Trudging the streets in the snow at the weekend, to deliver the Churches Together Christmas Cards has again made me more appreciative of the work of Royal Mail.
Particularly the fact that there is no standard letterbox so every front door has to be treated differently.
Furthermore, in these energy-conscious, well-insulated days, virtually all boxes have either a strong spring on the flap, or a brush arrangement just inside. This means that when posting one thinnish card or leaflet, you need to use two hands – one to open flap, one to push card through. And you are wearing gloves, and holding all remaining cards in one hand – and this feat of manual dexterity often results in three dozen uncontrollable cards flying out of your grasp and fluttering over the pavement!
But the main issue for me is location and orientation…
There are ones at reasonable distance from the ground[between knee and chest height]
Then there are the ones which require genuflection, because they are at floor level.
Then there are vertical ones – usually with very strong springs.
And the houses where there is no slot in the door, and you have to hunt around to find a separate box.
Other houses have a menacing presence just inside, waiting to leap up and snap at your fingers.
When I used to deliver church leaflets in our previous patch, there was one road where I am afraid Number 61 never got properly evangelised. I tried to put the card through and cut my fingers! Bending down and looking in, I saw they had nails hammered round the slot, to shred anything pushed through.
I try hard to remember to push leaflets right though, shut the flap firmly and close the garden gate if appropriate. The sort of delivery which leaves the card on display is altogether inappropriate [and not a good witness]
Here’s my favourite Postman
[Apologies to Elizabeth in India if you cannot see this clip – it seems that when I post any YouTube stuff, it shows up at your end as obscene. I can assure you it isn’t]
My cousin was working in a playgroup and asked the 3 year olds why Postman Pat was such a happy man – a little voice at the back called out “Cos he’s got a job!” Such sad cynicism in one so young.