My two recent successes at auction resulted in the usual post-auction scramble to make payment and to arrange delivery. In both cases there were different approaches and different outcomes. The Art Deco bull is still lying in the DHL/Deutsche Post sorting office, having apparently been dropped off there by the auction house on 20 December. The DHL Tracking very unhelpfully informs me that it has been scanned. That's it. Of course during this somnolent period between Christmas and New Year no one is working, so I have long since given up trying to find out when it might actually have a slight movement in the direction of some vehicle that might transport the little beast to this part of the world.
The picture on the other hand had to be paid for within 48 hours after the auction, with which I duly complied. Thereafter there had to be considerable shall we politely call prompting to get delivery to my address in Scotland where I have storage for this and several others. It was delivered on Christmas Eve.
I had a maturing pension scheme due on 28 December, but notification of its amount and the MI5 security checks I needed to pass in order to receive my money was sent by the investment company by surface mail, and arrived less than ten days before the payment date. One of the several requirements was their need to see a certified copy by my bank that my passport was indeed mine. All papers were provided and I couriered them the same day. I thought it very unlikely that the funds would be in my account, but it was a pleasant surprise to note that they were.
In Bangkok many people left the capital to drive "upcountry" to visit family for the New Year. My maid left on Friday night on a train that left at 7.30 pm and which she informed me would arrive at 8 am the following day. I am always very concerned about her travels during this period, because there are hundreds of fatal road accidents during these great migrations. The State Railway of Thailand has mitigated that fear by its safe arrival at its final station.
It's always a bit of a challenge to try and do anything which would normally be mundane, during this time of the year, but it's a happy outcome when it works, and to be expected when it doesn't.
I hope Twenty Twelve delivered many happy outcomes to you. And as it's against my religion to do so before, I will await the stroke of the midnight hour before expressing good wishes for what we are about to receive.