Saturday, 8 September 2012

When Postman Pat gave me a shock (and got me thinking).

In a wrongly timed allusion to that famous Christmas poem , in my quiet house this morning it felt as if 'not a creature was stirring, not even mouse.' There I was, quite content, busy enjoying the peace of it all (/contemplating the all important cereal (special K!)/toast for breakfast debate) when I heard a CLUNK in the hallway. The delicate silence had been violated. Curious and, a little alarmed, I immediately ran (too obvious a lie- it's a Saturday, of course I crawled, after some reluctance, out of bed), peered down the stairs only to see what on earth was going on. This disruption, dear Reader, was in fact simply the post being delivered.

Golly Gosh! I am well aware that at this point you are thanking me profusely for entertaining you with such an engaging tale. Post-delivery anecdotes always get people going I know. ..(But genuinely, thank you for still reading...)

What I wanted to share, however, was what this delivery of post suddenly represented to me. There they sat, a couple of envelopes, and some of the usual gaudy take away leaflets, uninvited imposters in my home, invaders into a personal sanctuary.  Too extreme a description? (It's not the post's fault after all!) Yes, yes of course, I am being facetious, and let me now stress that I in fact love receiving post, especially when it is a letter or a card from lovely people.

However, this invasion made me think. These days, so much of our 'post' exists in a technological form, be it an email, a text, a tweet, an instant message etc. Post in all these various shapes drops in to our metaphorical post-filled hallways and 'invades' our lives almost constantly. Of course, we need to be accessible and to access each other easily, and the world's seemingly instant communications are really quite incredible. I don't know what I and we would do without it!

But there are moments, just moments, when part of me wants to run away from it all. Does anyone else feel like that? When on holiday I never want to check my emails, facebook, twitter, you name it, because that is my sanctuary. The postbox is, for a time, nailed shut.

 When it comes to phones, I have always had some 'issues'. I can't help feel (and am sure have shamefully been guilty, I know myself) that all too often we sometimes fail to appreciate the moment or the company we are in, because of the lurking presence of a phone. The chance that someone else might chip in with a text or that something more interesting might emerge on the screen, can pervade the atmosphere and, for me anyway, seem a little rude. Further still, with email accessible on smartphones and the like, when not at work people can still receive work related messages. This can be distracting and destructive to a weekend or holiday. I'm probably far too sensitive to it, and should simply make my peace with an inevitable trend that will only continue to grow, and that I am as much part of, as anyone, of course. But sometimes I think a little sensitivity to good, traditional manners might not be a bad thing. 

Communicating is wonderful, texts are just lovely, phone calls make my day and receiving a letter, well, anyone who ever sends me one receives a thousand bonus points right there. The 24/7 army post invasion however, is a worry.

Sorry Postman Pat- today you triggered a torrent of thoughts, and I just cannot switch them off.

London 2012

 An Olympics which turned so many preconceptions and doubts completely upside down.