Tuesday 13 December 2016

The Post Office is

crowded at this time of the year. There is an ant like queue out the door.
The staff, most of whom I know, seem to be cheerful enough but - underneath - I sense a longing for  closing time on the 24th December. (Yes, the Post Office opens on Saturdays before Christmas!) I will provide them with shortbread sometime next week - just to keep them going. It's tradition now.
But I am reminded of our late friend B... In her "retirement" she would, among other things, take a job sorting mail at Christmas time. 
It isn't the sort of thing you expect a woman in her 80's to do but she would do it. The money went to one of her favourite charities and the Post Office loved to have her there...because she knew her geography. The younger staff could rely on her. 
They would be sorting mail to this state and that and look up and ask her, "B....where's Kyancutta?"
She would respond instantly. If someone had put her on a quiz show and asked her where Pidnippie or Moculta was she would not have hesitated. How did you travel from Pannawonica to Thangoo? Not a problem. She could probably have told you what "grade" the road was. 
In all probability she had been there with her husband. They would have been pulling a small, old fashioned caravan in a car that had none of the fancy electronic gadgets that modern cars have. They knew Downunder better than anyone I have ever met. She knew a great deal of the rest of the world pretty well too. What's the capital of....? What's the name of the river which flows through...? Ask B... because, in all likelihood, she would know. No wonder the Post Office found her so useful at the height of the Christmas silly season.
I was reminded of all this because I have just had to explain for the second time that Cambridge, England is not in Andorra. I ordered a book for a friend in England to give to her granddaughter. I got a message saying that the address was incorrect. I checked. Somehow their website had added Andorra to the address - which already clearly said "England" with the correct post-code.   The first person had the sense to realise it wasn't correct and sent me a message asking me to re-order it. The second person sent me a message asking if the address was correct. I have sent a message back telling them that there is a blip in their system. This is not my problem. It is theirs.  
Or is there a Cambridge in Andorra? I doubt it. B... would have known.

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