Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Red Letter Day


Our apartment is a shrine to all things IKEA and cheap poster-related, but it's warm, comfy and homely.

The computer is in the third bedroom which is a rather cheeky term to describe a cavity that is no wider than a blow up mattress. When emails, facebook updates or phone calls aren't sufficient, I'll come back out into the living room to sit at the dining table to write the birthday card or complete the paperwork that needs to be posted.














Just before leaving for Wengen, Geneva got some snow. It looked rather beautiful when viewed from the eighth floor in a cosy room, but Milly was in need of an outdoor 'visit' if her fragrant farts were anything to go by and I had a couple of letters to post. Time to put on the Dog Walking Coat, rubber boots and grab the plastic poo bags. Oh and the letters - best to keep them in my other pocket so I don't post them as well like I did last time.....

Venturing outside it was clear that the snow was only a light covering. A sunny day and some rain would soon see it disappear. Despite this, the uncovered bits were white with frost and crunchy to walk on.














As I scanned the area for a red post box, I took time to admire the holly nearby. All of our Aussie Christmas cards and decorations feature it, but the red berries are never in season when we're celebrating, so this looked particularly lovely to me.  Now, to keep my eyes peeled for a red letter box....



Like continuing to automatically first look to the right hand side of the road before crossing and annoying people by standing still on the left hand side of the escalators at the shopping centre, finding a letter box still remains a challenge.

Why? Because they're yellow.

Why again? Because they're found in weird spots like behind bus shelters, in the walls of boulangeries situated under dimly-lit stairwells and here, in the front fence of a private house.

Of course.  Why didn't I think to walk three streets behind the main road and around the corner of the World Quaker Organisation into the private residential area to find La Post on this fence?

....and I still smile when I see their enormous buttercup coloured trucks (camions) drive by with the enormous slogan 'Jour Apres Jour' and the German DIE POST underneath.

Maybe that's what happened to Jill's birthday card?  Two first class stamps, well within standard weight and size and yet it arrived three weeks after posting. DIE post, DIE!

22 comments:

JahTeh said...

The berries look so pretty and the snow doesn't look like as dangerous as the blue run. I admire you, I've only been to a snow field twice, diaster both times and I've never been back. Same with surfing, 3 hours to stand up on the board then 3 seconds to cop a gob full of sand and water. In my heart and soul I am a quitter of things that will hurt.

Kath Lockett said...

Yep, admiring berries and strolling in the snow with a dog and letters to post is more my style too, Jah Teh.

Tried surfing too and HATED IT. Who needs to be dunked like a tea bag over and over again, be tempting sharks and then get a 'sand scrotum' in your bathers when you walk back to shore?

Andrew said...

Three bedrooms, I was about to mention with an exclamation mark, but it is a very small space. Did you ask us if we had any questions? I am sure I read that. Is your heating hydronic and how is it fired? Doesn't it get too hot at times? If it gets too hot and you turn the tap lower, how long does it take to cool down?

River said...

The holly berries do look very pretty and remind me that I still haven't bought a holly bush inspite of wanting one...oh, forever!
I have a few Ikea bits in my kitchen, mostly hanging rails for my coffee mugs.
I miss walking on crunchy frosted grass. Adelaide just doesn't seem to get that cold anymore.

River said...

P.S. those yellow mail boxes would confuse me; I'd be thinking they were the personal mail boxes of whoever lived behind the fence. It's just so unusual to see them small and hanging on fences.

Kath Lockett said...

I have no idea what kind of heating we have - just those classic radiators that are under each window and along walls. The concierge automatically puts on the entire building in October and we get to choose between 'off' and 1-5. In theory at least - we've had a few tries at changing the heat levels, but 'rainforest ambience' seems to be the standard output irrespective of the number chosen. As proof, the forecast is -2 to 2C today and I'm writing this in a t-shirt!

Kath Lockett said...

Do you remember the crunchy grass during your time in Murray Bridge, River? (or should that be Murray River, Bridge?). Our bird bath iced over a couple of times....

It took me a good couple of weeks before I found the letter boxes. I just wasn't used to looking for yellow instead of red - colours for publicly important things are clearly ingrained.

diane b said...

I started giggling half way through your post ...knowing darn well that Swiss post boxes are yellow. I'm surprised you had problems with a card that you sent didn't arrive for 3 weeks. The Swiss are usually good at getting thngs done on time. Maybe it was payback for posting dog pooh.

Kath Lockett said...

Dianeb you are probably right - how wrong of me to assume that the organised and clever Swiss wouldn't have known that it was *me* who once accidentally posted a doggy doo bag? :P

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

Crikey - I see what you mean about the post boxes. I've never had to post anything in Switzerland - and I don't actually think I would find one even if I had to.

:-)

Cheers

PM

Anji said...

I hope that you aren't too cold. We have yellow post boxes too. At least yours looks like a new one

The Elephant's Child said...

And its a sign of my age because I still talk about fire engine red. And they aren't and haven't been for years.
Still chuckling at the accidental dog poo posting - at least it was bagged.

Have Myelin? said...

I didn't know they were yellow. And don't get me started on fire engine reds, yellows and limes. A pet peeve of mine. HA.

Love the pictures!!!!

Kath Lockett said...

PlasMan, just hope you're near a La Poste shop instead or just lose yourself in an obscure back street when you've got some time on your hands and that's when you'll find one.

So they're yellow in France, Anji? All the boxes here look pretty brand spanking new, but only small enough to take a handful of letters and that's about it. Aussie Post boxes are coffin-sized in comparison.

Dog doo is *always* bagged, E-Child. I'm petrified of being caught out and then having the one section of garden that Milly's allowed in suddenly become a No Dog Zone. Critical eyes are everywhere here, and through a friend on the first floor who speaks French, the concierge asked her to tell me to change my rubber boots at the door because of the extra mud I was bringing in. Yup, I'm solely responsible for ALL the dirt that's tracked in when it rains, snows or sleets even though I wipe mine and Milly's feet before opening the door!

Thanks Have Myelin. Sapphire often says, "why are you taking a photo of THAT?"

Jayne said...

Good grief, I wouldn't even look twice at those yellow boxes as a post box lol.

Hannah said...

Can you please, please come and furnish my apartment! I completely lack any kind of nesting skills, and still look like I'm living in an empty jail cell. Gaaaaaah!

River said...

I do remember crunchy grass in Murray Bridge, the front lawn, the grass in the horse paddock next door, the grass down by the river early in the morning as I walked across it on my way to work in the cheese factory....
I have great summer memories too, floating on the river in a huge tube from a milk tanker tyre. Six of us per tube.

Kath Lockett said...

...that's why it took me three weeks to find them, Jayne.

Hannah - first, get thyself to IKEA. Second, frequent a good secondhand shop for books and shelf fillers. Thirdly, have a twelve year old girl accompany you as 'style advisor.'

River, I remember using the actual tyres to climb inside and then get pushed down a hill.....?

Louise said...

I'm pretty sure they were yellow in France too. It took me by surprise as well, yellow is meant to stand out I guess, but doesn't when you're looking for red. I love that your most prominent poster is Cailler!

Wally The Walrus said...

Post boxes are yellow in most non-anglo countries. France, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and more but I can't remember. And small. I think they might be collected several times a day, unlike here where it's usually only at 6am.

As for delivery times - we posted a box of stuff home from Switzerland. It arrived about 4 months later. Now it was only 2nd class, and it was a box, and it was big, and it did cost the equivalent of about A$70, but 4 months did seem a bit rich.

Kath Lockett said...

We have two Cailler posters, Louise, both purchased at the wonderful factory (which, unlike Cadbury, is really worth a visit and you feel very welcome). I also have a Nestle one from a magazine dated November 1968 that Sapphire found on eBay for my birthday and had framed. It mentions that it contains "Switzerland's secret recipe."

I've had a few disappointments with La Post/Die Post, Wally, despite going up to the counter and checking that I'd used the correct stamps. This is very strange for a country whose trains run on time to the very minute and when Aussie friends and family will email and say, "I've put something in the post for you today" and we get it three days later.

And DON'T GET ME STARTED on how if you order something through eBay, Amazon or The Book Depository and they read the green label, send you a form to say 'come and pick up from the post office' and then charge you tax....

Red Nomad OZ said...

What's wrong with these people? Don't they know that RED RULES??!!

Looks like you're getting closer to a 'Red Alert' guest spot downunder??!!