Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Great Postman Retires (plus some toad love)

Sandy Paterson has been our postman for as long as we've lived at Whitelees. (no photo available) He has certainly been a postman for a lot longer than 11+ years. Today was his last round. He is retiring.

There was a retirement party for him at the Bankshill Village hall on Tuesday. Sandy was born in Bankshill and he really hasn't travelled very far. The hall had been filled with his family and work colleagues. What made the small hall burst at the seams were all the people, old and young from his postal round.

The Man of the Place has made up CDs for him in the past. Sandy is a fan of Scottish Dance bands. Jimmy Shand and the like. I must admit, I'm a big fan of The Bluebell Polka. When the postal service upgraded the post vans a couple of years ago, the sound systems went from cassette tape to CD. Sandy's carefully selected collection of car tapes were no longer of any use to him during the day. Henry (that's my husband's name) transfered them to CD for him, accepting no payment for the service.

Sandy was all that postmen should be. He knew all the people on his rural route and we knew and loved him. He was the kind of postman that had sweeties in his pocket for all the small children on the route. If the tot was napping when the post was delivered, then he would leave the candy on top of the letters. He used to be the supplier of Christmas raffle tickets for some noble group of philanthropists in Lockerbie. We bought a book of them every year and every year we failed to win. Any new postman will have some rather large and beloved shoes to fill. We hope that the next postman will be as good natured, child friendly and dog neutral as Sandy was.


While I was waiting for this important post to arrive (sadly I missed him), I decided to haul the last of the firewood around from the front of the house to a spot more convenient. Having a bit of a clear up after the winds from yesterday, I disturbed two toads at the back of the house. They were doing what toads do best at this time of year.
I was worried that Polly, our new puppy would find these two a quick meal or at the least something to torment. I decided that because they were pretty far away from any water it was best to move them to the pond. I scooped the pair up and walked around to the front garden and over to the pond. I know I should have wet my hands first, but I thought that the safety of the toads was much more important and immediate.
Here is a photo of the two of them safe at the water's edge.

This time of year, the pond gets very full of toad spawn. In fact, one could be forgiven for thinking that the pond gets so full of the stuff it seems as though you could almost walk across the top of the pond. It is so full of toad spawn that you run no risk of getting your feet wet. I'll keep you updated on the progress of our toads-to-be.


Peggy said...

H says that they are frogs. Okay, so they might be frogs. Its just that usually one finds frogs in the water and toads under logs and piles of leaves. These two were found both under logs AND leaves, nowhere near water. Anybody that can tell by the photographs, please feel free to settle the debate. (I think the photos I took are quite good, don't you?)

J-Funk said...

Your photos are great, but you have some horny toads/frogs there.