Wellies, A Wet-Suit, And Wings
Although I’m a frequent visitor to the site of the Island christmas post-box (cards delivered by happy local volunteer ‘elves’, in addition to the normal postal service) I still managed to miss the post. So, when today dawned clear and bright I planned a simple walk delivering the cards by hand.
The weather forecast gave a window of around three hours, after which we were warned of strong winds. Happily clad in my old duffle-coat, I cadged a lift from my partner, and headed for the local gallery and cafe. After much chatting, coffee-slurping, and taste-testing a new dessert by Archie our chef , I deposited five cards for the staff to collect .. and set out to deliver the remainder.
Somehow – a great deal more time than anticipated had passed, and I was surprised at the strength of the wind. At the first address there was no postbox, or letter-box. I slid the card as far as it would go under the door. As I turned the corner of the street – lift-off – I was blown into the opposite wall. Hmm. This is going well.
At the second address there was no letter-box – but yes, a postbox on the fence! It was rusted and had no base. Since large black clouds were following my progress with interest, leaving the card in a plant-pot wasn’t an option. I grumpily returned it to my backpack – from which, with chilled fingers I searched for and found my gloves. As I repeatedly put away or retrieved the map, the address list, and assorted cards while untangling my scarf and keeping my over-sized hood up..it seemed I had more hands than I actually had gloves for.
The next address should have been simple to locate. I know it is there, as in the past I found it’s occupant – seen through a window – working earnestly at his computer. This time I couldn’t even find the house. Another card returned to backpack. At which point I remembered that I’d not repaired the broken toggle on my duffle-coat and the wind was searching out parts to which it has no right of access. Even the ferry-woman’s dog would struggle to stay grounded in this weather.
Next up – success! One card delivered through a letterbox – this time I note that the address is in a relatively sheltered street where the wind-speed was reduced to a mere 72km an hour. It’s direction fooled me into thinking that the walk home might not be so bad. Until I turned the next corner where it whipped my backpack off my shoulder, wrapped the carrier-bag of cards over my head, threw off my hood, salt-blasted my face, sent rivulets of mascara running south..and forced my breath straight back down my throat. Two cards so far (actually) delivered.
I staggered and half ran, when the wind caught me, to the island shop and post-office.. where I found the post-box lashed to several rails and heavy objects. Either the storm brewing was to be worse than usual – or the box had been hit by a car with no brakes. I couldn’t tell. I posted some stamped cards for the sheer hell of it. Do your worst, I thought. By now all I could think about was tea, and a digestive biscuit or ten.
Now I see why the islanders rush to make use of their own ‘postal’ service. The rest of MY cards will be delivered from the comfort of a car. Either that or I’ll be wearing..
Wellies, A Wet-Suit, And Wings