Having spent most of yesterday delivering the community newsletter, I now have a renewed respect for our postie, and not just because of the whole snow/rain/heat(admittedly unlikely)/gloom of night thing – he does, after all, have a nice wee van to deal with that part. I’d set off in reasonable spirits on the Brompton thinking its front basket would be handy for quick deliveries, but I soon realised that getting the leaflet out quickly was the least of my problems. Setting aside the keen north-easterly wind and the fact that the Brompton, God bless its little compact fold, does not really stay upright in anything but a light breeze when it’s parked, not to mention the sudden flurries of snow and hail, plus the fact that all of those dogs who’ve spent the last four years barking furiously at me from behind closed gates finally got to meet their public enemy number one face to face,* and the fact that it turns out 90% of people in the area live up awesomely potholed tracks of extravagant length, the main difficulty is the fact that clearly, rural people consider letter boxes to be some sort of townie new-fangled nonsense not to be contemplated here in the countryside. Some of them put metal boxes up on their gates, which was handy, but a good half of the houses had no visible way at all to deliver anything other than ringing the doorbell and handing it to them in person.
As it happened, most people were out and the rest didn’t know me well enough to do much but say thanks and go back to whatever they were doing before their dogs disturbed them with the news that there were murderers and rapists and foreigners and A BICYCLE invading the precincts, but someone as well-known locally as the postman will have to at a minimum exchange pleasantries with everyone (or in my case, repeat the same pleasantry three times until I understand it) if not actually come in for a cup of tea and a blether. The man must have the bladder of a camel.
*and I can confirm that among the ‘everythings’ that the everything-bar-the-apocalypse-proof jacket is proof against can now be included ‘not very determined dog bites’