This post dodges about a bit between the UK and Spain, so it’s probably not unreasonable that although I start off talking about the UK postal service, the lions in the picture are actually from the post office in Avila, Spain.
Back in the dim and distant past, you could post a letter in the morning at one end of the country and know it would be delivered at the other end of the country the next day. Indeed, I think that if you caught the early collection, or if it had to go a shorter distance, it would be delivered that same afternoon.
I remember an Aunt and Uncle travelling from Northumberland to visit us in Essex – it must have been in the early sixties – and sending three sequenced postcards announcing their impending visit. The postcards arrived – in the correct order – on three consecutive deliveries. Up until 1960 (1965 in Scotland), there were deliveries on Christmas Day and I’m sure there were Sunday deliveries, too, though perhaps no second post.
None of that is of much relevance to anything, except that when I wrote the previous post (unconkered) first thing this morning, I said I would see if I could find some inspiration and write again as I’d missed yesterday. So this is now a second post on a Sunday.
In reality, it hasn’t been a very inspiring day, and I haven’t had any bright ideas for anything to write.
However, it does occur to me that I’ve forgotten to announce that I’ve recently published another book.
A few years ago I wrote a regular column for a local English-language paper in Spain. Now I’ve collected together the columns, tweaked them a bit and published them as an eBook, Los vecinos and other animals, which is available to buy from Amazon.
The essays are based on a British view of living in a Spanish village and I hope they may amuse. They are mostly written in English, but there is a fair amount of Spanish in there because at the time I was very definitely living between the two languages.
To celebrate the new book, I’ve decided to give away two of my poetry books – also written while I was living in Spain.
Tomorrow and Tuesday they will be available to download free from Amazon.
First, there’s Poems from the pueblo: Haiku and assorted fragments.
In addition to the poems, a lot of which were first published here on the blog, the book includes an essay House of cards about the process from notebook jotting to finished poem.
And then there’s Around the corner from Hope Street, which is illustrated by Lance Tooks.
This morning’s blog post included the list sonnet What have I got in my pocket which comes from early on in the book and sets a melancholy mood, but if you read the collection sequentially you’ll find a story with a happy ending.
If you do download the books and enjoy them, I’d really appreciate a review on Amazon.
Now, if only I had a suitable photograph, I could add a picture of a traditional red English letterbox and re-title this “from post to pillar”. But all the photos I have are vertical, so instead we end up back in Spain, at the Madrid Palacio de Comunicaciones.