BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

BEAR ALLEY BOOKS
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Friday, June 07, 2019

Comic Cuts - 7 June 2019

I'm thinking that Wednesday must have been one of the most frustrating days of my life.

I'd woken up tired, having stayed up until the wee hours scanning photos that my Mum had brought over. I've spoken with her about doing this for years, but the final push came when I stumbled upon a long-lost packet of photos a week or so ago. Lots of me in my younger, slimmer days, looking mostly unhappy about having my photograph taken (I am my father's son – he, too, avoided cameras).

Thankfully, in some instances I'm behind the camera, although my own photos date from a brief period in 1982-84. The former date was when I got a Zenit B camera; the latter date was when it was stolen while I was on holiday.

I was snap-happy for those two-and-a-bit years. Unfortunately, my eyesight isn't perfect and a lot of the resulting photographs were slightly out of focus. Most of these I dumped. Holidays on narrowboats and a trip to Holland were amongst the finds. I must have taken nearly 150 photos (probably six rolls of 24) in Holland, including roads and views that mean absolutely nothing to me now as I kept no notes. "Somewhere between Zeebrugge and Rotterdam" is the closest I can get to a description.

Anyway, they're all scanned and I've kept at most a handful from each packet and those can be distributed to family members. I've also set up a private page to share photos with family members which actually turned out to be quite easy except that it took a while to activate. Not that I was aware of this, so when things didn't instantly happen, I panicked and tried again, only to be told that I couldn't. I couldn't because I'd already done it, and Facebook was working on it, but by now I'd convinced myself that I'd broken Facebook.

Five minutes later it was all working smoothly.

It was a minor irritant following on from another minor irritant I'd had with Ebay. Someone abroad had ordered 17 magazines and asked for combined postage. I'd worked out various options, he'd agreed to one and I went to set it up, only to find that I couldn't. Because of Ebay's Global Shipping, each order was being treated separately, each with a unique reference number, which would have meant a final postage bill in the region of £50.

I wanted to sort it out quickly, so I got on the phone, and then spent 15 minutes waiting for someone to answer. Having explained the situation, and having received an answer as to why it was impossible to issue a combined invoice, the solution offered was unexpected. Cancel the orders, and re-auction the magazines as a single job lot.

I must admit that this rather took me by surprise, but the buyer agreed, and that's what I did – creating an oddly worded 'Buy It Now' auction (so people doing automated searches wouldn't find it), which the buyer, a guy in Norway with endless patience, quickly bought. The whole thing ended well, but cancelling all the sales I'd made was definitely a bit stressful!

These and other cumulative niggles had put me in a bit of a mood, which was thankfully dispelled when I received a nice e-mail from someone who had been looking for an old annual, a childhood favourite that he didn't know the title of. He remembered some of the stories and artists, however, and I was able to identify the annual and find a copy for sale. It arrived on Wednesday, and I received such a nice complimentary thank you note that my mood immediately improved. The guy waiting on his magazines wrote to thank me for the efforts I'd gone to, and the family photo page has been a bit of a hit.

Today's random scans are a few of the books that I've put up on Ebay. If you've not had a look, there's a plethora of books, magazines and oddments, ranging from copies of Kerrang! to postcards of The Prisoner. You never know, you might find something, and I'm not asking the earth.

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