Taking Stock - February 15, 2016

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I’m sure most folks will remember cheery old Postman Pat. Just for clarification, I’m not talking about the new-fangled digitised version on kids’ TV these days.

He’s far too flash with his special delivery service and racy theme song.

No, I’m thinking back to the days before Greendale’s Post Office had been moved into a branch of Bargain Booze and the village almost certainly had it’s own bank, library, pub and regular bus service.

Pat would visit Mrs Goggins every morning, load up his van and then proceed not to deliver any mail – instead devoting the majority of his post round to rounding up lost sheep, rescuing Jess from up a tree or dealing with some calamity or other involving Ted’s lorry.

I can only imagine that Pat – the quaint hand-animated one – is now working for a private delivery company.

Only that can explain why this week, having taken the rare step of engaging in online shopping, I found myself a prisoner in my own home.

As a rule, I’m not a fan of online shopping.

Order from the supermarket and you’ll end up with a load of questionable veg and two dozen unsuitable substitutions.

Order a big ticket item and you’re at the mercy of the delivery firms.

Most these days give you a handy text to tell you when they’re turning up.

Not the chaps dealing with my package.

The promise to be at your property before 9pm isn’t so much a delivery window as a sentence to house arrest.

When the van did arrive – at dusk – there was no cheery smile, no black and white cat – just something grunted about a signature before the parcel was deposited on my toes.

It’s a world away from Greendale, Pat’s cheery smile and that bright red van.