I wouldn’t mind betting that the anecdote that forms the basis of this post will ring a bell with many who read it – with similar circumstances being quickly brought to mind… because – after all – that’s just the way life is!
Way back in the early 1980s the BBC produced a six-part adaption of Rudyard Kipling’s ‘school’ novel – ‘Stalky & Co’. The piece translated well into six thirty-minute episodes because it had in fact originated as a set of individually published stories that Kipling had subsequently fleshed out into book form.
I enjoyed the stories enormously, being set in a boys’ boarding school (based on the United Services College in Devon which Kipling had himself attended) and featuring as they do a gang of juvenile protagonists who display a know-it-all, cynical attitude to patriotism and authority which was – naturally – right up my street. I subsequently bought the book and it is one of those that I still revisit on a regular basis.
At some point it occurred to me that it would be good to own a copy of the BBC series on DVD as well. Unfortunately, the usual investigations on the InterWebNet revealed that the BBC had not thought fit to release the series, though I did find an online petition (the which I quickly signed) urging the corporation so to do.
I thought no more about it; the years passed and ‘life’ happened!
Then, at the end of July this year – whilst pursuing an online link on a related topic – I discovered that the petition must have had an effect, because the series had finally been released (in a very stripped down form – ie, just the media with no add-ons) and could be purchased from Amazon in the UK. I did so immediately and then sat back to await further news.
After a while I received an email telling me that the DVDs had been dispatched and should be delivered to me in Canada by 17th August. That date came and went with no sign of the goods. Being familiar by this point with the vagaries of Canada Post I thought I should leave things for a while, but finally – after another month had passed – I decided to contact Amazon. Those who have had reason to do such a thing will know that it takes considerable effort as the company goes out of its way to make it as difficult a possible, but I persevered and a few days ago awoke to find an email from Amazon UK acknowledging my query, apologising for my delivery clearly having gone astray and promising to send out a fresh copy.
As I probably hardly need add… when I visited our post box at the end of the street later that very same day – sure enough – there were the missing DVDs!