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Postcrossing Spotlight: ichabodhides in the UK!

Anu (aka ichabodhides) comes from Finland, but moved to the UK some years ago for love... which she discovered on a martial arts' class! :)

Here is her spotlight interview:

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

I had been aware of Postcrossing for a while before I actually decided to sign up. I think I first read about it in a magazine, quite possibly the magazine the Finnish postal services distribute to every household every so often. I was finishing my university studies at the time and was quite stressed about my master’s thesis so I thought it would be nice to find something other than just bills in my mailbox. I used to write a lot of letters and I still do that occasionally (but am a pretty rubbish pen pal these days), but postcards are a lot quicker to write. I’ve always enjoyed sending and receiving postcards and family and friends used to send me postcards from their holidays even before I had heard of Postcrossing and I still have a lot of these postcards saved.

I got hooked pretty much immediately – it was great to hear from new people all around the world and look at the pretty pictures on postcards I received.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

My main interest outside of Postcrossing is Aikido, a Japanese martial art. I’ve been practicing since 2005 and am currently a 2nd Dan black belt. Aikido has been a pretty life-changing experience for me – it’s the reason I live in England now and I met my husband there. I joined a university Aikido club when I was an Erasmus exchange student in England in 2005-2006. I met Matt (now my husband) there and fell in love. I had to go back to Finland to finish my studies but moved back to England in early 2008 once I had graduated. Matt and I are currently living with his family and their 6 cats, 2 Labrador puppies and a rabbit. We got married in 2011 and our wedding was accidentally (??) a little Aikido-themed. Most of my friends are from Aikido as well so it plays a pretty major role in my life. I still practice at the university as they allow ex-students to continue practicing but we might have to find somewhere else next year unfortunately.

Apart from Aikido I also enjoy crocheting, cooking and baking, reading and watching tv shows & movies on my laptop.

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!

We don’t have a “proper” mailbox at home, just a slot in the front door.


I go to a few post offices in my area when I need to buy stamps or send something slightly bigger than a regular postcard or an envelope. The one here, inside a shop, is one I visit quite often as I live quite close and the queues aren’t usually too bad.


This is the mail box I normally use to send my cards as it’s the closest to where I live.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

I couldn’t possibly pick just one postcard as I’ve received so many great ones. However, the first one I ever received, CH-8925 from Switzerland, has a special place in my heart – I still remember how excited I was to receive it! Zasa and I have swapped a few postcards since and occasionally still bump into each other online, which makes it all even nicer.

CH 8925

A few other postcards I particularly like:


From left: FI-1033072 from Sirks, FR-46083 from thaddee_calisson, GB-44737 from toucans.


From left: AU-25762 from Claire, NP-346 from spellbindguy, FI-544673 from veverka.

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

I enjoy sending just as much as receiving and like to try to match the recipients’ wishes whenever I can. I also like to use nice stamps whenever I can although this isn’t very easy at times because British post offices don’t always have particularly good selections of nice stamps available.

Have you met any other members in real life?

Yes. Pipey from the UK, Astrid1978 from the Netherlands, duffeli from Finland and a few other Finnish Postcrossers I met in a mini meet-up in Helsinki some years ago, and quite a lot of Postcrossers in international meet-ups in London a few years ago as well.

Posted by on 27 Sep, 2014
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A quirky postcard wall

I love perusing random postcard walls on the website, just to see what lovely cards I can discover. Apparently I'm not alone in my little pastime, since quite a few of you have found SeanPatrick's gallery and sent us the link! :)

Sean uploads photos of his postcards to the website, but with a twist: featuring himself as well as the postcard! Here are some of his photos:

SeanPatrick's postcards SeanPatrick's postcards SeanPatrick's postcards

It took a little getting used to, but I must confess I love it and couldn't stop myself from going through his entire gallery, like a mini-stalker! I was intrigued by his unusual approach to the postcard wall, so I decided to reach out to Sean and he explained:

I was curious what the postcards would look like upon arrival when I sent mine and I wondered what they might look like in the hands of those that received them. Then it occurred to me... why not take photos of myself with the postcards I received?

Brilliant! How often have I wished for the same thing, to get just a glimpse of the reaction that lights up someone's face when a postcard I've sent finally arrives? I think we can all relate to that.

SeanPatrick's postcards 1

Sean's photos are taken by either himself or his daughter, and a bit all over the place: his home, his wine shop or while he's out and about outdoors. He says many people enjoy seeing their postcards like that.

SeanPatrick's postcards SeanPatrick's postcards

Postcrossing is about connecting people, first and foremost, and the more I look at Sean's wall, the more I'm reminded of this. At the end of each postcard's journey there's always a person who will receive and hold that card, just like he does.... the smile on that person's face as they open their mailbox and find an unexpected postcard there - that's what it's all about!

Posted by on 23 Sep, 2014
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Weekend giveaway: Natuurlijkefoto!

We're well overdue for a giveaway, don't you think? So this week, we invited one of our longest-running advertisers to spread some happiness! :)

Natuurlijkefoto is run by Arnold, a professional photographer who makes postcards from his own photos. He's especially good at photographing animals and landscapes, including those of his home country, Netherlands. Whether you're into castles or birds, seaside views or quaint mailboxes, he's got you covered!

This weekend, Natuurlijkefoto is offering 3 sets of postcards to 3 lucky postcrossers! This is the 3rd prize, with 10 postcards...

Natuurlijkefoto weekend giveaway

... the 2nd prize, with 20 postcards...

Natuurlijkefoto weekend giveaway

... and the huge 1st prize, with 30 postcards!

Natuurlijkefoto weekend giveaway

To win one of these lovely sets, visit Natuurlijkefoto website and leave a comment below, telling us which postcard (or series) you liked the best. Be warned though... it's going to be a tough job!

Good luck everyone! Check back on this post around this time next week for the winners (randomly picked by Paulo's number generator, as usual).

PS - For the duration of this giveaway, Natuurlijkefoto is also offering a 15% discount on all orders above €15. Use the code "weekendgiveaway" during checkout!

And the winners, as chosen by Paulo's random number generator are... mmekatiebug (1st prize), maroni99 (2nd prize) and Worldtraveler28 (3rd prize)! Congratulations to the winners and thank you everyone for the comments! What a stunning turnout! :)

Posted by on 20 Sep, 2014
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A back-and-forth postcard experiment

Remember last year, when we wrote about Keri Smith's new postcard book?

The promotional video Keri did highlighted one postcard in particular: a postcard that was made to be sent back and forth between friends! It sounded like a great idea, and I was itching to give it a try... And just then, PostMuse tweeted this serendipitous message:

I suggested we give it a go, to see if it worked, and she accepted. YAY! I promptly mailed her my card:

Keri Smith's back and forth postcard

Over the course of several months, we sent the same postcard between Berlin and Pittsburgh. With time, it became a sort of tiny journal, telling its story not only on the messages we wrote, but also in its stamps, postal markings, nicks and scratches. It even visited Ex Postal Facto and Postcrossing's stamp launch in Guernsey!

And now, almost a year later, we've finally ran out of space. Here's how it looks:

Keri Smith's back and forth postcard - now complete!

So, yes, it worked, and it turned out to be a pretty cool postal experiment too — one I can definitely recommend! :)

Posted by on 17 Sep, 2014
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Postcrossing Meeting at Sberatel/Collector's fair

A week ago, Paulo and I were in Prague for a special Postcrossing meetup, and we took the Little Mail Carriers with us, so they could tell you all about it! Here they are:

Ahoj from Prague! It's sunny and lovely - perfect for adventures!

Hello from Prague!

Ever since we saw a picture of Prague's main post office on this post from February, we've been demanding to be taken there, so that we could see it for ourselves. And what do you know - six months later, the perfect opportunity presented itself: we were invited to attend the yearly Sběratel/Collector's fair! :)

Sberatel/collectors fair

The fair, which takes place in Prague, welcomes collectors from all over Europe, who come to peruse the stands and enrich their collections. But this year, the fair had a special event taking place: a Postcrossing meetup!

The Sberatel meeting

The organizers invited us to come and meet the local postcrossers - we were honored and very happy to do so! Lots of people turned up and we got to meet many new postcrossers, shake their hands, answer many questions and sign a ton of postcards too. A computer and volunteers were at hand to explain Postcrossing to newcomers, and guide them through the signup process. There was even a special postcard and cancellation mark, designed just for the occasion!

We oversaw the stamping process and made sure everything was shipshape!

Cancellation mark

Meanwhile, the exhibition hall was buzzing with excitement. There were many people walking between the stands, perusing and scanning boxes and folders — it felt like a huge treasure hunt!

Afterwards, we came back to the city center, to finally visit Prague's gorgeous post office! Ladies and gentlemen, look at that:

Prague Main Post Office

The walls are exquisitely painted with themes related to communications and post: in a corner, a young lady seems to be reading a love letter, on another, people call each other on the telephone, while postmen do their rounds. It's just stunning!

Mr. Kostka from the Czech Post told us the building used to be an old monastery — the central hall is now where the old inner courtyard used to be. This is why there are so many vines and natural elements surrounding the figures on the walls.

Prague Main Post Office

Just before leaving, we still had time to meet some very old Czech postmen and peek at the overflowing philatelic counter.

Very old Czech postmen Czech stamps

It might well be one of the nicest post offices we've ever seen! Plus, it's open every single day, from 2am to midnight! Wow... can you believe that?!

Bye bye Prague...

We really enjoyed our short stay in Prague, but soon it was time to go back to our envelopes and start the journey towards another exciting location... Goodbye Prague and see you soon everyone! :)

Posted by on 14 Sep, 2014
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