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Happy ChristmasHappy New Year Happy Christmas

31st December 2006

Festive Greetings to all. I thought I'd get one last blog in for 2006, and let you know about my hectic Christmas.

Fortunately I took a week's leave at the beginning of December, and got all my Christmas preparations out of the way. Once the cards and pressents were bought, wrapped and posted, I rested up and enjoyed my first time off since starting work for the post office in July (yeah, I know that's not a really long time without a break...but it feels like it when you've spent the last few years as a lady of leisure). I was glad that I did, as I returned to work to find that the Christmas chaos had already begun. The bags were bulging at the seams - full cards rather than the crappy junk mail that forms the bulk of the mail the rest of the year, which was nice.

After working from five until twelve or so, I'd pop home for a quick bite to eat then return to work to help sort out the incoming mail. Each sack collected from the post offices and post boxes has to be emptied and the mail inside split between smaller cards, larger envelopes and packets. Then we had to cancel the stamps on the larger items - which means stamping them with a postmark - by hand...yes, I thought it was all done by machine this day and age too. I've also done a few collections too: driving around the countryside to various postboxes and emptying them. You have to be careful not to empty the boxes too early, and scan a barcode inside each to prove that you waited until the allotted time.

Of course working so much has meant that my social life has taken a back seat. I've only been out once over Christmas, and I'm feeling like a dullard because of it. I shall be out tonight to see in the New Year, so I intend to make up for the lack of excitement recently. Christmas itself was lovely. After spending so many away, it's extra nice to spend the time with family. A hot Christmas just isn't the same, for those of us born in colder climes. Rather than feeling that Christmas had come to early, and getting bored with all the festive songs, I've enjoyed all the fuss.

It's been interesting seeing all the decorations as I've been out on my deliveries. I've been surprised at the amount of lights some people have up, bunches of wires snaking in through catflaps to overloaded extension leads - quite reminded me of some of the dodgy wiring I'd seen in Asia. If we have heavy rain, I'm sure half of Dover will be electrocuted. I've had to take care not to trip over fairy lights as I shortcut across gardens, and dodge inflatable santas and snowmen. One rather disturbing sight I saw was an almost lifesize Father Christmas who was meant to be climbing up a rope ladder onto a roof...only it looked more like he was hanging there, as if the stress of Christmas had become too much, and Santa had topped himself. I wonder how many children that traumatised.

I hope that your Christmas was merry and full of joy, and wish you a very happy New Year. May 2007 bring happiness to all.

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