Monday/Tuesday 16th/17th July

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Another double date!

Apologies for merging two days into one blog but the days somehow managed to get merged into one blur.

It started off nice and quietly on Monday as the regulars duly appeared early doors.

The two people in the photograph are regular welcome visitors to the Post office and are often good for a chat or a story.

The lady in question will normally find most of the chaps she meets ready for a cuddle and a peck on the cheek.

The gentleman is however becoming less talkative on his visits as he is concerned that he may end up being quoted in the blog (again!).

After lunch we had a visit from a Post office representative who was checking that we were adhering to the new mail sorting procedures

As I had not received all the relevant labels and ties I had to initially disappoint him.

Fortunately (!) he had the missing elements in his car so my excuses were blown out of the water.

So now, although the specifically designed cupboard holds two mail bags we now have to sort the mail into 3.

It’s all part of the agreement between Royal Mail and the Post office, in that RM will continue to use PO for the next 10 years (at least). The PO agreed (on our behalf) that we would do more pre-sorting of mail before it gets taken off to Exeter.

It was difficult to change the habit of 8 years of tossing stamped letters into the bag to my left, behind me and I was often retrieving letters to put them into the correct bag.

The poor old Postie has to hang around a little longer at collection time now as we have to label up and seal every mail bag.

It’s called progress.

After work we then hosted a dinner party for my son’s girlfriend’s parents who are over on a visit from France.

This was the first time we had met them so it was all systems go after closing time.

My other half had done some prep work during the day which helped but it was all hands to the pump as we served up a four course meal.

After pre dinner drinks we sat down to eat about 8:30 p.m. and in true French style we finished about 1 a.m.!

In typical British tradition we served them ‘Le Roast beef’ with proper Yorkshires.

We served cheese before the dessert(s) to make them feel at home.

Many drinks were consumed and we introduced them to Port with cheese and Malt Whisky with the coffee (strong and dark).

It was a great evening and we did manage to overcome the language barrier even when my son’s girlfriend was not around to interpret for us.

Pitifully constructed sentences with a mixture of English, French and obscure words still seem to do the trick as does the ‘speaking English with a French accent (why do we do that?).

Six people eating and drinking for over six hours does generate a pile of washing up!

Washing up is only a minor step of course as the drying up and putting away takes even longer.

Seven hours later, bright eyed and bushy tailed, I was serving customers again.

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As I was readying the shop this morning I spied the G4S management outside preparing the queue markings for the interviews for the Olympic Security Guards that were taking place in Bampton today.

Anyone who could triple park in Brook St passed the first part of the test.

The second part of the test was the question “Are you a member of the British Forces or the Police Force?”

Hence no one was recruited.

No one has claimed the hearing aid that was lost last week and today someone handed in a pair of spectacles that were found somewhere in Bampton.

We could now be looking for short sighted deaf person.

Late in the afternoon a couple came in to ask for directions to Upham House.

This name did not ring a bell with us or any of our customers in the shop at the time.

We checked out the electoral register, our address look up system on the Post Office computer and also googled it on the phone – all to no avail.

When the lady got out her accommodation details we spotted that the address was Bampton in Oxfordshire!

So although they were in the place they wanted to visit they had managed to book a room in a different Bampton.

We pointed them in the direction of Heron House for some B&B and before we closed they came back in to say they were staying there and they liked it.

All part of the service.

A quiet night in for me tonight

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