Sunday, 25 November 2012

Chapter Fifty Seven

Well this has been a mixed month for us both. There has been good things and bad things in almost equal measure.
Linda has improved steadily over the last few weeks at home and seems to have finally turned a corner with her depression. Her work definitely came across as being very good about things and realised she was trying to do far to much work in a day. As a consequence things have changed for the better down there and her phased return to work has been very productive and encouraging. Her friend Teresa has now been promoted to being her boss and Linda is hoping that all this will mark a new and more stable chapter in her work.
 I too, also had some good news about work. I lost my job at Grampound Road this summer as you probably know and have been doing all sorts of jobs in the meantime for Royal Mail. Finally I have been given more core hours and this has been a great relief to me.
25 hours a week contract now. I am still doing about 40 hours a week, but at least if I am off sick or on holiday I will get a decent wage.
However; I am now a reserve postman so I pick up all sorts of jobs...most of them blind. Because of my experience I have been able to pick up several rural duties. Its not been easy but I've enjoyed myself. Its a good way of seeing the area.
I doubt now that I shall ever be given a duty of my own because I have made myself a bit useful on the helping out front. We shall just have to see.
Jan and Jim Munro came down to Cornwall for a long weekend and popped in to see us on one Sunday. They are two good friends of ours and come from Bentley. They arrived during the Sunday morning and we took them out onto the Roseland. We had a decent walk along Carne beach followed by a tour around Portscatho and St Mawes. The weather was good and the company even more so. It was good to catch up and we had a good day. Sadly, all to soon, time crept on and they headed back to Hampshire. A lovely day though.
The weather has been very mixed this month but we still managed to get across to the Eden Project on a good day. We didn't go to wander over the place because we shall do that with Grahame and Julie when they come down at the end of the month. We shall make an evening visit of things when they get here and that will be good.
Our reason for visiting on this day was to renew our local tickets for the place. It costs local's £25-00 for the two of you...for two years. A brilliant idea and must pay them huge dividends. We had a one year ticket this year and I lost count of the visits we made. I used to pop in with a book and just sit reading in the peace and quiet for hours. Lovely. In variably I would have a coffee and a sandwich; on occasion I would buy something at the shop; so everybody benefits.
I wrote in my diary on the 17th of November that the ground is very wet underfoot. I also wrote that this saturated ground would not be able to take another huge downpour like the last one. That was quite prophetic.
 This last week has been one of the wettest I have ever experienced. The rain has teemed down for most of the week. Really torrential rain and quite relentless. When I first joined the post back in the '70's the old boys on duty used to have a saying. I have tried to live up to it as I know most postmen do.
They used to say...'When its raining; the milkman sits in his float and waits it out; the workmen climb into their tent or van and take shelter...but a postman turns up his collar and carries on'.
It used to be said with a sort of fatalistic sense of pride...but they meant it. I have lived by that code for the last forty years...but it was sorely tested this week.
At times it was as if somebody had turned a hose on me. Torrents of water have fallen and life has been difficult. The difference this week is that the water has nowhere to go; hence the flooding. There is water lying everywhere and it has become difficult to get around. Coupled with the very strong winds on Thursday something had to give.
On delivery the other day I helped an elderly lady who couldn't stay upright because of the force of the wind and rain. I carried her shopping for her and she held my arm. I swear it was only the pouch of mail slung around my neck that kept us firmly on the ground. I got her home safely so that was good. An hour later I was half drowned in the storm that broke over us all.
By Saturday afternoon our local river got up out of its bed and came up across the road. Linda and I were heading to St Cuby's church in Tregony to hear the Mevagissey Male Voice Choir do a carol concert. We couldn't get through and had to turn back.
An hour later, Linda and I were in the cottage next door with four other neighbours, and trying to help the old lady who lives there. Water was flooding in through the walls and swamping the downstairs of her place.
Just over two and a half hours later the six of us had managed to mop up most of the water, and divert most of the rest harmlessly past the house. We set up a runnel from the fireplace to the side door which carried a considerable amount of water straight through the house and outside. It was still running twelve hours later.
The other big divert was at the back door and we managed to divert the water around the house and away. I've never seen anything like it. It was only her cottage that suffered as well. The rest of us are not quite as vulnerable to the torrents of water pouring off the hill. For us...the water diverts itself through gullies and drains towards the creek. Her place is just to far away and a bit exposed.
Sunday morning found most of Cornwall counting the cost before the next lot of rain turned up. We couldn't use our road as the police had closed it so we had to go the long way around. We drove to St Austell to the huge market over near Par...and found it completly closed due to the lake of water covering most of it. Happy days.
As a final thing for the week I managed to get bitten by a Rottweiler on Saturday. The stupid owner only opened the door to see me while her dog was violently trying to get through the door at me. It bit my arm. Two things saved me from injury. My Royal Mail Storm Coat,,,and the wrist watch that my mates bought me just before I left Farnham to come down here. Thanks guys.
All else is quiet and we are looking forward to Christmas and seeing all our family members after the New Year.
I am not sure what sort of Christmas I am going to have as regards work...but I'm looking forward to it. We are watching old Christmas films and listening to Christmas songs and carols. If only our kids could be with us it would be perfect   

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