THIS is how it started. A pile of mail which you just know before you open it is going to yield a poor harvest. And so it proved. Two cheque books from firstdirect (we asked for one last week and got it. So now they decide we need three): an unwanted gadgets catalogue – eight full-colour glossy pages: an offer of a credit card – yes, they’re still at it – six pages long: a letter from the DVLA, thanking Ian for surrendering his driving licence because of his mild epilepsy, and telling him to look on the back for details of how and when to reapply (it’s blank): two letters (one each) from the bank telling us interest rates have dropped, even though we’ve signed up for online banking and no paper statements.
All-in-all, 21 sheets of paper and eight envelopes go in the bin.
The good stuff is: a thank you letter from Charlie for her birthday presents and Ian’s Scalefour society membership card. Yesterday I got my iron tablets from the doctor; 84 in all, but in three large plastic boxes with just 16 in each. And they wonder why there’s a landfill problem. The truth is – nobody gives damn.
No more estimates from builders, scaffolders or stonemasons in the post. A friend says a builder in the Dale has told her he’s heard there’s a recession on and he wishes some of it would come his way. He’s got more work than he knows what to do with. So that’ll be why he never returned my call.
We set off for Garsdale Head station to meet friends on the train from Carlisle and travel to Settle for lunch. And here is a sight to gladden the heart while we wait for the train – a newly-refurbished waiting-room, warm, well-lit, and welcoming. Beautifully restored and painted, with a mock-Victorian fireplace. And – amazingly – clean and litter free, no graffiti and leaflets and papers stacked neatly on the rack and the windowsill. It’s a time warp.