"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back to square one


Yesterday, it seemed as though the snow was retreating and that life might actually get back to normal in the near future. I mean, we even had a post delivery, for the first time in a week. Apparently the Royal Mail had decided that our local postlady would be putting her life in jeopardy if she ventured down our road. The council obviously agree because, although they don't think it warrants being gritted, the bin wagons couldn't possibly venture down here to empty our bins. Anyway, today we woke up to yet more inches of snow and it's still coming down so we may have to hibernate for the rest of the winter.
I rang Royal Mail on Monday to find out what was happening with our post and was told that, although the weather conditions made it far too difficult for their employees to venture out, it was OK for me to risk breaking my neck if I wanted to come and collect it. I declined the offer. After all, who wants to go to those lengths just to collect a pile of brown envelopes?
However, it did set me thinking about the bygone days of my youth  ... when I were nobbut a lass, well a student anyway.In those days, Christmas post was the thing to do during your Christmas break if you wanted to make a bit of money to supplement your student grant. (Yes, those were the heady days when people got grants to go on to higher education, rather than having to saddle themselves with huge amounts of debt as now.) So for three years, that's what I did and for at least one, maybe two of those years, it snowed in the days before Christmas, quite heavily as I recall.
Now you want to know what was different, don't you?
Well, we carried heavy sacks on our backs - no trolleys on wheels for us- and we got the bus from the sorting office to wherever our round was and then back again for the next delivery. And when it snowed - guess what? We were expected to get on with our rounds, and we did. AND we lived to tell the tale!
OK, rant over for today. It's stopped snowing now so Paddy and I are going out to play.

9 comments:

  1. I know what you mean
    My dad had to be dug out in his post van several times deliverying to remote Kent villages back in the 1962-3 big freeze.

    Our bins were not collected last Wednesday and they have not been done today either. And no sign of the postman

    West Yorkshire buses were suspended all morning because of black ice and are now on restricted routes. I couldn't get to school no bus

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  2. I donno...you old people and your memories ;-)

    Of course those were the 'good old days' before Health & Safety ruled the waves and Britons never will be ...allowed to go into any sort of dangerous situations at all, oh no.

    And that obviously includes posties getting snow on their feet.

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  3. WendyCarole, I bet you enjoyed your unexpected day off. :)

    Well, Ian - any more agesist comments and you will be paying for them when you come back to Blighty! You will have to come back some time, you know - and I have a long memory... ;)

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  4. I can remember doing the Christmas post when I was at uni. I only did it one year. On the first day I did my round too quickly so they sent me out again on another route. You live and learn!

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  5. I had no post for a week! Today I got a Christmas card from the USA posted over a month ago.
    Sadly, and annoyingly, it's the same with so many things nowadays.
    Flighty xx

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  6. ...And not only that, we had to deliver the mail barefoot and the sacks weighed more than a sheep and you began at midnight and finished at 11pm the following night and they paid you half a crown. Folk of today - bah! - they don't know how lucky they are.

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  7. You do indeed, CW.

    Service is not what it used to be, Flighty.:(

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  8. Well, you had it easy, YP. Our sacks weighed more than a cow and our rounds were so long, we met ourselves coming back! AND we weren't paid - we were happy to get a stale crust and a cup of water! (Beat that!);)

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