Another gey dreich day for the citizens of the 'driest county in England.' If I wished to live under a perpetual cloud with added rain I would have stayed in Edinburgh. In fact yesterday was one of the frequent bright sunshine days with a bitter cold wind meaning any use of the fridge was unnecessary.
Later the normal conditions returned.
However the rain bringing down the leaves, stimulating the earth and drenching the flora around us does bring out a rich mixture of aromas not all being unpleasant. Indeed a walk across the park enriches the mind and stimulates the brain as the fruits of creation, even those turning overnight into compost, release their contents.
The light changes with the clouds above and the colour of fallen leaves below, even though this camera could not replicate this here. A wee stab of light from the hidden sun was called upon but refused to show, it appears ten thousand feet of cloud blot out the sun. The distant mist is not unpleasant to look at, though the woman who puts out her washing may disagree, and while the rain stays out of the holes in my shoes it was not disagreeable to walk amongst miserable dogwalkers with happy dogs and occasional Blackbirds seeking a late breakfast.
After the rain decided to cease to some extent I hobbled off to the Post Office. I had to resend one of my books to another part of Essex as someone had nicked one from the envelope! The poor lass called me to say she received the envelope and letter but the book was missing, the envelope ripped down the side. My work is so precious postmen are stealing it! The problem it appears from my experience is the main sorting offices. Here as many as 400 are employed, some of who's backgrounds are not always checked very well, and opportunities for self enrichment do occur. Local offices suffer this also, our local recently lost one man who had been at it for years, a man I knew and like everyone else trusted totally! He is now serving 16 months! Missing mail is usually nothing to do with your local postie, almost all goes from the main sorting office. Someone there is at least learning something, that I do not enclose money in envelopes.
However on the way back I met a postwoman doing the round she has had for years. I have done this and it is a difficult walk, on a steep hill, with houses placed in awkward positions, lots of small slopes which weary the legs, and a finish that is most despairing to those who have to do it. Not the worst I have done but this lass is not as young as she was and deserves something better.
The thing is she was pushing one of these appalling trolleys. For reasons difficult to comprehend Royal mail, now sold off on the cheap to the private sector (Did you know that this government enabled some friends to buy many shares on the promise to keep them for a while to stabalise the shares. George Osbornes 'Best man' at his wedding was one such. He took many shares and sold them the next day for £35 Million! ), decided to take away the postmen's bikes and replace them with these trolleys. An absurd idea for many and this lass suffers from it. It is now impossible for her to do her work in the time allotted. On a bike it took five minutes to reach the first drop, it also took about five to return to the depot at the end, both journeys pushing the trolley take around ten to fifteen minutes for the same journey, that's thirty minutes lost from the start! Between drops there are open spaces, walking between these is slower than using a bike, especially going downhill, and I guess this change of equipment has added an hour to a round. How stupid is that?
The claim from Royal Mail that this method avoids posties carrying heavy bags and suffering back pain is rubbish as they suffer pushing trolleys uphill, through busy pavements also. Cycle accidents are avoided this way, but trolley ones are not? In short it was a gimmick, the bikes have been rounded up and sent to Africa as a piece of corporate charity. This sounds good but not at all like Royal Mail. I suspect someone there is now selling them at high price and lining his pockets.
The mail delivery is slower, the posties unhappy, (in spite of the good for nothing union agreeing to these trolleys nobody wanted them) and with Christmas upon us we will soon see them struggle through the rain, sleet and snow all the while expecting a tip!
Royal Mail, like all privatised companies, is a mess and it will only get worse.