how much counterfeiting of stamps went on before the new coded ones. Organisations typically don't want to reveal the extent of forgery - for all we know every other 10 pound note has been printed by China. 
As the interesting Guardian article says, many of these fake stamps have been bought from Post Offices. 

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