The door-bell rings. It's a delivery! Oh, how I do love Delivery Days.
Today was a Double Delivery Day. Once upon a time it was either Postman Pat (with or without black
and white cat) or no one. Today, in these modern times, there are all kinds of different delivery companies flitting here, there and everywhere transporting parcels large and small to eager recipients. Not only that but we can - if we have the time, energy
and inclination - track our parcels as they wend their way From Depot to Doorstep.
Because of this I was aware that we would have two exciting trips to the front door over the course of the day. You are thinking,
I know, that we must have an extremely boring life to be so thrilled at such a prospect but, hey, life is full of Small Moments of Pleasure. Long may it be so.
We knew what the first parcel would contain -
a new electric razor for Mr B who is having trouble with his customary shaving routine. I have offered, dutiful wife that I am, to give him a close shave every morning. He shuddered at the very thought and immediately took to the John Lewis website before
I could utter the words "cut throat razor."
The Greek God of Commerce (aka Hermes) arrives at our house. He is a she. Equality has caught up with Greek Mythology and about time too. We pull the cardboard box
apart to reveal Mr B's truly splendid new toy. It has comfort rings with a microbead coating which will reduce friction, so resulting in smooth, relaxed skin. Its gentle precision blade system will gently guide hairs for a close, sensitive shave. Get in line,
you hairs on Mr B's chinny-chin-chin - your days are numbered!
While I am reading these fascinating details from the box, Mr B is struggling with a tiny instruction booklet (3 inches by 4 inches), each page
of which carries between eight to ten minute pictures. Some pictures are decorated with red crosses which we presume are dire warnings: "Don't do this, if you want to keep your head on your shoulders." Or: "Serious blood loss could result". That kind of thing.
There are also blue directional arrows and occasional clock faces indicating the amount of time we should allow for various functions. It is all deeply confusing. Whose idea was it, I wonder, to turn instruction manuals into comic strip books?
The second delivery was a proper mystery. We had received one of those annoying cards from Royal Mail telling us that we had a parcel held for us, down at the Delivery Office, which could not be released into our eager keeping
until we paid up £12.63, £8 of which was a "handling charge." I can't imagine the Greek God of Commerce or his Roman equivalent, Mercury, messing about with handling charges. They'd just get tangled up in those cute little wings on their hands
and feet, wouldn't they?
We had a bit of a debate, Mr B and I, on whether to pay up or not (I have become famously stingy since taking over the family finances) - but curiosity overcame us so I went on-line,
paid up and was assured Postman Pat would deliver today. Which he duly did.
Inside the rather ordinary cardboard box, layers and layers of white tissue paper, tied up with a gold ribbon. Nestled within the
tissue paper, the most beautiful Autumn table runner with eight matching napkins. Think pumpkins and the Season of Mellow Fruitfulness and you will get the picture. An accompanying card revealed that our generous gift was from our kind American friends, a
thank you for our hospitality back in June.
"We had a fabulous time in your beautiful home and with you. Your home is warm, cosy and very inviting. We are sure
you have guests all of the time."
Not all the time, in fact, though living at the seaside helps. But could there be a more delightful thank you from guests who gave us just as much pleasure as we hopefully
gave them during their stay with us?
Mr B asks when our Autumnal Runner will decorate our table. It will have to be a special occasion to do justice to its spendid-ness but, never fear, I have the perfect
idea - an occasion which is seasonal, American, pays tribute to our generous friends and is, what's more, pumpkin-related.
It's called Thanksgiving.