Jaqui's Daily Blog

Postman Pat and a Special Pen Pal


Postman Pat and I have a daily doorstep conversation about my mail.


I think it is unlikely that his name is Pat. He doesn’t drive a smart red van, nor (as far as I can tell) does he own a black and white cat named Jess. He is, however, our postie and a cheery chap he is too, always ready to listen to my whingeing and moaning about the post he has delivered and to nod in friendly agreement. He clearly understands that I am not laying any blame at his door.


Monday is the worst day. “It’s the usual Monday rubbish!” I report to Mr B when he asks about the clutch of letters in my hand. I have already had this conversation with Postman Pat, of course, as a kind of rehearsal for filling Mr B in on the absence of anything meaningful on the Correspondence Front. Is it only us - or does your Monday post consist of nothing but circulars, letters inviting us to buy a new boiler before the onset of winter and large envelopes containing hefty brochures for cruise holidays of a lifetime?


I think I may have whinged and moaned on a past Daily Blog about the latter. We had to cancel our planned “holiday of a lifetime” cruise a couple of years ago when Mr B’s deteriorating health made travel impossible. Every inviting brochure that lands on our doormat is tantamount to rubbing our noses in our misfortune. I have tried writing “Return to Sender, please remove us from your mailing list” on every envelope and posting them back - but it makes no difference. They just keep on coming. Postman Pat hands each one over with an apologetic grin; he knows they will end up in the bin, after much Grinding of Teeth on my part.


Then, today, guess what? A super duper post which has brought smiles to my face. Postman Pat was so pleased to see the delight with which I greeted his appearance on the doorstep this morning. I could just tell it was going to be a Bumper Post.


There’s a £3.50 coupon from the supermarket (Every Little Helps) and a catalogue I’ve been waiting for. Then there’s a square cardboard box containing a craft kit I ordered a couple of weeks ago - I was only complaining at my crafty group yesterday afternoon that it seemed to be taking a long time to be delivered. The company concerned obviously agrees because enclosed with the kit is a little note telling me how sorry they are for the delay and giving me a code for 15% off my next order. I am completely won over. It doesn’t take much to turn me from a Whinger and Moaner into a Happy Bunny.


However the best is yet to come! I save it for last, an envelope addressed to me in granddaughter Hazel’s best handwriting. Here is proof that she has remembered where to find the nearest letter box to her lodgings. She has used one of the note cards and stamps I sent her, plus a new pen set which apparently has so many colours that she feels like a child again. She has thoughtfully only used one colour pen to write to me, possibly for fear that a more psychedelic approach might be a little too much for one who has reached what Faris the Rascal might call A Great Age.


It’s one of those letters which, even as you are reading the words, you can hear the writer chatting in your ear. It’s full of her latest news, questions for me, and acutely perceived observations on life as she knows it. She hasn’t been well and has lost her sense of taste - “for your information, when you can’t taste pork chops, they are VILE!” which has given her a new insight, she says, into how her Grandad, as in Mr B of course, sees food. She can’t wait for Christmas and ponders on how, much as she loves living in London, it makes family time at home extra special. 


Hazel tells me that my weekly letters, when they arrive, are the highlight of her day. Hers to me are just as eagerly anticipated, every word savoured, every line read and re-read. So few people write letters these days and, I suspect, even fewer teenagers.


Aren’t I the lucky one to have such a Very Special Pen-Pal?

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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