Living Between the Lines

A round of applause for DPD and “Garry”!

I do not jest.
In years gone by, I gritted my teeth as I staggered round the shops with my merry load of gifts and festive fayre.
The novelty of browsing for special gifts for that special someone, began to wear a tad thin after hours of trekking through shopping precincts and department stores. It was tiring, trawling the small boutiques and quaint, out-of-the-way shops that stock that something-a-little-bit-different, whilst accompanied by a few thousand other people, bent on the same task.
Shopping was a mixture of fun, tinged with exhaustion as I remember it, when the children were small. A trip to Argos to pick up that longed for toy would require a major feat of engineering as I struggled to carry the outsized box (no handles) and a pile of other items that I deemed my children worthy of receiving, through the crowded streets. Several trips back to the car, normally parked at the top of the multi-storey, would be necessary and the queues at each shop, stretched one’s patience to the limit.
Knowing no other way of course, I accepted all this as part of the general Christmas preparation. I even made myself believe I loved it all.
Then we heard news that online shopping would one day be the norm. How wonderful we thought, though could not truly imagine such a thing ever actually happening. It was the stuff of science fiction back then, along with Sat Nav and a milk bottle that was easy to open.
When online shopping did begin to take off, it didn’t replace all that hustle and bustle, it just lessened it for me. Ordering the larger items to be delivered to my door was a breeze. Having to wait in all day in case a delivery arrived was fine at first.
As time went on, waiting in became a chore. Why couldn’t these people give me a time or at least a time slot? Why did I have to be home from work for an entire day?
In those days, I collected a pile of accusatory cards,
“We could not deliver, your parcel has been taken to…”
We began having parcels delivered to the office instead so we wouldn’t miss them. Misunderstandings would abound of course as the wrong person received the parcel and inadvertently opened it but in all, we coped.
Lately, there has been another innovation. Garry.
I mention Garry because Garry is my DPD delivery guy. Garry could be any delivery driver really but giving him a name makes the whole experience more friendly. DPD obviously believe this or they would never have introduced us.
DPD, deliver for a range of stores from whom I have ordered gifts this year. They send me pleasant emails telling me my delivery is on its way and offer an online tracking facility. The tracking facility does not merely give a time slot for each delivery, however. It allows me to track my delivery man (Garry’s) progress on a local map.
I know my order will be delivered within the hour and for that hour, I am able to see where Garry is on the map, how many deliveries there are before me and when the system estimates he will arrive at my door. Garry is never late.
It is such a simple system and so customer friendly, I thought I should hand out an accolade to Garry and all those other delivery drivers and delivery companies, who are doing their best to lighten the load this Christmas season and right through the year.
Do you have a “Garry”?
Happy Christmas Shopping!

I am an Author, wife to one, mother to five and grandmother to six. I live in the English countryside in Hampshire, UK, with my husband and two dogs and am a non exec Director for Glow


  • Teresa

    Ooh yes, we have a Garry! And I am so grateful to the Garrys who leave my parcels in the garage if I’m out 🙂 I get very panicky in crowded shops so I love online shopping. Every so often I forget what real shopping is like and I venture out, usually coming home empty handed and stressed!! Thank goodness for Garrys 🙂 x

    • Deborah Barker

      Panicky in crowded shops eh? I am much the same in crowds – once had to be escorted off Brighton Beach where I had planned to watch Fatboy Slim perform (I know, not really me) because I couldn’t see a way out. Don’t get me started on being locked in a parked car either…:-)

  • patricia60

    We really lightened the load 3 years ago – no gifts ( Now we need to say that we have no grandchildren, and our 3 daughters receive gifts during the year – like help buying a first house, driving 1000 miles with all the stuff to a new job transfer, and a new starter switch for an old car….but we now do experiences. Christmas Day is cross country skiing this year, and last year we all went on a gorgeous hike. The Year before we all filled cloth bags with undies and sox and a book for 100 school children, many who are homeless.

    I do have to say that these delivery options are mighty helpful, especially for my daughter who lives in an Apt building and some of the residents steal her packages before she can get home. Some things just make life so much more fun – and pleasurable. We say thanks to Karl!

    We gave our neighbor a baby shower on Saturday because Grandparents are in Georgia a whole USA away. Baby came this morning as did Grandparents – Josephine “Josie” Ellen D. is our newest neighbor – what fun to do that

    New baby on the other side born Nov 20th, we gave a blueberry bed preparation workout – because children just love blueberries – and we added ground cover and pruned the row and got them settled for next summers bounty. Simon does not know it yet, but I can see him out munching those berries with his big sister Sierra….
    Snowed here this morning – a good day for reading…and wow am I working on 2 books for next week that I think your would truly enjoy…
    Thanks for your kind words on my page too!

    • Deborah Barker

      Your way sounds wonderful Patricia—the true spirit of Christmas. I also like the blueberry preparation idea. One of my grandsons loves blueberries and will empty my fridge of them if he can. Karl/Garry they all deserve to be thanked 🙂

  • Hilary

    Hi Deborah – Garry is great .. if you know how to use a mobile phone and use text messaging .. I don’t! But we cope! I’m running late with Christmas shopping .. and it might be undeliverable type stuff! Still I’ll see …

    Glad at least your life is sorted .. cheers Hilary

    • Deborah Barker

      Ah but you can follow Garry’s progress on your PC Patricia. Hope you are catching up with your Christmas shopping now. I do still pop to the shops for some things—nothing quite beats seeing, touching and putting it in your bag does it? 🙂

  • Life and Other Turbulence

    No Garry here. Only postal notices left in the mailbox at the bottom of our steep driveway. They say: ‘sorry we missed you’ and tell us when we can collect our package from the post office. What really irritates is that they never come up the driveway to the house, to see if we’re home (we usually are, and we can see them through the trees down there…pulling up to the mailbox in their delivery trucks). Maybe you can send your Garry over to train our postal carriers? After this holiday season, of course.

  • deb

    I do almost all my shopping online these days, and love hearing the rumble of the brown UPS truck or the mail truck. If I’m not home they very nicely leave the packages on my porch, which are alway such a delight to come home to. Your Garry sounds like our modern-times Santa. As always, I love reading your stories. Merry Christmas.

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