Mr Postman please, is there a letter in your bag for me?

Book coverIt’s only February and already I have a new worry waiting in the wings: letterboxes. As in – how will I explain letterboxes to my grandchildren on our future walks round the neighbourhood? Given that I have, as yet, no grandchildren and that letterboxes are still being used (well, sort of), this may seem a premature worry to you.

But the signs are all very clear. New Zealand Post alone processes 50 million fewer postal items every year. In the States this climbs to a terrifying 28 billion fewer postal items per annum.

I’ve been keeping my own stats and can confide in you that I received only twelve Christmas cards this year – all from the mobile elderly still lucky enough to have a post office nearby. Twelve. What else could I do but cheat and put up a few of my own to boost the numbers?

Our neighbourhood is full of characterful letterboxes: a weirdly shaped pukeko, a  mosaiced castle, a cheerfully painted kettle –  they are often the first and sometimes the only indication of the personalities that inhabit the houses. Chrissie Ward saw this coming and has put out a book on New Zealand letterboxes: Kia Ora Postie.

Of course I love my e-mails, but part of me is still the lady in this photo waiting for the postman to bring the mail from overseas – written on lined paper using a fountain pen and blotting paper, the parcel secured with string and sealing wax, embellished with colourful stamps and hand delivered to me outside my cottage  by a cheerful, chatty postman. Almost all gone now.

What makes you come over all nostalgic?  No need to send a note via carrier pigeon, just click on Leave a Comment above!

3 thoughts on “Mr Postman please, is there a letter in your bag for me?

  1. julesw100 17 February 2012 / 10:52 am

    And what about our milkman? Same scenario. Sigh. Living in Lyttelton, that has now been without a supermarket for a couple of years, and is still full of die-hard oldies (aka the ones that overtake me walking up the hills) … I know many people who lament the loss of the daily contact that was offered from the milkman and his ‘lad. who always had time for a bit of chat and a laugh and a gossip. And, is it just me, but does milk really taste the same out of those plastic containers which are rapidly filling up thousands of recycling bins every week? Also, who would have thought a few years’ ago that glass milk bottles would be sold at markets as ANTIQUES!?? I kid you not.

    So … iif you happen to have a full set in accompanying carrier, plus a milk disc or two … all I can say is hang onto them. They’ll probably be selling on Trade Me for thousands of dollars in years to come.

  2. robertafsmith 18 February 2012 / 1:24 am

    Milk in bottles is also in my memory banks remember the thick yellow cream at the top?

  3. Vanessaccl 20 February 2012 / 11:39 am

    I’m with you, Roberta – I love receiving letters and postcards the old-fashioned way. And I like real stamps rather than barcodes 🙂

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