Posted by: Paul | March 30, 2010

The Post Office

They must be getting sick of me in our local Post Office.

Recent eBay auctions ending close together meant I had something to post every single day last week. Every morning at 9am like clockwork, there I am, approaching the counter with a big grin and an armful of parcels. The postmaster, a man of Indian descent with greying hair and a hangdog expression sighs wearily and says “Morning mate”, with a hint of Birmingham in his accent.

But apart from seeing my family, these trips are my only source of direct interaction with the outside world at the moment, and I enjoy them. Our Post Office is a resolutely old fashioned place, all nooks and crannies, shelving piled floor to ceiling with sticky tape, shiny paper, envelopes of every kind. It’s also a newsagent and general store – it just happens to have a Post Office counter and tiny sorting office tucked away at the back.

I stand at the counter attempting polite conversation with the Postmaster. “Horrible day today isn’t it? What happened to that sun we were having at the weekend? Oh, that one Airmail to Finland please.” He’s not having any of it. There’s a queue building up and he wants this cheerful buffoon gone. I turn around and tell the chap behind me that this is the last parcel, I’m almost done. “You felt our eyes boring into you didn’t you, reducing you to a cinder?” Charming!

I greeted yesterdays news that the Post Office have announced a package of new investment with a cheer. There is apparently to be no programme of closures – they have the right amount of stores they need, said a spokesman on You & Yours. That’s very welcome – a few years ago ours was threatened with closure (and has already relocated once since we moved here). A large local campaign got underway, we signed the petitions, and the move was quashed and it remains open, for me to continue to torment our postmaster by availing myself of the services of his establishment. The cheek of it!

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