Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcards’ messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

This month, we’ve chosen a prompt from a forum post by esca0417 which really piqued our interest. We all have special topics that we know a lot about, from postcards to trains to almost anything else you can imagine… but what are the topics that you don’t yet know about, the ones where you’d love to learn everything and become an expert? What would you pick?

In July, write about what you’d choose if you could just go to sleep and wake up the next day an expert in any subject!
The Rosetta stone

For me, it’s really difficult to choose… I have so many interests I know a little about, and I’d love to know more about any one of them. Some have been preoccupations since childhood (Ancient Egypt and dinosaurs), and some are more recent (the history of fabrics and food, for instance). And for me, the journey is half the fun, so I wouldn’t choose to skip to the end of my degree and be an expert in epidemiology right now!

I think in the end I’d choose something that gives me a chance to learn even more about something that I already find interesting—I’d love to become an expert in Egyptian hieroglyphs, so that I can actually read ancient inscriptions for myself. I’m not great at learning languages or deciphering visual things, so in this case I’d really appreciate the boost of a magic wish to become an expert overnight.

Of course, now I’ve picked something, I can think of a dozen other subjects I’d love to become an expert in… maybe I’ll write about some of those on the postcards I send this month! If you’re not sure what to write on your own postcards this month, maybe you can do the same? We’d love to see your ideas about what you’d become an expert in here in the comments, as well!

on

Tags:

Sometime ago, I noticed people posting photos of their cute postboxes on Twitter, under the hashtag #PostboxSaturday, and I immediately wanted in too! :D Saturday is my favourite postcard-writing day, and a visit to the postbox is part of the weekend ritual. Turns out Dinah, from the wonderful Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society, started the whole #PostboxSaturday movement with this tweet:

Postbox Saturday inaugural tweet Dinah in her red postbox

She says she almost deleted it at the time, but we’re really glad she didn’t, because on Saturday our social feeds are now overflowing with postbox loveliness. 😍 Surely, there isn’t a better way to start the weekend!

She later wrote on her website:

“I’ve always loved the romance of a postbox but a postbox in a rural or remote or picturesque setting really does pull on my heart strings. Perhaps it’s the result of reading Rosamund Pilcher novels, or years spent on trips to the mountains, or working in the outdoors, and of course the backdrop of always writing letters that collided to make #PostboxSaturday, but it’s just the loveliest feeling being transported off to a little red postbox some place else. Maybe even more so these days.”

So your mission, if you wish to accept it, is to take a photo of your postbox and share it with others on social media this Saturday, using the hashtag #PostboxSaturday! Bonus points if you’re mailing some postcards too. 📮

Let’s spread some postal charm around, and make sure that postboxes from all around the world are featured in this nice initiative!

on

Tags: ,

Hey everyone! It’s Nicky back again with a new book review. Last time I was talking about Sir Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal, and this time (as promised at the end of the last post) I’m here to talk about Vigdis Hjorth's Long Live the Post Horn! I read it in the English translation by Charlotte Barslund: it’s a Norwegian novel centred around a woman who doesn’t really know what she wants from life or what she’s doing, until she finds a new purpose in protesting against a new EU directive which will change the Norwegian postal service.

Cover of Long Live The Post Horn!

I have to admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. I think that’s mostly just personal taste: the translation is really readable, and it does really well at portraying a kind of dreamlike stream-of-consciousness narrative in which the main character, Ellinor, is drifting through life without doing anything of consequence. She’s not really connected to her job writing copy as a publicity consultant, she’s not really engaged with her relationships with her family or her boyfriend, and she doesn’t really know what the point of it all is. Hjorth manages to make that beautifully believable, to the point where I found it a little depressing to read myself. Once Ellinor’s inspired, her almost feverish activity comes through in the narrative as well.

Ellinor’s life is shaken up by the suicide of a member of her three-person publicity firm. She ends up having to take over one of his projects: the effort to persuade politicians and trade unions to protest against a new directive which will allow other companies to compete with the Norwegian postal service. At first they’re very pessimistic about the idea of getting people fired up about the issue, but a story about a dead letter which the postman finally manages to deliver makes her see the value in the campaign, and she manages to get her co-worker engaged with it as well. The second half(ish) of the book shows Ellinor reconnecting with the people around her as well, including trading confidences with her boyfriend, which led to one of my favourite bits:

“Sometimes when I don’t know what to do, ” he said, “I’ll write myself a letter.”

“Why? To support the Post Office?”

It was his turn to laugh.

“No, ” he said, “but when I express myself as if I’m not me, the words come to me, ” he said, “when I pretend I’m someone else, then I express myself more clearly and I send the letter to myself so I can see what I mean.” he said.

“Couldn’t you just write the letter, put it away and then take it out another time?”

“I’ve tried that, ” he said, “but it’s not the same. I have to do the whole thing, the envelope, the stamp, the post box, and then it really does work.”

Writing letters (and postcards!) is different, somehow, especially when you take the time to put it in an envelope and put a stamp on it—it’s all much more deliberate than sending an email, for instance. I’ve never tried sending myself a proper letter, but I can see how it might work!

I can see this book working really well for a lot of readers; for me, it’s just not entirely my cup of tea. Still, it’s always interesting to try something new, and I was especially interested because I don’t think I’ve read any contemporary Norwegian fiction before.

Cover of Griffin & Sabine

I recently read Nick Bantock’s Griffin & Sabine, and I’m hoping to review the first trilogy for my next post. After that… I’m still hoping to find some non-fiction about mail/postal services. I think Deirdre Mask’s The Address Book is close enough in theme, so a review for that should be coming up soon as well. It’s all about the history of street names and addresses, and what they can tell us about local history and politics, and I really liked it, so I’ll probably write that up soon!

If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear them; feel free to leave a comment here, send me a message, or drop a note in the forum thread if anything comes to mind!

on

Tags:

The day has finally arrived for this trio of colorful stamps to make their debut, and we couldn’t be more pleased about them! 😍 We got ours just yesterday, and here they are, in all their glory:

A set of Guernsey Postcrossing stamps and postcards, each featuring illustrations of a crab, goat and puffin mailing a postcard from the island

Pretty neat, right? The Chance Crab, Herm Puffin and Golden Guernsey Goat illustrations were made by Chris Griffiths from the local design studio Two Degrees North and the stamps look even better in person!

The three stamps, as well as FDCs, maxicards, normal postcards and presentation packs are available on Guernsey Post’s website, which ships internationally. I wish we could go to Guernsey to send a bunch of postcards… but we’ll settle for sending them to all our friends from here. We’ll probably have a few extra, so if you’d like to receive one, do leave a comment below — we’ll be happy to raffle a few postcards. 😊

We’re really looking forward to sending and seeing these fun stamps and postcards pop up in mailboxes all around the world!

on

Tags: ,

Submissions are now open on the World Postcard Day design contest that we’re running together with our friends at Finepaper, and interested designers can upload their designs! So, if you’re artistically inclined, it’s time to come up with ideas that represent this year’s theme “Across the world on a postcard”, and submit them on the contest page. I’m sure postcrossers know better than anyone the feeling of traveling to another place through a postcard… so it should be an easy task to represent this idea trough an image, right? 😇

And let’s talk prizes! Although only one postcard will be the official postcard of this year’s World Postcard Day, the best three designs will all receive prizes:

World Postcard Day prizes: Wacom Tablets and Pantone products

Each winner will be awarded a bluetooth Wacom drawing tablet, plus some neat Pantone products as well! These Pantone goodies were kindly sponsored by Tecnimprensa (the company that represents Pantone in Portugal), and I’m sure they’ll come in handy.

You have until the end of July 15th (UTC) to submit your proposals digitally, and the winners will be announced in mid-August, which should then give everyone plenty of time to download and print the official postcard locally, like last year.

Even if you’re not very artistically inclined, make sure to spread the word about the contest to any talented friends. We are super curious about this year’s designs, and can’t wait to see which postcard will be the official World Postcard Day postcard of 2021! 🎉

on

Tags: , ,



Back to top