Sunday, 25 December 2011

Letter 11 - Merry Christmas!

With working and getting ready to go to Norfolk for Christmas and going to parties and the cinema and having TOOTHACHE, I forgot to think about who to write to this week. However a compliment at my friend's party led me to decide on a lucky victim!

One thing I have noticed with all the eleven writings is that I findest it hardest to write when I know the person slightly. I don't know why that it - I guess for strangers everything you say is novel, and with people you know well, you know what bits of you they're interested in, but acquaintances are a whole different ballgame. I like it though ...

I had a really nice hour this evening, writing while Dr Who was on - family love it, I can't bear it - and just chilling out alone, thinking about highlights of the past year and having a nice festive sloe gin. I really enjoy the time the writing forces me to take out of the hustle and bustle. It is definitely something I need to incorporate into my New Year's Resolutions.

Merry Christmas and have a fantastic and prosperous New Year!

Monday, 19 December 2011

Letter 10

Goodness gracious, ten letters, ten weeks. What a lot of writing. Here's to another 42!

This week I wrote to my dearest Mama! I have been super busy this year and haven't spent half as much time with her as I wanted to. So I wrote a little note an sent a present to just let her know that I love her very much and how much she inspires me. We've planned a trip in the new year to the Scott Polar Resarch Institute in the Spring! I keep saying that we don't thank other people enough in our day-to-day lives and it really is true. So, this week, this is your homework: say thank you to your parents! I am so so so so lucky to have such an amazing one, who has coped admirably with me and my almost-27 years of not-always-the-most sensible ideas. (See below.)

I'm really really busy at the moment and it's been important for me to claim some time for myself. One thing that added to the hectiness was the 'euphonium' I bought off of the old ebay, which needed to be collected from Bristol. It also turned out to be a small tuba. So, I looked forward to a massive long drive to Bristol and back. To soften the blow, I decided to break my trip before I collected my instrument at the Lahloo Pantry which is a totes amaze tea room and tea shop in Bristol that I have been well perving on online. Not only did they stay open late so I could sit down, rest and write my Mum's letter but they were super kind and friendly and so very enthusiastic about their business - late Christmas presents? Go here! Seriously, I actually can't recommend them enough. I've not come across such a novel, kind and accommodating independent business in a really long while.
This is festive notepaper - note the gold pen to match the red and green stationary - that I wrote my thank you letter on! It was accompanied by a DELICIOUS matcha latte - like a latte but made with green tea. I tried to make one at home, but failed. I also had some AWESOME lemon drizzle cake (soz babes, I ate it all).
And this is my finished festive letter, complete with sample of Darjeeling Second Flush for my darling mother! I think the heart-shaped tine gives Lahloo and me both extra points!

Then I bought some Christmas presents*. I enjoyed my array of products and I can definitely say that they are all delicious! I picked up some lovely free postcards that I'm going to use for Postcrossing, to spread the tea love all around the world!

The letter project that I finished this week was the 12 Days of Love Letters where you wrote a letter of support to someone who needs it, for each of the twelve days of Christmas. The organisation as a whole is great, but I would be lying if I said I didn't ultimately find the project quite challenging. Some of the circumstances that people are in, I personally found very upsetting, and also felt very responsible for what I wrote in the letter and how that content might be reacted to. I guess letters that challenge you are perhaps the ones that it is most neccessary to write and those people are the ones who need the most love and support. However, I was out of my depth. I still wrote. I have 12 letters to send. Yet knowing who I might be writing to, for me, personally, I might not participate so deeply again. However, I think everyone should have a go.

We're about to go into Christmas week and I'm determined to keep the writing going. I've not mentioned the Christmas cards I've sent, or the postcards, because they are not extraordinary. But please, this week, do some extraordinary and say thank you to those who raised you. I'm pretty sure they did a very good job!

*actually things that I'll tell myself are presents, but will (not-so-secretly now) keep

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Letter 9

One of the things that has struck me the most since getting involved with Postcrossing and 52 Weeks of Mail is the huge online community that supports letters, post, writing, mail and everything related. One project that has crossed my path is in a site called The World Needs More Love Letters. The site as a whole aims to encourage people to leave notes around offering words of encouragement to people in their daily lives - not a romantic love letter, but one born out of an anonymous platonic love! This Christmas they are running a project called The Twelve Days of Love Letter Writing - you can read about it here. Monday 5th December was the first day of the project and the task was to write a letter of support to a person called Nickie who'd been through a difficult time! This is the loving letter decor I chose for Day 1:
I sent a Jasmine Pearls Teapig so she could have a lovely cup of tea and hopefully the hearts will act like a visual embrace for her! I think it's beautiful that there are online communities that come together in this way to support others ... aww

More letters were to two girls whose parents are divorcing. It's very difficult to know what to say when you've never been in that situation yourself, but it reinforced to me the importance of NOT saying "I've been there it gets better", but saying "things are rubbish and that's ok, they will improve". I also won a competition from a company called Botanical Paperworks
They sell cards that are made of paper that is filled with seeds, that you then plant and grow! I'm excited to plant the card they sent to me, and I turned the front of it into a Postcrossing card too!

I'm also really enjoying using my nice fountain pen! I always use biros and pencils at work and it's so easy to forget the joy of using a lovely pen to write some lovely words. I also love this pen as it's the one my lovely mother bought me to use at university. It's very special to me. This week is a week of letters and next week will be too, however I have missed writing to someone I know to tell them my news and how much I value them. Hopefully next week, I'll continue with the 12 Days of Love Letters and also be able to find time to write a lovely letter too!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Letter 8

This week I don't have a "letter goal". I feel a little bit lost. However I do have some things I've been meaning to send to people, so this week is, I guess, more letters week, than letter week.

The first missive is to a lady in Spain, who wanted to pal up for this project. I've sent a card that relates to my childhood *sob* and how places can shape you, even if you don't live there. The card is of the church I went to growing up in Lincolnshire - St Swithun's, Bicker.

I'm not sure if a Spanish lady wants a picture of a local church, but there you go! I think people like to learn the details about other people's lives through letters. Especially now letters are rarer, it seems like extra effort ought to be made with the aesthetics as well as the story.

This week also saw the start of Lucy's Christmas Card Bonanza, in order to catch the last worldwide post! I had a very festive time drinking fake mulled wine, watching The Snowman and writing the cards ...  Let the festive period commence!