Distance cycled: 0km (We put the bike in the
back as the route was 80km long.)
Number of letterboxes: 520
Times we had to stop for sheep crossing the
With my lunch packed and spirits high I headed off for my first
day of work in 4 months with Johnny the RD1 postie. We met at 8am
in Helensville, where I found out my bike was useless on this
pot-holed country route as he delivers newspapers, parcels and
letters. We threw Meg in the back and hit the road to South head.
There was an array of interesting letterboxes, everything from a
bumble bee to a converted fridge/freezer. (Brilliant for big
parcels but unfortunately there was no beer for thirsty
It's amazing what you can tell about a household just by the
mail they receive. There's parking and speeding fines, not to
mention brown paper packages delivered to 'Mr Nauti Bits', not
quite as saucy as I imagined - he runs a boat and fishing
Johnny not only delivers mail, he picks it up and he'll return
your DVDs for $1 a pop. At one point he gets on the phone and says,
"Stick! It's Johnny, your cows look awful close to that
silage." Then a few doors up there's a ginger haired kid
waiting with his dog who doesn't get mail but gets a chocolate
freddo frog from the postman.
But my favourite has to be this box where Ruth asks that her
mail is delivered to her next door neighbour because she has
unexpected visitors - six healthy, skawking baby chicks, nestled in
their letterbox nest.
Next up he shows me a slug-eaten letter, apparently living this
far out of suburbia you need slug pellets to protect your mail. I
wonder if 'The slugs ate my electricity bill' would wash
with the Power Company?
To be a good rural postie you need to be telepathic, a
handwriting expert, a caretaker, a ranger, a policeman and an
entertainer. And that's just the day I was there, I think I'll
stick to cycling for now.