I am well aware that this blog is supposed to be about finding cool and trendy things to do in the countryside so a post about post offices may just make anyone who is reading this switch off.
But I can’t help it. I’m taking a rain check on my post about a fantastic holiday in Devon for one about mail or post or whatever you want to call it.
When we moved back to England a very good friend suggested my daughter and hers, who had known each other since they were babies, became pen friends.
Obviously being three and four years old they weren’t going to conjure up handwritten masterpieces, but we figured scribbles and stickers would be greatly appreciated.
However, the contents of the packages was less problematic than the physical action of posting them.
I kid you not that my email (yes, I’m aware of the electronic irony) to said pen pal friend’s mum read:
“I’m glad she liked the card. H has written T another one, but the pace of village life means the post office comes to visit us just once a week in the Working Man’s Club,” I wrote. “I wish I was joking! I haven’t plucked up the courage to go in there yet. I don’t know what I’m expecting to find, but I I keep getting visions of the last man standing from the night before, being left in charge of the first class stamps and the stamp sticker pad has gone missing. This means he takes it upon himself to lick the stamps and even worse my envelopes with his stale cider breath,” I continued.
“So instead I drive to the next village where there’s an actual PO that stays open all day – except for lunchtime of course, because with all that foot traffic they need a rest. It also sells pet food, imports the local old lady’s knitted goods and if you’re really lucky you’ll find a second hand hamster cage for sale.”
She responded by writing that she’d “audibly gasped”.
But my fascination with the place meant I insisted on my husband paying it a visit too, only he had to leave because he said it made him want to cry!
I, on the other hand, love it. I’ve even braved the Working Man’s Club post office too. I won’t lie, it was weird. There was a raffle and they were setting up tea and biscuits, but it beats standing in a half hour queue at the Hollywood Post Office where I was generally greeted with gritted teeth, a frown and a $45 price tag to send a letter home.
My only issue with going again is that I’ve just been told the Natwest Banking Van visits Martock on a Wednesday and I’m not sure I’ve got enough time to post a letter, have a free cuppa and get to the next village in time to pile into the back of a van to deposit my pennies!