Fewer and fewer people can be bothered to go to an actual shop, buy an actual card, write an actual greeting, slip it into an actual envelope, write an actual address, stick on an actual stamp and pop it into an actual post box. When I say it like that it does like a bit of a palaver, doesn’t it? Instant messages, instantly sent on instant social media is the modern way. I’m fine with that. I do it too. I’m a thoroughly modern Millie. But who would deny the pleasure of a dull slap on the mat when the postie’s been?
It was my birthday recently; nothing special – just another year closer to the edge. A few of my nearest and dearest did bother to go to an actual shop, buy an actual card, write an actual greeting, slip it into an actual envelope, write an actual address, stick on an actual stamp and pop it into an actual post box. And what actual theme emerged? Wine, willies and my golden years. As the old nursery rhyme goes…
And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
That’ll be me, then.
Ian, one of my oldest friends, is the area manager of a gay ‘lifestyle’ chain (AKA licensed sex shops – don’t tell his mother). The filthy smut flies off the shelves as the filthy lucre fills the tills even during these recessionary times. Well, people stay in more and make a meal of it. Despite his status as purveyor of porn to the Grindr generation, Ian is an off-fashioned boy with the Nineties hairdo to prove it. He shuns the modern world of instantaneous communication for a more leisurely discourse – snail-mail rather than e-mail, hand-crafted notes rather than instant messaging. Even his flip-top phone belongs in the Science Museum. He’s particularly scathing about Facebook, seeing it as the work of the Devil. I picked up this postcard and sent it to him. I wrote, “I saw this card and thought of you.”
A couple of days later I received this card in the post. Ian had written, “I saw this card and thought of you.” Touché!
The Turkish postal system is a hit and miss affair at the best of times. We do get mail delivered to our house. Well, not delivered exactly, more chucked over the wall into the garden. I’m not joking. The postman always rings twice? Round these parts he can’t be arsed to ring at all. Thankfully, we’ve had little to do with post services since our arrival from Blighty. This is just as well. Receiving the credit card bill a week after it is due to be paid is a novel approach to financial management. Recently though, I’ve been sending one or two of my books to people hereabouts. Complementary, of course; I’m not allowed to make money here. I’ve been down to the main post office in the centre of Bodrum a couple of times now. What is it that makes post office counter staff the world over miserable, surly and unhelpful?
If you live in the United Kingdom and would like to buy a signed copy of Perking the Pansies, Jack and Liam move to Turkey, delivered free, please click here.
If you’d like a signed copy of the book but live outside the UK, please leave a comment on this post or contact me via my personal website.
The good people at the Book Depository will now deliver Perking the Pansies free of charge to about 120 countries and territories across the world from Australia and Andorra to Vanuatu and Vietnam. Isn’t that nice of them? Ironically, the free deal doesn’t cover Turkey.