Counterpoint by Scott Freeman I never know which stamp goes where


Once upon a time I used to carry two books of stamps – one first class, the other of second – in order to be able to post a letter or greetings card whenever I found myself needing to avail myself of the services of the Royal Mail.

Not only did I know how much each stamp cost, but I was secure in the knowledge that if it was not necessary to measure, weigh or otherwise categorise my correspondence.

No longer. Since the mailman decided that it was better to have a ‘small letter’ and ‘large letter’ rate I am constantly in a state of uncertainty. Under which heading does Auntie Edith’s get-well-soon card sit?

The only way to tell is to pay a visit to the post office and pass the envelope through two slots in a perspex sheet – a bit like a child’s round-hole square-peg toy.

So I still have those stamps in my wallet, but have now idea what to stick on what. That’s progress.

And......I hear the BBC is to invest millions in the ‘roll-out’ of digital radio, or DAB, so that it is available to more than 90 per cent of the country.

I would rather they let us poor sods out in the sticks listen to Radio 5 Live after about 5pm.

The news and sport channel is inaudible on my car radio and the transistor I have at home almost as soon as the sun goes down.

I even invested in a DAB radio because I was promised crystal-clear reception to my favourite channels as well a whole new range or stations. The result?

It picks up nothing but static in every room in the house apart from the kitchen. And there it has to stand on the windowsill with the aerial pointing due east.

I feel cheated, much as I did when I switched to digital TV. We were told that the new technology meant no more interference. What we got was more ‘frozen screens’ and pixelated pictures. I swear it’s worse than ever before.