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........