I’ve had another visit from the chocolate fairy, who posts a bar of chocolate through my letter box occasionally on a Sunday morning. Isn’t that delightful thing to happen? As you know, I did eventually discover the identity of this wonderful person, and thanked her for her kind thought. This time I was bold enough to ask for a favour; the weather was truly dreadful and I was worried about slipping on the wet pavements. So would someone in her household be able to post a couple of birthday cards for me?
Her daughter said yes, and we then had a most interesting conversation about when was the right time to post birthday cards. In the old days we allowed two days and put on a second-class stamp, but someone told me we’re supposed to allow three nowadays because the Post Office won’t touch the mail that comes in for an extra day, to let the corona virus dissipate. Is this fake news, or actually what really happens? Anyway, I’m now playing it safe by putting a first-class stamp on and trying to remember the three-day rule. The chocolate fairy came up trumps and my cards were duly posted. Hurray!
I am always delighted to be asked to write another short story for the Methodist Recorder. This time it’s to be one for Christmas. Fine. Lovely. I’m sure I can think of something . . . but oh and ah! What will Christmas be like this year? Will the UK be divided into high or low infection spots? Will those in some places be allowed to have their families around them for Christmas Day, and others have to sit in solitude? Will different households be allowed to mix? Will children under eleven be allowed to join in the family fun or segregated from the mainstream with an expensive toy? Will people spend extra because they haven’t been able to meet up with their loved ones? Or less because their jobs are in jeopardy?
Oh, oh, oh! How am I going to write a story without knowing whether lockdown is going to be the villain of the piece? Suppose I guess at a Christmas governed by the Rule of Six, and the government changes its mind the week before? What happens to my story, then? I suppose I could write alternative scenarios . . . No, that’s silly. I’m just going to have to guess, that’s what.
The story from the archives which automatically comes with this newsletter is called ‘Down-sizing,’ which happens to a lot of us as we get older. It’s a sensible practice, but can be difficult for the people concerned. You can access it here . . .
A blessing on all who post letters and run errands for the housebound in these difficult times.