Picture of French Postie’s bicycle Grenoble
I’m offering my postal service Postal Joy! again this year. Postal Joy is a month of mail (ten postcards, one packet of home made table and one surprise) over the month of January to ameliorate the gray and gloom. The postcards will be a mix of cards from my own images and from Scottish artists. Check out my Etsy Shop for more info. If you subscribe to my newsletter you get 15% off (see sidebar to the right). NB in London to Tuesday if you are subscribing to newsletter for the discount code will email it to you when I get back from my travels.
Auld Reekie is the nickname of Edinburgh. It comes from the paul of black smoke blanketing the city when coal fires were common.This week I’ve noticed how the dark is now arriving about 4.30. If you would like some postal cheer do sign up for my newsletter – see sidebar to the right.
Regular readers of my blog might have noticed that I haven’t solicited signups for my newsletter (see sidebar) in many many months. I write a piece of analogue email (a postcard !) to each sign up. Indeed I often felt like the only thing between me and the Royal Mail’s profits as I wrote prolifically every week. Often up to 10 or or so postcards a week. Sometimes to a friend having a bad time, sometimes just some friendly mail to welcome someone home from a trip or piece of mail for someone living through grief. Marathon postcard writing is my thing. I once wrote a postcard a day for 6 months to a friend diagnosed with a brian tumour many thousands of miles away. I used to write 2 or 3 times a week to my grandmother Sylvia in Sydney Australia. She was not a silver surfing grannie though out childhood was punctuated by blue air letters she wrote from Johannesburg and her writing so familiar. My mother wrote back of course. in those days phone calls were a once a year event at that.
My grannie was cool – really cool. Stylish and an artist though unacknowledged. She produced, weaving, ceramics, knitting all to a very high standard while being married to a very social Highlands North doctor. Having her kids hide their friends on the run from the authorities in her house. She was elegant and well dressed. There possibly were good outcomes for me the slovenly and unsylish granddaughter living many many thousands of miles from her.
Earlier this year my dad phoned and said that my grannie had died. That very afternoon I’d taken a card of a drawing and written to my grandmother.
And from that moment on I became an ex writer. I would look at postcards in a gallery and NOT buy them – for in my head what was the point without my grandmother to write to? My postal communication to friends dwindled to nothing. I’m not sure in this digital age they even noticed. For 5 months I’ve hardly put pen to paper. And strangely writing like planning, or thinking on paper has stopped as well – as if the act of writing these small pieces of communication tapped something else at the same time. Other things have taken the place of writing instead i’m thinking in yarn, the results of which burst out of plastic bags all over my living room but its a different form of thinking and one which has a concrete outcome which I like for a change.
However there are stirrings. I’m thinking of offering Postal Joy again as I recon we all need something to connect us and keep us going through winter. Do sign up for the newsletter if you would like to be kept informed and get special newsletter discounts.
To be honest the winter-is-coming-time-to-hibernate-vibe is taking me over. I’m checking out blankets knitted in sock yarn on Ravelry the kind of thing that will take a year to knit while I sit beside my metaphorical peat fire…
In the meanwhile a reminder if you want some autumnal cheer I’m sending an analogue postcard to anyone who signs up to my newsletter list. I have some postie plans for later in the year and you’ll get first shout on that if you sign up.
.. as a postcard that is. Hurry to WordPower Books on West Nicholson St and get one of two designs being sold there. Perfect ‘Wish you were here’ card for the festival. I’m giving away 10 sets of cards to the first 10 people who sign up to my newsletter. Sign up here.
Earlier this evening I searched my old email address to see if the pictures I drew in Sydney about 5 years ago and uploaded to my blog were accessible. They were not! I used to draw a lot. Inspired by Michael Nobbs and Dan Price to draw my life. In my long visits to Sydney I sat in a lot of cafes and drew my cappuccino in a wobbly hand. The brilliant thing about doing that is of course you really are part of the moment. Drawing seems to me to akin to meditation. In the process of drawing and looking you really see and live in the moment. And some time I'll find those old journals and will remember the texture of those days so perfectly with my drawings. Anyway I quickly drew these two drawings on blank cards instead. It took me possibly 5 mins with and extra minute to find the felt tips for colouring in. If you buy Michael's book before the 28th of March you get a free months membership to his website Sustainably Creative. I got an acknowledgement in the book! for postal services... If you would like some mail from me sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar to the right - all newsletter subscribers get a real mail postcard.
I’ve actually been inside mostly for two days. I escaped last night to see a film The Rocket Post. A Scottish film about a true attempt to set up a postal service on the Islands by firing rockets full of mail!
Today I have returned to bed and have been lying about crocheting. Last year I decided to write 100 postards to strangers – I’ve only managed about 35 so far. Please help me out by signing up here. I’ll send you a postcard and if you don’t want any more emails just opt out at mail chimp (No hard feelings.) Anyway I’d like to write and do more things off line in the next year. One is sending more mail the other is more travel (gives me the opportunity of trying out different postal systems).
If you would like more than one postcard in the next few weeks check out Postal Joy 2013!
This was a fab pre Christmas outing to the German market and fair on Princes St Gardens. Passed there today and saw it had already been dismantled.
Want more real mail in 2013? Checkout Postal Joy 2013
The days between Christmas and New Year (Hogmanay) are called the ‘daft days’. Perhaps because the usual routines are out of action. We swim about in unstructured time. I have to say I’ve been enjoying it very much. I’ve been crocheting and making traditional Scottish Tablet.
If you are at a loose end or are looking for a present for someone here’s my mother’s recipe. It is incredibly sweet a little goes along way. Great with a large cup of coffee and a book.
2 lb Granulated Sugar 1 Tin Evaporated Milk
4 oz butter 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
1 tablespoon golden syrup (you can substitute honey if you like)
Using a heavy bottomed pan, combine all ingredients except the vanilla essence. Cook slowly until a boil or 245 degree Farenheit or makes a soft ball if tested in cold water. Stir continually. Once boiling reduce down the heat once it starts to darken. Remove from heat and add vanilla essence and beat until thick. Pour onto a tray which is lined with parchment paper and score into squares when the mixture is almost cold. If once its cold you don’t feel it is achieving a satisifying level of hardness return to the pot and reboil.
One of the things that brings me great pleasure at this time of year is the post – real post. Actual cards instead of everlasting junk mail and bills. If you want to extend that feeling of real mail I’m offering Postal Joy again this year. Postal Joy is a service I offer for real mail. There are three options 8, 12, or 18 items of mail. Mail starts in the first week of January and extends until Febuary (mid February for those who opt for 18 items of mail). Each will get a small packet of tablet, a mail surprise ! and a mix of postcards. All cards are handwritten.
Newsletter subscribers get 20% off subscribe HERE and I send you the code. Find out more at my Etsy shop. The cost by the way is the same where ever you live in the world! No extra postage charges.
The picture is by Anne Redpath Scottish Colourist painter. Over at my facebook page I’m posting one Scottish Colourist a day to chase away the winter gloom.
French posties’s bicycle
I’m just back from the farmers market, about to start a bit of crochet before I go to my sat afternoon shift at work. I’m crafting up a storm here and will try to take some photos soon of finished items. If you are craving some real mail sign up here for my mailing list. everyone gets a bit of real mail from me!