We were informed at the beginning of November that TNT, the Dutch postal company, has arrived in Manchester, doing mail delivery in selected areas. There will definitely not be any friendly cooperation. Even in the first few days people reported seeing them around in Rusholme and Fallowfield, with their smart new orange bikes and their slightly dazed expressions.
Today we came back from the shops (I'm on leave so have been a bit out of the loop) to find this leaflet from Royal Mail outlining the vague nature of the service that TNT is providing, and reminding everyone of the steadfast reliability of the service that they currently offer. You cannot post a TNT letter, they only collect mass mail-outs from businesses, nor can you pop to your local delivery office to collect your undelivered parcel. They are only delivering a couple of days a week, as yet unconfirmed, and you can bet your life they are not going to be driving out to the outlying villages and farms of the Pennines any time soon.
So in the run up to Christmas I hope everyone appreciates that we will be around every day, to every house, to deliver your cards and presents, never mind the threat of the worst winter for many years.