Communicating is a funny old thing. In the relatively short history of humans we've come up with a thousand and one different ways to talk to each other and each says something special about the way we're all linked up; through wires, letters, looks and screens. If you follow my 'Postcard Stories' series you'll know that the most trivial of queries, such as 'what do you want for tea on Tuesday?' were scribbled on the back of postcards and popped in the post, sometimes to someone who lived just two streets away. The ability to organise a social life so far in advance is something I admire anyone pre-1980's for!
That you have a physical relic from a conversation that took place 50 years ago is a absolute wonder. Saying that, I've had the same feeling when looking at old emails from 2003, which occurred after some bizarre log-in malfunction reversed the order of my inbox. Back then, my email was 'abi_bloom@...' named after the self-assured foresight that I better reserve my address before my inevitable marriage to Orlando Bloom. Oh to be 12 years old! I poured over these messages, quickly pasting extracts such as 'OMGGGGZZ did you see Steven's hair in R.E today? SWOON! Dreamboat alert!' into various WhatsApp groups. Steven was thrilled, even if he was only privy to this conversation 12 years later.
Since sneaking notes in History lessons; letters, cards and post in general have always filtered in and out of friendships, old and new. Remember Marol? (The clever one who lived in Warsaw). From ages 8 - 10 we spent an embarrassing amount of time hanging out in the 'owlery' (Marol's bedroom), writing scribbled notes and then tying them to the leg of a stuffed owl, which we would then chuck out the window to one other before repeating the process all over again. It was bliss!
Nowadays, with friends dotted around Europe and the UK, it's often postcards or letters that fill the gaps between seeing each other. A funny picture that reminded me of a friend. A snatched 15 minutes quietly thinking about what I want to tell them. Time spent with no screens and lots of washi tape, crafting a little rectangle of card into something I hope will make them smile. It isn't the 'what do you want for tea?' necessity of yesteryear, but the act of writing a message to someone else in 2015 is just as important. Snail Mail is deliberate. An intentional reaching out of one hand to another. For me, that's a good enough reason as any.
Where to Find Snail Mailers
// Instagram. Search for hashtags #snailmail #snailmailrevolution #snailmailrevival #penpals #penpalswanted #penpalsuk. Upload a photo with your pen-palling requirements, use the hashtags and see what happens. Of course, start a conversation first and only trade addresses when you're comfortable.
// Paperedthoughts - the ultimate Snail Mail directory
1 // Cath Kidston Notecard Set
2 // Wooden Alphabet Stamps
3 // Calligraphy Exercise Book
4 // Rifle Paper Greetings Card
5 // Golden Washi Tap Bundle
6 // Air Mail Envelopes
7 // Red and White Bakers Twine
Do you ever indulge in Snail Mail?
Have a read of my other posts on writing here.
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