An undeliverable promise



This is a big event for me these days. My parcel was on its way. Then suddenly, at the last minute all my hopes were dashed.

I was here at home (I am never anywhere else). The notice was on the gate, ‘Please leave parcel on table’. The table was there. What could have gone wrong? I had been eyeing my tracking page all day. It had made great progress and was ‘Out for delivery’. I waited for hours, it got dark, but I didn’t give up. At 9pm we heard a van outside, a door banged, and then the van was gone, in a flash. We hurried to the table but there was nothing there. I checked my email and it said, ‘Parcel undeliverable’. How can a parcel be undeliverable?

We have got used to some promises being undeliverable, this year, but sometimes you can see why. This time I cannot. They should not have promised if they couldn’t deliver. There was no reason given as to why it could not be left here.

When I was a little girl, I lived on a remote farm, miles away from the nearest village. Our postman came on a bike every morning. His round was so long, he had to start very early and he had a cooked breakfast at our house.

It was the day before Christmas and my mother had ordered my present from a catalogue. It hadn’t arrived before Posty set off on his round. I would not have my present on time. But here is the surprise, when our postman returned to the depot that night, he saw that now my parcel was there so, on Christmas Day, he pedalled all the way to our house again to deliver it. We did not get a note to say it was ‘Undeliverable’ and thanks to a man prepared to go that extra mile, I had my present on time.

Yesterday, my first Christmas card arrived in the post and there is another batch today. I have decided not to send any cards this year and I have told family and friends. In the circumstances, I will give a donation to a charity instead. I feel guilty. I will not go back on my decision but I can see that I will be doing a lot of grovelling calls.

I expect many cards will depict the robin. We all love the robin but look out for the equally cute long tailed tits. They will be in flocks, at this time of year, but they do not stay for any length of time. Their tails are longer than their tiny fluffy black and white bodies and they have pale pink breasts. If you see one you will not be disappointed but it will be gone in a flash.

(Taken from my column in the Shropshire Star - With Vicky Turrell)


Posty on his way to deliver my present on Christmas Day 1952

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