This is so funny, it deserves its own post! I mentioned that one of the effects of this Mercury retrograde was that I haven’t been getting any mail, not even junk mail, for the past three weeks. I was about to wait for Mercury to go direct before I rang the Post Office, thinking, as this is a semi-rural area, it might be held up for whatever reason.

A week ago, the company that manages the building sent a representative round to ask if there was anything in the communal areas that need attending to. As I wasn’t in, she left a card to post back with any comments. I wrote to say could the letterboxes be replaced because they were badly corroded and some locks were even broken. I got a call back from the estate agent today saying that the letterboxes had in fact been replaced three weeks ago, before I even sent in my request. I said, no, they were still rusty and swinging in the wind. She said the new ones were inside the building. Inside? I haven’t seen anything! But I said, okay, I’ll check, do I use my old letterbox key? Oh no, she said, the keys were left at your door.

Double mystery solved!
Three weeks ago, two tiny keys appeared on my doorstep. I thought my neighbours had dropped them, so left them on a ledge in the hallway. There they have been sitting until this morning. Since I am only a tenant, not an owner of the apartment, I wasn’t at the meeting, wasn’t told they had a meeting, and didn’t receive any minutes of the meeting where it was decided that new letterboxes were now to be placed inside the building to minimise their exposure to the elements.

That’s why I hadn’t been getting any post in the past three weeks! I’d been looking in the wrong box! And the keys on the doorstep were a message I wasn’t receiving correctly! Luckily they were still on the ledge where I left them, so I went and had a look inside the common hallway and lo, there were the little grey letterboxes, each marked with the number of the flat, and the name of the owner. I’d walked past them everyday for the past three weeks and thought they were either new electric meters or water meters (which have been the subject of local debate for many months), and thought nothing of them!

Inside my spanking new letterbox were crammed bank statements, rented DVDs (which I’d reported lost), a cheque (yay!), a Chinese New Year card (now at least 3 days overdue), a book I’d ordered, an election polling card (elections are today!) and yes, junk mail from the local pizza parlour. Ah… life was now back to normal, post-wise at least.

The timing of events is what strikes me. If I hadn’t thought to post the card back to the estate agent, I may never have found out about the new boxes, and complained to the post office. As I live in a block of holiday apartments, I have no permanent neighbours to corroborate such information with. At the same time, for the same reason, that I have no permanent neighbours and it’s low season now, the keys hadn’t been taken away.

And I didn’t even miss my chance to vote.

I have a new respect for Mercury retrograde for sure. He gets a grade ‘A’ for stage management!