Today, I decided that it is probably time to make more effort with my appearance. I decided this because a man selling The Big Issue looked down at me for being even scruffier than he was.
I had my back to him, and on hearing him speak to me I looked around and said "No thank you, I haven't any change". He looked me up and down, clearly concluding that I was not the sort of person to ever "have any change", then tilted his head to once side and said "Sorry, darlink", in a manner which made me think he wasn't apologising for asking me to buy a copy of his magazine but for the whole miserable life I must lead to be standing in the rain outside the town Post Office with wild hair, no make up and wearing old clothes.
It is the village Post Office's fault that I was even standing there in the first place. I'd been to this tiny Post Office, which is situated inside the Rosie and Jim shop, to post some things that may or may not have been parcels, depending on if they were Large Letters or not. Now that the Royal Mail has made it absolutely too confusing for me to have the first idea how much the postage is for anything, I needed the assistance of the Post Office Lady. The village Post Office is open until 1pm, or so I thought, so at 12.30 I arrived to send my parcel/Large Letter items (after giving them peace of mind by solving their identity crises).
"Won't go until tomorrow now", Post Office Lady says as I approach the counter.
I frown in confusion, and ask why.
"Postman's been" she explains.
"What, already? I assumed he picked them up after 1pm, since that's when you close."
"He comes when he likes. Between 11 and 1. Usually. Then it won't go until the next day."
"So he comes at 11 some days, even though you're open until 1pm?" I ask her.
"Sometimes we close at 4.30", she says. "Depends."
"Oh, what days are you open until 4.30?" I ask, stupidly.
"Depends", she repeats, as if that were a full explanation.
"So...if you're open until 4.30, surely the postman must pick up the post again after this time of day?" I ask.
"No", she says wearily, as if to an annoying child "Because we're not here because we shut at 4.30."
"Well what time does he collect then?" I ask, in frustration.
"About 5" she says.
Thus, despite my best intentions and attempts to patronise my local sub Post Office, I decided to just take my parcel/Large Letter items into town and post them there.
I did this, and just as I was leaving the Post Office, the menu in the window of the new restaurant next door caught my eye, and I wandered over to see how it looked. It was at this point that the Big Issue man spoke to me, and then looked at me knowingly, as if he too had pressed his nose against a restaurant window, pretending to find it difficult to read the too small print on the menu, while really just gazing in awe and envy at the victual-laden plates of the diners.
Next time I need to go into the village, I'll brush my hair first. Oh and in case you were wondering - two of them were Large Letters and the third was a parcel.