The Delivery Service: Too Posh for Post

Today I seized the opportunity to get a little cycling in despite the variable weather, sleet, sun and icy wind. My wife had printed out a pile of leaflets about the village preschool open day and had to deliver them in the nearby village of Telisford. We were down at her mother and father’s house using the cutter to chop the leaflets into shape, there was some debate as to who was going to go to do the leaflet drop. When getting the car out was mentioned I immediately stepped in with an environmentally friendly, two-wheeled, solution. The father-in-law was just starting a relay series of lunches for the various relatives gathered at the house and it looked like mine would be a while so I elected to do the leafleting before eating. I rushed back to our house, put on my waterproof and Hi-rez vest then broke out the Brompton. The Lemond was looking a bit dejected so I’m going to have to take it out soon, the Brompton has certainly been getting all my attention recently, its status slowly ballooning on the category cloud in the right hand column of The Highway Cycling Group blog. As I had my enormous trousers on, I clipped up to avoid chain snag, I looked like a cycling Cossack. With the leaflets in the bag on the front I set off down the road, a nice freewheel down to The Mill. Telisford is atop a steep hill, in fact the church and one house is at the summit, the rest of the village descends down a no-through road, culminating in a steep series of old and uneven steps down to Telisford Mill, recently converted to generate electricity. I quite enjoyed leaving the bike at the gates of these large houses and crunching over the gravel to the front doors. However I rapidly became annoyed by the distinct lack of letterboxes. Some of the houses had many converted outbuildings, stables, up to six cars, but not a letterbox in sight! Are they too posh to receive post? Do they have some secret means of receiving mail? The final stagger down the steps to the mill ended with me wandering hopelessly round someones garden until they came out and asked what I was up to. Ah, hand delivery, just like the old days. The Mill was churning out the Kilowatts, I could hear its whine fading as I puffed up to the Brompton waiting by Crabb Cottage (who do have a letterbox). Then up the hill and right towards Farleigh Hungerford, pausing to take a photo of a seriously ploughed field.

The Ploughlands

By now I was longing for that lunch, I wondered if it was ready yet. Just a few more houses to go, but quite spaced out (the houses, not me). The final house was about ten feet over the crest of the first hill towards Farleigh, the impossibly picturesque Lodge. It’s for sale, three bedrooms and splendidly isolated. Hooray, they had a letterbox though it was extremely small. Luckily, the leaflet I was delivering was also tiny.

The Lodge

Job done. Then it was almost downhill all the way until the in-laws’ house, where I tucked into a plate of eggs, bacon, chips and beans laced with HP sauce.

Now that’s good living!