Category Archives: Random Jottings (not travel)

Wish You Were Here

Today I got a postcard from abroad!   So what? you may think.

So absolutely fantastic that I did an impromptu jig in the hallway when I picked it up before reverently placing it in a prominent position so that I could look at it and admire it for a few more days.

Ronda

Do you remember how exciting it was to receive a postcard in the days when people sent you postcards?  Those mountain views, seascapes, hotels with the X placed just where the sender’s room was?  The whiff of abroad that unsettled you as you sweltered in a stuffy office or maybe dreamed in your kitchen or garage as the evenings grew shorter and the winter light faded?  You remember it now?

Japan
Mount Fuji, Japan

Next time you’re away from home, put away your smartphone, pack up the tablet, venture out and into the touristy gift shops and buy some postcards to send to your friends  Postcards are physical things, things you hold, read and re-read, pass along to friends to read; they give rise to conversations “So-and-so is in Venice this week.  I’ve had a card”.  “Oh, does (s)he like it?” and so on.  A whole conversation opens up in which you discuss former holidays, your bucket-list of places to see, the food you ate, the weather (always good) and how the children loved it.  You don’t need to look down at your phone to check anything, it’s on the card, as is the view, not a blurred selfie taken and then hastily dispatched to all and sundry.

Russia
Russia

You can’t store the postcard in your Inbox only to have it deleted after the set time (in my case 30 days), you can’t Tweet it, upload it to Facebook, Instagram it or save it to your computer. But you can be cheered by it every time you look at it and think that someone has thought about you enough to go out and buy a card, then a stamp, then find a Post Office in which to post it. I know sometimes the shop will sell stamps and take them for posting, but not always.

CUBA
Cuba

So, what sort of Postcard are you going to send?  One of those innuendo-laden Donald McGill cards that used to make everyone laugh, even the Vicar on a good day? Or a view of the sea/sand/mountains?  A donkey, Flamenco dancer, famous painting, or two fluffy kittens in a basket?  You have to think of the right card for the right person, and as you do, you’ll realise the pleasure it is going to give to whoever receives it, whether it be an aged aunt or a nine-year-old nephew.

Italy
Rome, Italy

Writing and sending postcards means time away from interfacing on Facebook, emailing the office, or poring over selfies of friends out on the town, but isn’t it a great excuse to ditch the technology for an hour or two?

Yorkshire
Haworth, Yorkshire

I don’t mind what you send me.  I just love that lift I get when I receive one, to know I’ve been remembered, and that you have spent time buying, writing and posting me a Wish you Were Here thought.

Beach

Wish You Were Here!

New Year’s Eve 2015/2016

A poll among my friends this morning, leads me to think that I am the only one not to watch New Year’s Eve celebrations on TV last night.  It’s not that I’m anti-TV, and I’m certainly not anti-New Year’s Eve celebrations, but I’ve been disenchanted with the programmes brought to us at this rather special time for the last few years, by those who schedule the night’s viewing.

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After last year’s parade of people famous for merely being famous, fatuous comments from said celebs, frantic commenting from comperes striving too hard to convey a frenzy of excitement, and “stars” swanning around swanky venues, I decided that enough was enough.  Even Jools Holland couldn’t do much to lift the gloom with his parade of guests, although at any other time I would have watched most of them with pleasure.

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But I wanted something more for New Year’s Eve.  Was that too much to ask?  The fireworks last year were quite spectacular spoiled only by the voice-over, so this year I decided I’d give them a miss too.  I opted instead to join some friends and watch the local firework display from a balcony and when that got too cold, from behind glass.  And yes, they were good.  And, no, I didn’t miss the TV version.  And I did manage to catch up with a film I’d recorded some time ago which gave me two hours of very satisfactory drama.

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Would it be too much for the cameras to roam outside London a bit more and spend a bit more time in Scotland. where the Hogmanay celebrations are usually worth watching?  What did they do in Wales – and not just in Cardiff?  What did they do in Dublin?  In Belfast?  In Liverpool?  Even on the Isle of Man.  And with so much accent on the EU nowadays, wouldn’t it have been nice to have a link-up with some European capitals?

Now all I’m left with is to make a few more resolutions.  Last year I said “I’m not watching that again, ever” and I did just that.  I can chalk up at least one resolution I’ve kept!

 A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

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