Huge postal coincidence

I had one of those coincidences happen yesterday at which you’d roll your eyes if it happened on TV.

In early August a friend of mine, who we’ll call Miss B, sent me a parcel from her home in Devon. It never arrived, and after a few weeks we decided it must have been lost / taken somewhere along the route. Miss B did what we all do sometimes and realised after posting that she hadn’t written a return address on the padded envelope, and as it was sent through the normal post system there wasn’t any way to track it.

What had actually happened was this: the parcel arrived at my flat when I was away for a few days. I assume they left a please-pick-up-your-parcel note, but because my block of flats has a communal post table the note must have been lost in a pile of newspapers/leaflets. So after a few weeks the Royal Mail tried to figure out what to do with the parcel. It turns out that the padded envelope was first used by Miss B’s mother, who lives in Solihull, and her return address was written on the back. But just a postcode, no house number.

So the Royal Mail took the parcel to Solihull, and tried to work out which house it came from. There was a smudge on the packet that looked like it could begin with a D or a P, so they looked at the names of the residents, chose an address, knocked on the door and asked whether the occupier knew anything about the package. No, says the occupier, but I do know Andrew! The address they’d chosen, from a street of 50 houses, happened to belong to another friend of mine, Miss P, whose mother answered the door and in what must have been a very confusing few seconds figured it all out and took the parcel for me.

I was rather surprised when Miss P handed me the parcel last night, but now I have a very much appreciated Ally McBeal DVD box set – thanks, Miss B!