Monday, 28 November 2011

Chapter Fifteen

We have had a busy week or so since I last wrote anything. About ten days ago we went across to St Austell to see the torchlight procession. After a breathtakingly boring bit of shopping we headed off to the square by the simple expedient of following the sound of the drums. It was fantastic when we got there as the band use only instruments made out of waste materials.
It made for an energetic, yet surprisingly musical, event. They quickly got all the kids involved in drumming and belting out a rhythm on anything that came to hand. Linda was using two bits of rubber piping and drumming with them on the stair railings. She had as much fun as the little boy who stood beside her bashing on the same bit of pipe with his rubber piping.
As darkness descended the evening was made more special by the fact that we met up with Ian and Tanya while Linda was drumming. Ian and I led the four person exodus into a nearby pub were we had a drink or two before heading to see the parade.
Credit were credit is due. Tanya not only knew the best spot to stand in but also got us there just as the parade came into view along the street. It was a brilliant parade with much music and noise, plus some brilliant floats and costumed walkers as well. The theme was obviously Christmas and the lights and the colours made it especially momentous. Great fun.
Before we came home we had coffee with them both in their cottage. A lovely little place, tucked away, yet right smack in the middle of town. The best of both worlds. It was good to see them both again and the evening was great fun.
Although a little chilly the weather has been amazing for November and it was no surprise on Sunday to find the sun shining out of a clear blue sky. We headed for our beach, and though it was warm enough that some people were paddling in the water, we wore our wellies and headed along the beach to go rock pooling.
The tide was coming in but all was perfectly safe as we scrambled around the place. Eventually we walked along the shoreline and waded through the waves to the beach beyond. Sadly we never made it and had to turn back as the water depth was now increasing just a tad. We noticed this when a wave rolled in and poured most of itself into my boots. Its funny what Linda finds to laugh at.
As it turned out the water was not as cold as I expected and we walked back to the car without any bother. I sat on the wall beside the car and took the boots and socks off. Not much water poured out of the boots but gallons of it fell to the ground as I wrung out me socks.
Surprisingly, just sitting there in the shelter of the wall but in direct sunshine, my feet dried off very quickly. It was lovely relaxing there and reading the Sunday papers and reminded us once more of the reasons we came down here to live.
All to soon it was time to head home and get back to some sort of reality. I was quite content to sit in the armchair with my face firmly wedged in a book but Linda had some jobs in the garden needed doing.
For once all went according to plan and my jobs were done easily and without fuss or bother. I must have been using somebody else's head because as most people know...this is not normally the case. In fact; and it is without any question quite possible; that Linda and I must have swapped heads with each other. This became apparent quite quickly on.
I was happily putting the last of the garden box together and just debating whether to get the old drill out and put up the shelves and hooks in the shed when all hell broke loose. The effing and blinding from the shed were Linda was working would have put a squad of postmen to shame. At the same time as the diatribe of bad language filled my ears my eyes witnessed the sight of an empty paint pot spinning out of the shed and landing in the hedge.
As the shed wobbled and bounced in a frenzy of movement I crept fearfully forward and peeped in through the door. Linda stood there seething in a pool of paint and still clutching the handle of the paint pot which had snapped off as she lifted the pot up into the air. The lid of the paint pot lay quietly on the floor as if to scared to move, probably because it had just seen Linda drop kick the pot out through the door.
Discretion being the better part of valour and my own personal liking for a sound skin outweighing everything, I quietly withdrew and left Linda alone. I had thought of a couple of merry quips I could have used or even whipped up a couple of little jokes to ease the situation along...but thought better of it.
The Mulvin men in the family are not cowardly really, but through the ages have developed a keen sense of survival. Pragmatism is the watchword we go by and the family motto supports this...
'He who turns and runs away...lives to run away...another day.'
Actually...that might just be me. Anyway, I legged it.
By teatime all was cleaned up and restored as it once was. I knew I had made the right decision not to get involved when Linda told me I'd made the right decision and hadn't got involved. So there you have it. Call it discretion; or pragmatism; or just being a wuss...its best to keep out of the way when the wife makes any sort of error. That's good advice that is so remember it.
Had a brilliant day yesterday with the weather still good. We decided to go along to the 'Eden Project' and get our yearly membership tickets. If you live in Cornwall you pay just £5-00 per person and get free entry for a year.
We had a great time wandering around the place and seeing the gardens. They have built a giant Xmas tree entirely out of plastic bags and it is amazing. Ever so clever.
We also walked through the allotments that they have and picked up some ideas to use back at our place. What astonished us so much was the fact that the weather conditions at the moment in Cornwall have resulted in the daffodils coming out. We never thought we would see daffodils flowering alongside a bed of leeks and a bed of cabbage. A real example of nature being very unsure at the moment. There were even bumble bees droning past as well fluttering butterflies. All very odd.
The highlight of the trip however is of course the Equatorial forest inside the largest of the biomes.
The heat in there was terrific and very quickly you find yourself stripping off to the minimum. Considering it is still November, the heat of the sun combined with the humidity inside the biome, had made it unsafe to walk up on the aerial walkway. The staff said there was a real fear that people may faint up there and they actually opened the doors to suck colder air into the place to help.
A good day out though and we finished off by driving over to Looe and having our dinner in the Golden Guinea restaurant.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Chapter Fourteen

The phone has now been replaced with the cheapest thing I could find in the shop. That's the third phone in two years. The first phone threw in the towel on me and quietly died after several years of good service. The second one only lasted a short while before I killed it. In my defence it wasn't murder or even manslaughter...it was a pure accident.
I was parked in the car park at work and I remember some health and safety nutcase of a manager bawling at me from the dock. He was stood there with the heath and safety nutcase of a union man and they both felt the urge to remind me of the perils of being in our yard without by flourescent jacket on. Bear in mind that these two people are the ones who worry because there is no sign in the fuel store to remind staff  'NOT TO DRINK THE ENGINE OIL'. Believe me, you couldn't make it up.
As for the flourescent jacket in the yard; there have been postmen working out of that yard for over 100 years and not one has ever been run down by van, by lorry, by pushbike, by trolley, by horse and cart, by meteorite, by tidal wave, by act of God, BY ANYTHING.
The one exception to this is Gary Horne...AND HE WAS WEARING A FLOURESCENT JACKET... and he was fine.
Anyway, back to the two muppets bawling from the dock. I call them muppets because they looked like the two old fools in the Muppet Show that sat in the balcony and had stupid opinions on everything.
They bawled at me to put my tabard on. I ask you; as one of the postman once said, "If you can see me without my flourescent on...then why do I need one?"
In disgust I tore off my jacket and threw it in the van; grabbed my flourescent jacket; and slammed the van door shut as I put it on.
To my surprise the door didn't close but banged and bounced open. I shrugged into my flourescent and looked to see what had happened. My coat was hanging a little way out of the doorway and there was now a dirty line across the pocket. I lifted the jacket up, put my hand in the pocket, and lifted out the half a dozen pieces of phone which now remained. Smashed beyond repair I did manage to save the sim card on this occasion.
Hopefully this will last until I get an upgrade, or whatever it is that Linda said would happen in a few months when the contract runs out. I'm still a little confused at this point I must say.
Sunday dawned bright and clear with plenty of sunshine. I was awoken by the sound of a mug of coffee being put on the bedside locker. I heard movement and then the curtains being drawn back but I kept my eyes shut.
Then Linda spoke, "Blimey, we've got a garden full of tit's."
In my confused state this was a guaranteed way of getting me out of bed and I hurried to the window. It was with a certain sense of bewildered excitement that I looked out of the window but all I saw was a multitude of little colourful birds swarming over the bird feeder's and stuff. Gradually coming to, I reached out for my mug and took a sip of coffee. Sheepishly I said 'Good Morning', and we both stared out at the busy birds beneath us.
Linda is passionate about birds and really know's her stuff. I like them well enough but I am not an expert like she is. What I do know is...they scoff a huge amount of seed, fatballs, peanuts, and anything else we hang up in the garden. If it runs out there is even a couple who will tap on the windows with their beaks as if to let you know.
Constantly, the garden seems full of all manner of finches, tits, sparrows, and robins. All the little birds. It is a delight to see them eating us out of house and home as they consume vast amounts of sustenance. God help them if the buzzards start to use our garden as a supermarket and decide to feed off them. The little birds are eating so much they will become flightless any day now. They will never waddle away quick enough.
"Lets go and take some photo's at St Mawes while it's quiet."
"Yes, lets..."
"Good, we can go now."
"Wha'!!"
So much for sarcasm; we were in St Mawes by 07-30 and Linda was enjoying herself immensely. She is a skillful photographer and takes some good pictures. I'm just a happy snapper but she has a real talent.
It was certainly a good time to be out and about with very few people moving around. We pottered about and even paid a visit to the 'King Harry Ferry'. That is a chain link ferry connecting the 'Roseland' with Truro. It's a lovely ferry and typically Cornish. We loved it.
With time pressing on we then returned home to get ready for the rememberance day service up at Tregony. The day continued bright and clear and we enjoyed the simple ceremony held at the village memorial. There was a decent sized crowd of people there and once again I was pleased to note that all generations were represented.
The vicar must be either very skilled or just very practiced because she read out the little service for about fifteen minutes and was spot on with the timing. After all had been spoken we all said the Lords Prayer. As we all said the final 'Amen', a second later, the bell began to toll for eleven o'clock. Very impressive.
There was a different touch to this one that I had never seen before. A tray of sand stood in front of the memorial and after the wreath's had been laid we were all invited to place our poppies in the tray. We all did so and it made a brave sight with this splash of red poppies fluttering in the breeze. We liked it.
After lunch we drove down to the beach at Dodmans Point for a walk around there. It is both sandy but edged with rocks and the resulting rock pools. It was brilliant walking about and, once again, it confirmed to us both just why we had come down here.
Linda found a starfish stranded on the beach and popped it back in a rock pool. I found a scallop wedged firmly between two rocks and unable to free itself. I couldn't eat the wretched thing but managed to free it and put it back in the water.
We also tried to rescue a crab but I think it was pretty far gone.
Both of us then headed up the coast path and onto the cliff for a walk around the point. The views were sadly, not as clear as the morning but great fun just the same.
We have noticed something down here though. Scotland seems to have its high road and it's low road; but down here we have our 'high lanes' and our 'low lanes'. Not the greatest revelation in the world I must admit but we have noticed it.
Back to work this week and I got my final goodbye from Royal Mail for my 39 years service. They didn't transfer me at all and my contract was terminated on about the 16th of October. I was issued a new contract as a new entrant starting on the 31st October.
It seemed very odd getting a new pay number and realising a new chapter was beginning in my career. All the things I used to pay into have ceased and I am beginning again.
As I say though...I received a final goodbye for my previous service time in the form of a bill for £901-25p because I owed them for the leave I used when Linda and I did our charity walk around the South West Coast Path. It seems if you have all your leave time before you quit service then you have to reimburse the company. Granted, this bill also included the money for a weeks pay that I owed because they paid me the week I moved down here in error...but it was a bitter pill to swallow.
Its not really as if I wanted to leave as I was fully prepared to take on any work for Royal Mail in a transfer. That they have offered several part time jobs showed there is work here.
The times I have heard people tell me that..."Your just a number to Royal Mail, Nothing else." I used to hear that and always refused to believe it. I have always believed that the work you do is your mark on any organisation and you are judged accordingly. I could never accept that anybody is just a number...and now I know just how stupidly wrong I was.
They say you're never to old to learn.
As for any letter of thanks for my efforts for 39 years...I guess it got lost in the post.

Chapter Thirteen

It was with great stupidity that I managed to start my day. You will remember that had I put on the clothes that I dumped in front of the washing machine the night before. This was the pile of washing brought back from our weekend away and Linda decided to leave them and put them through the wash this morning. Of such tiny acts 'does life lurch along'.
I put on a grubby pair of jeans and a filthy t shirt with my intention being that I would dump these back on the floor when I nipped up with Linda's cup of tea and took a shower. It didn't go to plan.
Six o'clock came and I suddenly remembered that Fiona had a job interview today. Our phones dont work in the village but they do work about a mile up the road beside the barn. I put my mobile in my pocket; quietly let myself out of the cottage; and quickly drove up to the barn to send the text.
Sitting in the dark it didn't take long to send the message and I duly returned back to base and slipped back in.
I now had five minutes left and quickly boiled the kettle and made two cups of tea. Just as Linda's alarm went off I skinned out of jeans and t shirt; grabbed both mugs; and went back upstairs to say good morning. Linda was just sitting up and did look a little startled as I entered the room wearing nothing except one pair of glasses and two mugs.
I explained that I couldn't sleep and been up for a while writing. Linda showered as I shaved; I showered as she dressed; and I dressed as she came down stairs. When I followed her down I could hear the washing machine whirring away and Linda preparing breakfast. We chatted as I made something for myself and we ate before getting ourselves sorted out for work.
Linda was just preparing her lunch to take to work when I gathered up my things for the day. It's not a lot; wallet, coin wallet; notebook; keys; and mobile...and I usually can't find something
"Now where's my mobile?" I thought quietly, " I last had it in the car. I've left it on the passenger seat...idiot."
I went out and opened the car door; "No sign of the thing, did it fall on the floor? Nope; is it in the door holder? Nope; Where did I put it? Think you idiot; you sat in the car; sent the text; did I put it back in my jeans? Probably; yes I did; it's in my jeans."
"OH MY GOD, MY JEANS ARE IN THE WASHING MACHINE AAAARGH".
I dived back in through the front door and ran into the kitchen. Linda looked a little startled as I switched off the machine and waited for the water to drain out.
"What's the matter?" She asked anxiously.
"Nothing love," I replied equally anxiously, "I may have left something in the pocket of my jeans."
"That's alright, " she smiled at me, "I know what a numpty you are so I checked them last night; all empty."
"I know love," I bent down as the door clicked and I was able to open it, reach in, and pull out the sopping wet jeans, "But I put them on this morning when I was writing and I left this in them."
I turned around and held up the phone. Water dripped onto the floor out of it as I stared at her, resigned for the next, and frequently used comment, "Mully!! You idiot!!!"
Even the sim card was ruined.
I had to replace the lot.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Chapter Twelve

Here we are, back home at last and once more in our little cottage. It is 03-00 in the morning and Linda is up in bed asleep. It would be lovely to suggest the sound of her snores are reverberating throughout the house and keeping me awake...but it would not be true. All is quiet and all is peaceful. She is laying curled up under the duvet and dreaming the dreamless sleep of the child-like.
Up until ten minutes ago I was laying beside her, curled up under the duvet and wishing more than anything that I could fall asleep. The urgent summons to the bathroom an hour before had awoken me and since then I have just lain and looked at the clock. Eventually the excitement of watching the seconds of my life tick away into the night proved to much, so I got up.
That in itself can be complicated as certain criteria have to apply... criteria mainly consisting of self preservation. This involves trying to get downstairs without waking Linda up.
Me, I could sleep through World War Three if I had too. Years ago when my children were toddlers, we had a two week powercut in the depths of a freezing cold winter. The four of us decamped into the sitting room and kitchen area downstairs to sit it out.
The kitchen had a working gas stove and the living room an open fire place; the bathroom and toilet beyond relied on any heat from these two rooms to keep functioning.
With a good fire blazing; hot water and food from the gas stove; batteries to keep the radio and torches working; and a mattress, pillows, blankets and quilts to cover us when asleep ... we survived.
But for part of that time I was doing a night shift as well which meant I had to sleep during the day.
I was able to sleep soundly for six or seven hours; on the floor; in a room being shared with two hyperactive toddlers playing; with a radio permanently on...and I never heard a thing. Once I'm asleep only two thing's will awaken me; my alarm clock, or the distressed cry of a child. Everything else I sleep through. It's even worse now I'm deaf in one ear. If the deaf ear is aimed upwards and away from the pillow, then I could probably sleep through armageddon.
Linda, on the other hand, has ears like a bat. She can hear a mole scratching itself under the lawn; can hear a squirrel turn over in its drey; and I bet she could even hear a sparrow fart in its nest. I really think she hears me dreaming. She walks like a cat; sees like a rat; and hears like a bat. She can even irritate like a gnat...and that's that.
Imagine my astonishment then, when I smoothly rolled to one side and slid out onto the floor, and I discovered she hadn't been disturbed at all. I checked she was still alive and breathing, and to my relief found that she was. Holding my breath I blindly gathered up my empty coffee cup, my diary and notebooks, and my glasses, and slipped out onto the landing.
I hadn't put anything on upstairs and thought I would do all that once down stairs. Moving like a naked shadow, and avoiding the creaking stair, I ventured downstairs and into the kitchen. I put several things on then as it felt fairly safe to make the odd sound. I put on the light; I put on the kettle; I put on the computer; and I put on the dirty clothes I had taken off the evening before and dumped into the washing basket.
I then settled down, put on my writing head, and returned to our story.
We have just spent the weekend away from home and back up in Surrey. Linda was very tired on Thurday evening and so I drove up while she slept. It is only a four hour trip and is easily done. By 20-00 we were settled into our Travelodge; we had one hot drink each; and by 21-00 we were both asleep.
Friday dawned bright and clear before settling into cloudy and dull. One 'full English' later we headed into Farnham and started visiting. Linda had the car (it is her's after all so I didn't argue) and she dropped me off near the town centre. I started visiting and it was good to see everyone although, one at least didn't want to see me.
I was chatting happily to some of my mates when the 'poisoned dwarf ' ignored his way past me, spoke to the other's, before returning from whence he came. Ah well, not everyone likes everyone. It was good to see and catch up with old friends though and I enjoyed myself. Sadly I missed a couple of them but I will hopefully see them at another time.
Derek seemed genuinely pleased to see me after the debacle with the biscuits when he visited us the other day, because when he squeezed my jaw in his 'vice-like' paws, he didn't dislocate it this time. He must have mellowed in his old age. I was able to speak quite clearly again within the hour so that was nice.
The weekend turned into one long round of visiting family and friends and was great fun. Linda and I divided our time between our own children to give ourselves a chance of seeing everyone but in future we will see them together. It gives us all a bit more quality time to catch up in if we do.
I met both my girls on the beginning of the weekend with Lucy coming down from London to spend bonfire night in Farnham with Fiona.
I hope both of them and their partners enjoyed the display because we never saw a bit of it. We were so busy visiting by the time we remembered about bonfire night it was all over.
Many years ago I once took both my girls down to Portsmouth on the off chance of seeing some sort of display down there. We stood on top of the round tower, in total darkness, and peered all around. There was nothing, not a firework to be seen, not even a sparkler.
Eventually, over the Isle of Wight, a lone spark of light silently curled into the air before showering red and green sparks at the world and vanishing. That was the sum total of that lonely November the fifth all those years ago. That rocket that evening proved to be more than we saw this Saturday.
Hang on though; I've just remembered; somebody did try to involve us in the world of fireworks on Saturday. We were all stood outside Farnham railway station at midday when somebody sent a rocket up into the air. I'm not sure who the numpty was but they obviously had more money than sense. Its sole contribution to the day was to crackle across the sky. Most people looked up on hearing the noise but nobody saw a thing. Its not sensible really to fire pyrotechnics into a midday sky... unless its midday... in winter... in Scandinavia.
Sunday proved a very busy day with a walk with Roxanne over the common with her dogs before lunch. She is Linda's youngest daughter and is just starting up her own business. Her life has always revolved around dogs and horses and now she is putting all that to good use.
If you need your horses looked after or exercised; or if you need your dogs walked or 'house sitted' then she is the person for you. ACTI-DOG is the name of her company so look out for it.
The afternoon was taken up with the first birthday party of Oscar. Linda's eldest daughter had a baby boy which has given Linda and I the new names of Grandpa and Grandma. He is a lovely little boy; we bought him a bike.
Its a little wooden four wheeled thing...not a mountain bike or a touring bike. In fact its more like a post office push bike. It has no brakes or pedals or chain. He simply sits on it and pushes himself around the floor. Hours of fun there.
Monday we came home and a miracle happened. Linda thought I might like to stop at a couple of garden centres and see their Christmas displays and asked if I would like to go. They always say beware Greeks bearing gifts or Greeks borrowing money. Never mind the flaming Greeks I say, beware the Lindas offering visits to Christmas displays is what I say.
I rushed out to check the car for damage but it was alright; I dived at the 'hole in the wall' and checked the account and that was alright; I even rushed to A&E for a full and complete medical checkup and I was alright.
I didn't have to pester, or nag, or hold my breath, or stamp my feet, as is my usual tactics so I don't know why or where or what the offer was all about. I'm still nervous 24 hours later of whatever sting in the tail awaits me.
However, with great delight, I dashed into the first garden centre and launched myself at the displays. On every side stood Christmas trees covered with baubles and lights. Colours glowed everywhere as I stood entranced in a world of my own and gazed about me. Linda left me playing happily with the other children while she went off and did some shopping. I wrote my letter to Father Christmas and posted it before turning and skipping out of the door and back in amongst the gift displays.
In front of me was a display of signs; one of which read...'Kissing under the mistletoe---practice here'.
I grabbed it and picked it up. I spun around and saw Linda standing about 20 feet away with her mum and Chris as they were watching me. Grinning at her, I held the sign over my head, closed my eyes, and puckered up to start the practice.
Nothing happened; Linda never hurtled across the floor and threw herself onto my lips; so I opened my eyes to see why not.
One thought hurtled through my stunned brain as my eyes opened and focused on the coach party of old ladies that stood between me and Linda,
"Where the bloody hell did they come from?"
Most of them looked at me in a bemused sort of way but some seemed to be anchoring the false teeth firmly in their mouths as they began to pucker up themselves. With what shreds of dignity I had remaining (and it wasn't much), I dropped the sign and dashed over and hid behind Linda.
She called me a pillock; I agreed.
Later, after we had escaped and driven as far as Devon, we popped into 'Otter's Garden Centre' and had a look at their displays. It was fantastic and once more I was turned back into a child as we wandered around. I didn't pick up any signs this time because Linda insisted on holding my hand as we walked around. She gets embarassed easily I think.
By the way, I think I may have good news for the farmers; the government; and anybody else interested in the culling of badgers. I have taken no sides in the argument because I really don't know enough about it. I don't like the idea of killing things any more than anyone else and I really wish there was an alternative solution to stopping the spread of 'bovine TB'.
Would laying out food for the badgers with some sort of agent in it to destroy the TB help? I know its not practical to inject each one but an oral solution may work. It's just a thought anyway.
I digress; the reason I mentioned badgers is because of the amount of dead ones we saw on the side of the M3, A303, and A30. Can there be any left in the entire south and south west of England. We didn't see one or two...we saw dozens. There must have been another dead badger at least every three miles or so, all the way home.
It must be carnage out there for them. They'll be extinct by Christmas at this rate. Pretty soon they wont need culling; they'll be up there with the Great Panda, the Elusive Tiger, even the Caring Postman; they'll be another endangered species we could lose.
I just needed to say that. 
It wasn't very long before we got home after that and we settled in for the evening. We both agreed it was good to be home. The evening quickly passed and we were in bed by 22-00. Worn out we were both asleep in moments and dead to the world.
Its now almost 06-00 and Linda is still sleeping like the dead. She gets up in half an hour. I've been awake for four hours and up for three. I get up in half an hour officially as well and I seem now to be awake like the dead. I'm ready for bed now and its time to get up...DOH!!! 

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Chapter Eleven

Once again I'm back to being Postman Liam. I started work on Monday morning at 0830 to find a very different postal world down here than I'm used too. I am the most senior one in the office by at least three years...but it doesn't mean much. In this office I'm pretty much the lowest form of life on the lowest rung of the food chain.
My round is literally two hours long. It is thrown off for me, prepped and tied up for me, and then brought out to a small village called Grampound for me to deliver it. In the future I will start at 10-30...and be home by 12-30. I can't believe that this is all Royal Mail want me for.
I deliver to one road and three estate roads. At least I have my foot in the door although sadly, I never actually go into the office. I collect my delivery from the back of the mail van belonging to the post lady doing the rest of the village. I am hoping to be trained up as the relief postman for St Mawes and Portscatho as well in the future. This will give me more to do and be more what I'm used too. At least I will get a van and a proper delivery.
The clocks went back this weekend and we managed to remember to change them in good time. There have been times in the past when I forgot but it never caused too big a problem. I wonder who will change the clocks at Farnham delivery office now?...it was always my job in the past.
My new postal duties are very simple so let me take you through my delivery so far.
We use our cars down here. I park my car in a little estate and take out the first of three pouches. I then head for the main road. Helpfully, the first two houses I go too have no names up...I take inspired guesses at this point as always. The main road is typically Cornwall---no traffic compared with Surrey--so this is a nice bonus. Just as well to because there is no pavement in places, and where there is pavement there is cars and lorries parked on it.
I go up one side and, yes, you've guessed it; back down the other. Return to car; first pouch delivered.
I then take out my second and largest bag and head into the estate. Nice houses and easy to deliver I am around it quite quickly and back at my car in no time at all. Third pouch comes out and I head to the next estate and deliver that one.
I don't deliver any Special Deliveries. I do deliver the Recorded Deliveries though and return my card to the village post office when I've finished. I then drive home. Its an odd way to work and not something I'm used too.
That in a nutshell is my Royal Mail working career at present.
Linda is very busy and is constantly on the move. She is hard at work with the 'Singing for the Brain' activity that is going down so well. That involves her heading off to various venues all over the county. She is also visiting the memory cafes were various sufferer's of dementia and their carer's can meet up and chat. She enjoys it and covers all of Cornwall pretty much on her own.
She was in Penzance on Monday...she's in Plymouth today...and in between roaring around the Duchy...she is also in the office and working from there.
It makes her tired though.
Saturday morning I awoke at 06-30 and made us both a cup of tea. I drank mine and carried on reading my book until 09-00. All Linda did was collapse back asleep, did not drink her tea, and slept until 09-00.
Then she woke up and unleashed the 'dogs of domesticity'. In a frenzy unheard of on my side of the bed she sallied forth and conquered the house. In the time it took me to get out of bed and downstairs Linda had stormed the bedroom and removed the sheets and pillowcases for washing; had attacked every carpet in the place with the 'dyson' and proceeded to beat, sweep , and clean her way from top to bottom of the house.
The assault on the main living room was over by the time I got down stairs but there seemed to be a renewed counter attack on the bathroom. I stepped across the cleanliness of the main part of the house and carefully lowered myself into the armchair. I knew I should do this as Linda had already put a mug of coffee beside it for me. This unspoken signal of the mug of coffee reads as follows...
"sit down, read your book or watch the telly, do not get in my way, this 'IS' my idea of fun and I enjoy it, and I love you Mully".
As the final mopping and cleaning of the bathroom faded into the distance, 'the charge' was sounded and Linda galloped into the kitchen. It was like a scene from 'the charge of the light brigade'...but with only one person in it. Better still; has anyone ever seen the wonderful picture of the wild eyed 'charge of the greys at the Battle of Waterloo'? This was the picture in my mind as Linda gathered herself before charging into the kitchen and doing battle in there.
The whole house was actually in good shape as I had sorted it all out myself in my role as househusband...why I bothered I do not know.
If asked Linda will relate the tale to you of the dirt on the kitchen floor back in Godalming. It went thus:...
"Oy Mully, I know you hoovered up for us, but have you swept the kitchen floor."
"No love I haven't. Its not dirty."
"Yes it is; its filthy."
"Whats wrong with you, its clean."
There then followed the sound of a broom being whipped around the floor and knocking against the walls and cupboard's. This was followed by:...
"Oh Mully, could you come here a minute."
I made the tactical mistake of wandering into the kitchen. Linda stood there with the broom in her hands and a small pile of dirt on the floor. I then followed this tactical mistake by opening my big mouth and making another one.
"Blimey love," gesturing at the pile, "Whats all that stuff?"
"What my darling; this little pile of stuff here? Oh its nothing really; this is the dirt you couldn't see on your 'clean' floor."
I slunk back to the living room feeling crushed and now I just let her get on with it.
To return to this tale of domestic bliss down here in Cornwall. Linda went through the kitchen like a whirlwind. I never saw what might have been cleaned because I stayed on my chair, in the safe zone, with my face wedged into my book.
Later that evening I discovered that all the shelves and cupboards had been re-arranged, including all the drawer space, so that she would now know were everything is. Linda is happier with it now and I am busy re-learning were everything has now moved too. What fun!
In the peace of the rest of the morning and early afternoon she also made more 'home-made' soup than you could ever imagine and filled the freezer upstairs with bags of the stuff. She's a great one for laying in supplies of anything 'home-made' for the winter...and it tastes superb.
We had a visit later from my oldest friend, Tess and her daughter; my god daughter; Kacey. Kacey lives down here at Summercourt and its great to know there is someone else here who know's us.
Tess had come down for a visit and agreed to come over and give me a hair cut.
I've told everyone down here that I wont need the local hairdresser's number because my hair dresser will be coming down from Surrey every six weeks or so to cut my hair. I dont think they believed me.
It was good to have them both around and we had a nice afternoon together chatting and catching up.
The weather has been wet and miserable but we have had some lovely days inbetween as well. There is still quite a bit of warmth in the old sun if the wind is not blowing. We took advantage of the dry weather and the warmth and took another walk along our beach on Sunday. It wasn't to busy and it was good to do a bit of rock pooling and watching the waves roll in.
I have entered another competition with a couple of stories and this time I have included a couple of poems. I hope they do well.