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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Wish You Were Here!