Marianna7 (aka Marianne), is from Germany but moved to the UK in 2001. In this Spotlight interview, she tells us about her life-long passion for letter-writing... and bread-baking! :)
- How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?
I've lived since 2001 abroad (not in Germany) and my favorite weekly newspaper is "Die Zeit". I try to get it, either from an airport or when friends/family bring it on a visit, but very irregularly.
On one of those I found an article about Willi, the German postcrosser who has sent the most postcards from Germany. At the same time I found life pretty stressful, being self-employed and I wanted a positive change in my mailbox (something else than advertisement, junkmail and invoices).
The other reason why I joined is this one: a good German friend of mine and I have been penfriends and friends for 11 years. Our friendship started more with letters, because I met her just before I left Germany. But we developed it over the years and last year, at our 10 years anniversary, we arranged an exhibition with our best envelopes (handmade), statements from letters of these last 10 years and our own arts (I do photography, Daniela does painting). This meant, we both read through the letters of 10 years again, we discussed which statements to use and which not over mail and phone and letters (obviously) and exhibited in Hamburg, Germany. It was a very interesting experience to go public with parts of our private thoughts, doubts, fears, happiness etc... anyhow, the exhibition exhausted us a bit and we are writing now less than before - so I missed the input of written words in my life.
- Do you have any other interesting hobbies?
I bake my own bread (buns, scones, croissants, bagels, ciabattas - you name it!). I call it a hobby, because it is a very satisfying work. It is so essential, so basic, but it fills a house with a beautiful smell and everyone comes running and wants some warm bread. I like walking with my sons and my partner most. Photography. Reading. I love languages. Arts!
- Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
This picture is the picture of my main postoffice in the village - but I go for miles all over the North East to send my mail.
- Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.
RU-884413 a letter, very unexpected and mindblowingly beautiful
NL-1056976 one of the very first cards I received with great words
US-1652878 a handmade card on rice paper
I've also received mind-blowing letters and postcards with just a few words, which made me stumble. All words, I receive are precious to me. The fact that a complete stranger writes a few sentences out of his/her soul, is absolutely amazing to me.
- Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?
Yes, my son :-) He is only 8, but a fanatic reader and writer (is true) and he collects stamps. So one day I told him I wouldn't give him my stamps anymore, because I didn't want to ruin my precious cards/words. That's when he joined Postcrossing! The only thing I help him, is a)to get the address of recipient right, b) to send cards on time and c) to help him match the recipient's preferences.
I'm trying to get my mother on it - she is very old and would have to learn to use the pc, but I am sure it would change her life for the better.
- What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?
Requesting a postcard. What type of person will it go to? What cards do they like?
I also like the process of finding the right card, though sometimes it takes me days to find one (it's very rural here and i have to travel far for a card).
And lastly, I also like to receive a card. Who is the sender? After registering, I find it extremely exciting to read the sender's profile.
- Have you been surprised by any place that you have received a postcard from or sent a postcard to?
No, not by the places... But very often I'm surprised by the messages on the cards; the sentences in unexpected letters. I am surprised by the wonderful things other postcrossers are sending. By the passionate words of postcrossers. By the openness of peoples minds towards a complete stranger. I have greatest respect to every cards/letter I receive.