I used to be particularly be particularly fond of Postman Pat stories. I remember one day when the children were small there was a Postman Pat video playing, but the person who had put it on had gone off to some other amusement; I realized I was sat watching Postman Pat by myself.
Postman pat does his rounds in the mythical village of Greendale, set in the heart of the English Lake District. I discovered from one story that Postman Pat’s name is Pat Clifton, not a lot of people know that.
I wondered what it was that made this animated character on children’s television interesting and decided it was life in Greendale.
Greendale seems a perfect sort of place to live. It is a little community where everyone knows each other and where they all help each other and where they all care for each other when something goes wrong. There is a village school where the children seem happy and secure. There is a bobby on the beat who knows everything that is going on. There are little farms around where people can still earn a living. There is a post office at which everyone calls, and a little parish church where the vicar is the absent-minded Reverend Timms.
Greendale seems perfect; things go wrong sometimes and people get cross sometimes; but there is a community in which everyone has a place.
There was a Greendale moment at our church this morning as more than three hundred people from Ballybrack gathered to bid farewell to a man who lived the entire eight decades of his life in the village.
I didn’t see anyone from Greendale at the funeral, but even they would have had to admit that the spirit of warmth and friendship in which the crowds gathered would have made even Postman Pat feel at home.