Some of my favourite songs used to be about the postman and sending letters.
Return to Sender, by Elvis, Please Mr.Postman and P:S I love you by The Beatles.
The postal service was such an important part of our lives.
There was always such excitement when the postman brought parcels and the unmistakable light airmail envelopes bringing news from loved ones abroad. Many of our friends and neighbours went to Australia. My dad's friend had a toyshop in Wiltshire and every Christmas we received a parcel from him. The thrill of seeing it arrive at breakfast time was immense. I can't remember many of the contents of those parcels, but oh the joy of the brown paper wrapped parcel.
The Royal Mail was so reliable that we knew that if we posted a Valentine's day card on the 13th February the object of our admiration would see it drop on his mat on the morning of the 14th, Valentine's day. Not so in Italy once. My mother-in-law wrote regularly to her mother in Florence and the letters took two weeks to arrive, just a 3 hour drive away. Phone calls were so expensive that news had to be sent by letter.
Last Christmas I discovered I could order Christmas puddings and crackers by post and they only took a few days to arrive. This week my chocolate Easter eggs arrived, all by post, so exciting.
A few years ago I ordered some underwear from a well known British shop, beginning appropriately with the letters BRA... so now you know who I'm talking about.
I ordered things for me and my daughter-in-law for a wedding.
The weeks went by and a few days before the wedding they still hadn't arrived. I went along to the depot, a large warehouse outside the town, in the middle of nowhere. I walked up to the men in there drinking their coffee and pleaded with them to look for a box with a ribbon printed on it, from Britain. They looked at me in amazement, put their coffee cups down and searched the entire warehouse. No sign of my box.
That evening I complained to my husband about the Italian postal service. I was so disappointed.
The next day at lunchtime our bell rang and I opened the door to see the head of the Post Office eagerly holding out a box with a ribbon on it, addressed to me. I all but hugged him with joy. My husband was ecstatic.
'Only in Italy would the head of the Post office give up his lunch hour to personally deliver a package to your door. We know when to be kind.' He was so proud.
I could only agree.
So I dedicate this post to all those working in the post office and the warehouses holding all the Christmas puddings and Easter eggs and also to love letters ending with
'P.S I love you.'
|Old letters can bring on the tears but make you glad for all the love they brought|
|Parcels containing Easter eggs are best left unopened for awhile...|