Seizing The Moment

‘Seize The Moment’, they say!  Yesterday I did.  The seed was sown the day before as I queued in our little post office, no larger than a small lounge (think that’s what it used to be), as we coiled around in ever decreasing circles, just to get everyone in from the cold.  Two post ladies fought bravely to serve us, hindered by two Internet salesmen (I suspected), as they passed an endless stream of identical parcels to our heroines.  Digressing slightly, I must say we LOVE our Post Office.  The stand-alone one shut last year to make way for a block of flats, leaving only the Post Office kiosk in Merritts, a small one-stop-shop – a sign taken too literally by our Silver Shoppers, the Pensions-R-Us people.  Yes, they have a great time catching up but the busy lunchtime shopper is time-challenged and must forego such pleasures.

We’re militant in Gloucestershire, having fought to reverse Library closures and then staging a local uprising when our post office closed.  I openly admire the entrepreneur, for that’s what he must be, who seized his moment by converting a room in his Club into a post office!  Brilliant.  Parking behind the Club.  This flash of brilliance piqued my interest in what was else happened at The Club, apart from Bingo nights, etc.  I noticed that, on dry days, there was often a crowd wearing black enjoying a beverage outside the front door, banished into the great outdoors for a smoke.  Observation and investigation revealed the Club’s enterprising owner, upon realising there were no refreshment facilities at the Crematorium (about a mile or so away), was offering ‘welcoming wakes’!  Just love this chap’s insight.  Never judge a book by its cover – upon first glance the owner doesn’t present with obvious entrepreneurial flair – shame on me for so doing.

Anyway, back to the queue.  Having done all the small talk – weather, close proximity to each other, etc – my eyes drifted to notices blu-tacked on the wall.  Heck, there’s only so much eye contact and smiling a girl can handle.  The sap’s rising out there as Spring approaches but, completely suprising myself, I felt a rush of energy permeate my being as my mind said “YES” to the invitation to a new Pilates class starting yesterday.  Think I’ve been watching too much Strictly Come Dancing type stuff.  All that talk about ‘core strength’.  Was my core secure?  Nope.  Decision made.  The venue was the Barnwood Reading Rooms at 11.45am.  Whenever I passed this strange little brown stone building set back from the road, I imagined old ladies sitting in a Victorian front parlour surrounded by functional furniture and the odd aspidistra but I’m brave, I can face it.

Up early and and ready to fold myself into strange shapes, son remarks on my ebullient mood so break the news I’m off to Pilates.  He’s thrilled – my teenagers have been trying to get me ‘beach ready’, as they put it, for two years!  Off I go.  Have to park in Post Office (Club) car park.  Spring from car wearing thinish top and trousers.  As I power walk across the car park, an old girl alighting from her vehicle shouts “Aren’t you cold dear?”  Reply in the negative, although now notice biting wind clawing at my midriff.  I smile radiantly and power walk all the way to the Reading Rooms.  Door locked and no signs of life so I circumnavigate the building and realise I am alone!  Never one to give up easily, I knock on the huge unyielding midnight blue painted locked door.  Am I stupid or just desperate?     Thwarted but keen to sort out my core, I resolved to return.  Power walking back to the car, the wind seemed just a little colder and I realise my enthusiasm had kept the chill at bay.   I had rung Pilates Zoe prior to departure but voicemail response encouraged me to think she was en route.  She did ring me back.  “It’s not on today as only two people were interested”, she said.  Yep, I know.  Next week, perhaps?  Seizing the moment hadn’t caused me any damage and I’m keen to improve my health – even if it has taken me two years to act on my New Year Resolution.  Is this the sport pour moi?  Well, a little abdominal cladding shouldn’t prevent me rolling on the huge exercise ball – heavens, the midwife had me doing that in the delivery suite!

  • Janet

    Although I love the guys who run our Post Office on the local Council Estate (the middle class one was closed down), I do struggle in the queue and have learned to avoid Monday mornings after one notable 27 minute queue behind those drawing out and reinvesting in phone cards, scratch cards and life’s other addictive must-haves. Here’s my plan: two queues. One for the fiscally productive (moi) and one for those I am supporting (all the rest of ’em).

    Of course, I hope you know I am exaggerating for effect, but there’s something in this Post Office malarkey. My brother and I both favour an out of town one with awesome free parking and one queue so the next in line gets served next. They had one a bit like that in Canary Wharf but OMG the queues at lunchtime what with passports, foreign currency, driving stuff. Oh no, gimme a local branch any time where they don’t do the tricky time-consuming stuff.

    As a small businesswoman all my life, the PO has been my mainstay historically. What with email and all that, there’s much less call for them these days unless you are drawing out, as I say. Exceptions are that every letter needs to be Recorded these days, sadly. And parcels. I shop exclusively online and occasionally something has to be returned when I’ve had a rush of blood to the head.

    And re the Pilates, hats off to you Woman. I went once. Tells you all you need to know. However, Bianca swears by it and she’s lissom and lithe and lovely as well you know.

    • Janet

      Judith. I smiled at your reference to a rush of blood to the head occasionally when carried away with your online ordering but I fear a similar rush as I seek to drape myself over the Pilates exercise ball! An even greater fear is getting up again, having draped myself in said fashion. I’ll report progress next week. Janet

  • OOOOH, thanks Janet. That Pilates thing has prompted me to check one out in my vicinity. I could do with some core-strengthening myself to help me dance better (so I’m told). Good luck to ya! 🙂

    • Janet

      Yvonne, I’m sure you do anyway but a little core work will have you gliding around the dance floor like a true professional. Enjoy! Janet

  • Love your enthusiasm Janet and braving the elements, keep up the good work! I can honestly say that after 5 years of going twice weekly it has changed me and changed my shape beyond measure. I love my Pilates. Bianca

    • Janet

      Hi Bianca. You’re certainly a walking, talking example of the benefits of Pilates and I will most definitely power walk over to the big door next week, in the hope that it’s opens and my re-modelling can commence! Janet

  • Janet

    What a damn shame about your Pilates class! Takes us two years to build up the enthusiasm and then no-one shows. They are either all super-fit already in Glos or still sitting on the settee with the Roses (around their midriffs).

    Let’s pray that there’ll be another Moment to Seize shortly!

    • Janet

      I’m wearing Roses too so, showing tenacity, I shall return next week! Thanks for stopping by, Marion.

  • Loved this Janet! Made me chuckle and loved the description of your PO, I was there with you:-) I shall be back to the cafe for further lattes in future! K

    • Janet

      Hi Kerry, come on over, always lovely to see you and thanks for stopping by. Janet

  • Enjoy your next power walk to Pilates..let us know how you get on. Hugs and keep on going..

    • Janet

      I will do, thanks Ntathu! Janet

  • Really enjoyed this blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  • Jan

    What a sign of the times with most post offices being situated in local shops. We’ve only just got ours back in our village and the queues are exactly as you’ve described them.

    Spring is just around the corner and it does bring out the exercise Madonna in us doesn’t it. Kudos for you for actually following through even if it did turn into power walking.

    Thanks for an entertaining read.