Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Monday, 1 August 2011

A post office or ...?

A few paces from ‘Vikings’ on Upper Street in Kingsdown, there used to be a post office and stationer, selling writing pads, envelopes, cards, candy, cigarettes and some basic groceries, like tinned food and fresh fruit. And guess what! Four decades later, it was still there! How extraordinary because Kingsdown is just a tiny village. I would have thought that it had been closed down years ago, like they do here in Belgium, in an attempt to cut costs.

I simply couldn’t believe my eyes when Mats pointed it out to me. “I used to buy stamps there for the letters I wrote home during my stays in 1973 and 1974.” he said. That reminded me of the picture postcards I had bought earlier that morning in a small souvenir shop near the entrance to the pier in Deal and which needed stamps. This was as good a place as any to get them. I like to write postcards to my mother and some close friends when I’m on holiday. Another tradition that is slowly going out of fashion. Tell me, do you still postcards when on vacation abroad?

While Mats and Teresa remained in the car, I popped into the post office. There were two men waiting to be served. As this took some time, it gave me a chance to look around. The cigarettes, tins and fruit had gone. But you could still get envelopes, writing pens and paper, cards and … candy … lots of candy!

Avoid this 'post office' if you have a sweet tooth!

And these colourful ribbons ...

There were even some hand-knitted baby clothes, carefully packed in plastic to shield them from gathering dust. All of a sudden I had visions of the grumpy, bearded clerk at our local post office ... selling pink hand-knitted baby cloths ...


Louise said...

I always send postcards. My friends and family seem to enjoy receiving them and some even place them on their fridges with magnets for a week or two. It's more fun than a "group email"don't you think?

Anonymous said...

I love postcards too and frequently send them. I think it also depends on the type of holiday that you are on and if there is sufficient quiet time to write the cards. I've just been away with a group of family/friends and it was far too active to write many cards. I always send one of my friends a postcard of typical local food specialities. This year I sent a card with a Cornish pasty on it. guess where I went?

Craig said...

It does my heart good to know that your little shop survived Martine. I'm afraid that here too in the UK it's more and more unusual to find such places.

Mark said...

I've never seen a post office like that in my life. As it is, our neighborhood offices are all gone now where live. And I need to be honest, I really don't have a need for one. But I like candy shops! m.

ladybird said...

Louise, I totally agree. I love receiving AND sending postcards. beats an email on all accounts, except for the speed :)

Veronica, Now let me think ... Cornwall? I hope you had a lovely time and that the weather gods were on your side.
P.S. Still need to go to the post office for you... Sorry for the delay.

Craig, I didn't expect the shop to still be there after all these years. But what surprised me even more was the fact that a tiny village like Kingsdown still had a post office.

Mark, In that case you would have had a hard time getting out of there. The assortment was amazing.