Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Letter 19

Last week I was clearly disheartened about the writing of the letters. This week I wrote a letter that I don't really feel like I should discuss. Someone I know is poorly and I wanted to write a letter to take their mind (a little) off how shit hospitals are. I hope I succeeded. I used all the skills I taught myself with the 12 Days of Love Letter Writing Project. That's all I really want to say. I did use very brightly coloured paper too.

These are the letter-writing related birthday gifts I got. Aren't they awesome? I am now the Queen of ALL THE STAMPS and will never run out. I had also had my eye on that Paperchase letter-writing pack for a few months, kept picking it up and then putting it down again with a sigh of "oh I can't afford it really". So I'm very glad I got it. I'm also going to experiment and see if the tiny cards will travel with Royal Mail. Maybe they'll get their own Tiny Postman. Like the Jolly Postman when he goes up the beanstalk? Perhaps all the postcards and letter-writing is in fact my Auntie Pam's fault for buying me that book when I was three.

Letter 18

I was determined last week, to get back to taking some time out and sitting down and writing to someone. I set my mind to visit the 52 Weeks of Mail page and write a letter to the first address I found. That address was a school that was collecting USA States postcards. They weren't really looking for letters. Or for things from the UK. But since the address was there, and I had a new Yorkshire card, I figured there was some sort cosmic meeting there.

A postcard, is not a letter, however. So who to write to? I know I've got a lot of family and friends, and NOW I can think of millions of people to write to, but at that time, my mind was a blank. SO I turned to my old trusty Postcrossing cards.

I don't do it, but I think if people send you a card with their address on, they are hoping for a return, so I think it's fair game to send them something. So Imran Siddique in Pakistan hopefully will soon receive my letter thanking him for the beautiful card he sent me, introducing myself and really talking quite large amounts of rubbish. This was definitely a letter for the sake of writing letters, not a letter to a person with a purpose. Does that make it a bad letter? Is any letter bad? (Apart from Bills, they are bad!)

To be honest, I don't really mind. I was having a letter writers block week, and the worst that can happen is that it will be read, and binned. I hope not, but likewise I don't think it will have been a massive illumination. I just needed to write a letter. So that perhaps means that this project is starting lose its way if I'm sending unsolicited letters to strangers ... I hope not!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Letter 17

Every time we see a post-box I feel the need to comment to my boyfriend in a urrr-urrr voice "That's a nice postbox" or "ooh I didn't know there was one There". Post offices cause higher levels of excitement, as I will WALK RIGHT PAST ONE when I move in with him in the summer. My bus stop is about 10m shy of one but often when playing the when-will-the-bus-come game, that 10m is integral to the win/lose catchthebus/dropthebus continuum.

I was going to say that Letter 17 week was a fail week, but then I sat and thought about it. I sent mail. I sent Postcrossing. I SENT BIRTHDAY CARDS. I didn't sit and right a full letter, but I feel that posting and sending things has become quite day-to-day for me. And that is a really good thing. Last week was also especially busy (what with having food poisoning, then my birthday and all) so I feel, to be honest, pretty smug that despite all that I did quite a lot of posting.

It's good when resolutions that you adopt become part of everyday life. That also showed in my birthday presents, where I got some ace paper and SOME STAMPS! Excellent presents indeed.

If you believe in things happening for a reason, you may see some links in this. Last week I didn't right a well long missive. Last week I found a novel that I'd been reading about communications sent in a script in China that only women could read, that had been lost for months. The book is called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and one thing I like is how it talks about the elegance of the written word, and how writing to each other cements closeness in a different way to other ways of expressing yourself. (That old ruby I hear you cry!)

I lost and I found, what should we think about that? Other than I'm superbusy and careless with possessions I mean ...

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Letter 16

This week, two things occurred. One, I almost got to letter saturation level. Two, I ran out of stamp money.

Never fear, however, I managed to pull a letter out of the bag. Well, actually, no, I wrote a short note to be posted, updating a relative on what I got with my Christmas money. A thank you note extension if you will. Really, people have sent longer texts. But this is on a card with an envelope and everything. Not very long though. Who said letters had to be long? Certainly some of my Mitford Sisters letters (yes, I am still reading that) are very short, but then some of them wrote pretty much daily. Right glad am I that it's not 365 Days of Mail!

The second of the failings was a monetary one. Stamps cost money, and they add up. I ran out of stamps and money in my purse. There are four kinds of stamp I regularly use:
  • Worldwide postcard (less than 20g in weight) - 76p
  • European letter/postcard (less than 60g) - 68p
  • English first class - 46p
  • English second class 36p
For everything that falls outside those, I go to the Post & Drop machine in the St John's Centre. Nice to hang out in the post office queues. I do object to the fact that the machines don't sell either second class stamps, or the world postcard ones, but we don't live in a perfect world, do we?

The stampless situation will soon be rectified, but I do now have a backlog of postcards to send, letters to post and a package as well. It adds up to a minimum spend of £7.63. The lesson I ought to be learning is to choose a less expensive hobby. The lesson I'm really learning is to put stamps above food on any shopping list. Or to get a contact at the Royal Mail. Do you think the Queen gets free stamps?