Friday, 5 December 2014

Rambling towards Christmas

Yes, I know it is nearly Christmas and I should be getting the decorations down from the loft, writing cards and thinking about meals rather than writing posts for Rambles.  But what I should do and what I end up doing have often run in parallel lines rather than met and run as one….

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman
‘The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman’ by Denis Theriault translated by Liedewy Hawke (2014) was originally published in French in 2005 as ‘Facteur emotif’. 

Swirling like water
against rugged rocks,
time goes round and round.

“Bilodo was an unusual postman.
Among the thousands of soulless pieces of paper he delivered on his rounds, he occasionally came across a personal letter – a less and less common item in this era of email, and all the more fascinating for being so rare.  When that happened, Bilodo felt as excited as a prospector spotting a gold nugget in his pan.  He did not deliver that letter.  Not right away.  He took it home and steamed it open.  That’s what kept him so busy at night in the privacy of his apartment….!
In particular Bilodo is excited by correspondence between a local man and a Guadeloupian girl which consist only of Japanese haiku.   He would have longed to reply to her himself but “Could a humble postman become a poet overnight?  Could an ostrich be expected to start playing the banjo?  Did snails ride bicycles?”
Apparently snails do ride bicycles because an accident causes Bilodo to begin replying to her.  But she thinks he is her original correspondent.  And the haiku turn into impassioned tankas… 

Steamy, sultry night
The moist sheets soft embrace burns
My thighs and my lips
I search for you, lose my way,
I am that open flower.

How will it all turn out?  I’m not telling you!  If you want to know you are going to have to read it.

Quote of  the day
I love my computer.  It has never once asked me how many computers I’ve had before.
My Grumpy Old Man spot
Nowadays one of the high spots of my day is when the mail drops through the letterbox onto the mat.  Will there be postcards from friends?  Will there be postcards from complete strangers as a result of Postcrossing?  Most days there is one or the other; sometimes both and on perhaps one day a fortnight there may be as many as seven or eight.    

Our local postman in the good old days before he took early retirement. 
But what time will the mail drop onto the mat?  Ever since the local postal service stopped having the 'one man one round' system the timing of its arrival has been erratic.  So not only do we not know our postman, because it could be one of a dozen or more on any particular day, but we also don't have a clue as to when the mail is arriving.  It rarely comes in the morning, usually it comes somewhere between noon and three p.m. but on occasion it has been as late 5.40 p.m.   By that time one has generally assumed that there is simply no post today (an unusual circumstance since there is generally someone wanting to bill me or sell me something).  The service is likely to be privatised in the near future and it is as though Royal Mail are doing their best to ensure they have enough dissatisfied customers to lose the contract.  I will deeply regret that.

 This chap seems to have the same round all the time in West Kirby 
(and is very pleasant and helpful when you need directions).   

West Kirby is a township quite close to us.  Why can't we have the same service as West Kirby where we live?  Our postmen don't know the area so not only would they probably be unable to direct a stranger but they also mistake our house for next door and even for the same numbered house in the next road.  They don't know the individual arrangements of the different houses for parcel deliveries.  And some of them seem incapable of finding a doorbell, relying on kicking the door to get one's attention.  When the Bargain Booze lorry is unloading opposite the amount of banging ensures there is no chance of picking out the sound of a postman's boot.  Ah well, moan over........  


  1. I can't believe what I'm reading.."And some of them seem incapable of finding a doorbell, relying on kicking the door to get one's attention"...tell me please on which God-given earth would a postman have the audacity to kick my door to get CJ you are good. I would give him a scrubbie and some Soft Scrub to clean the door area he had what nerve.
    You have piqued my interest in that nosey postman story, I need to track that down. There are always a few that like to nosey through your personal mail and then stamp it "Received Taped" after they have taped it back.

  2. Lucky you to have home delivery of your letters and postcards and bills! I have to go to the end of the street in all weathers, and open the little door to my SuperMailBox, and if there's an ice storm, like just before Christmas last year, I have to wait until the weather warms up before I can get my mail. And no services, either Post Office or delivery, on Saturdays or Sundays.

  3. We used to get our post around 11 am but now it's more 1 pm. When we lived in Cork it was more 3 or 4 pm and i can remember one time, parcels being delivered just after 9 pm on Christmas Eve!
    That's awful the postman kicking the door.

  4. Hi!
    You had made a comment on my blog and I don't update it that often. I just wanted you to know that I understand what a challenge it is to be tired and not be able to do all the things you would like. I'll link your blog to mine. Take care of yourself

  5. We've been really lucky with our postman. He even told me he'd check on my mum for me, if she wasn't picking up her mail right away. Fortunately it was never necessary, but it was a comforting thought none the less. And on Wednesday, the clerk was fabulous - quick, efficient, and helpful. I almost went out of the post office humming! :) xoxoxo

  6. Not a problem up on Lewis where no houses have their numbers showing anyway and, as for example in Coll where I lived before my current abode we were number 22A (because we were the first feu on the croft number 22) and the house next door was number 73 because it was an allotment and their numbers started after all the crofts had been allocated. Not that I expect anyone outwit the Highlands to understand any of that.

  7. Christmas will come whether you manage to do all the planning and getting things from the loft or not, and maybe you will enjoy it more this year if you do a bit less planning and a bit more letting things go where they will. Sometimes it works out that way.

    We have the same postal carrier most days, and we are near the end of the route so we don't get mail until after 4pm. The past week, it's already been dark by the time the mail arrived.

  8. If postmen ever ring the doorbell (or knock) here, it's an exception to the rule. Usually if there is anything bigger than a flat A4 envelope in the mail, we just get an advice-note to pick it up at the postoffice (ooops, that nowadays equals the general service counter at the supermarket).
    As for when the mail gets delivered, that varies a lot here too. Some time between noon & 4 pm... Well I guess I have to consider myself lucky to still get it through the door at all. In some apartment buildings they have all the postboxes downstairs on the ground floor.

  9. John, Have a quick look at my blog regarding the Farm Equipment Parade, there's a video there that you might like, just plug your ears!!!

  10. I must say I agree about the postmen. I don't even expect a morning postal service these days.

  11. Here in NY, I've completely given up on trying to mail anything from my house. I take all my outgoing mail to the post office. Apparently, the only thing my mailbox is good for these days is dumping junk advertising into. I tried to mail a letter last week from my home mailbox and the red flag stayed up for two days straight, meaning that no postal worker was there for two days straight. And they're complaining that the postal service is becoming outmoded... no wonder, when the service sucks so badly!

    BTW, Scriptor, best keep an eye on your postbox in the coming days! Just sayin'. *wink*

  12. Remember when the post came twice a day?


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