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tulipsinawhitejug

I have some yellow and red tulips on my kichen counter. I had put them on the table but Miss Frida aka the fat black cat likes to perform feline floristry on them. Nibbling them so the heads fall off and I start to put the rescued flowers in expresso cups. So they have been put out of the way. Its dry but very very grey here in Edinburgh. A wee reminder if  you sign up for my newsletter HERE. I will send you a piece of real mail in the post. Newsletter subscribers get discounts and info on upcoming events, exhibtions, and additions to the etsy shop.

 

 

jdfergusson

I went to the Scottish Modern Art Gallery on wed to see the JD Fergusson exhibition (well actually I lie – I went to use up a fee scone voucher and saw the exhbition as an adjunct to that.) I was tickled pink to discover that JD was in fact a LEITHER!! And was brought up at 7 Crown St with his dad a victualler. I also like the fact that he high tailed it to France as soon as possible and the glorious light and colour of the South of France infused his pictures.

Am hightailing myself to Cambridge today however a wee reminder do sign up for my newsletter. All sign ups get a proper piece of analogue mail and discounts in my etsy shop.

 

 

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It is one of those thoughts that flit past – how good it would be to be more in touch, especially with people not on social media.

So how to translate this into an action and habit?

  1. Gather supplies Get stamps in advance of writing, which cover the cost of where ever you are most likely to send cards. I find that if you write cards and then intend to buy stamps the written cards tend to migrate towards dark corners of handbags or finding places to lurk on the desk and are finally discovered weeks or months later.
  2. Keep your address book / stamps / cards on you at all times. This means that you can use spare moments. Waiting for a friend or waiting to catch a train catching up with correspondence instead of checking facebook. Make an effort to gather snail mail addresses in one place.
  3. Write postcards not letters. Ditch the thought you will write long literary screeds (ripe for publication later) Instead start with the postcard. It’s the analogue equivalent of the email or text but nicer. If you start writing a card which you realise that you need to elaborate further – just write a series of postcards labelled 1 of 1, 1of 2 etc.
  4. Finding cards. Once you have the intention they will start to pop up. Galleries, museums, stationary shops, advertising can be re-purposed. Its good to start looking for particular cards for particular people. Portraits of 18th C dogs for dog people. I also sometimes buy books of cards (they often work out cheaper).
  5. Reasons to write. Become super polite and revive the art of sending thank you cards, or just ‘I saw this and thought of you’
  6. Be creative. I’ve sent a series of postcards in the run up to someone’s birthday. Just calculate the average delivery time in your area and work your way backwards. I once wrote a card every day for a year for a friend battling a brain tumour.
  7. Get a box where you can throw supplies into when not in your bag so when you do want to write it’s again – easy.
  8. No pressure – writing has its seasons and its reasons

Last call for Postal Joy 2014 ! for those who prefer to receive rather than send mail! 12 items of mail in the next 4 weeks. Sign up here.

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Back in blighty from Paris jaunt. Many more photos to download, process (yes ! took the Holga to Gay Paree). Meanwhile the largest load of washing is purring away in the kitchen. I’m gathering presents for my mother ( a small collection of French sugar lumps carefully filched from every cafe I sat in in the last 7 days). Also to arrange things online like my offering of Postal Joy ! this year. Sign up for my newsletter HERE. For a 25% discount code (+ I send every subscriber some real mail analogue snail mail).

Btw ‘old clothes and porridge’ is how my family describes that feeling of flatness when returning from a trip. Not sure how widespread a phrase it is.

houseinsnow

The house on the links – Holga

There isn’t any snow here in Edinburgh at the moment but its gray gray and more gray. The light seemed to go at 3.30 on Thursday. I keep on making excuses to stay indoors. The hibernation continues. I do however leave occasionally to go to the post office! If you are fed up with junk mail, bills etc sign up for my newsletter here and I’ll send you a postie.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

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