Favourite things: stay in touch

Happy Friday, dear friend. So the big move is finally over and we're settled in our wonderful new home in Adelaide. That's great, but I gotta tell you, leaving Queensland simply means I've added just one more State and one more city to my list of Far Away Places Where My Friends Live And I Miss Them. So in honour of staying in touch with the people we love across boundaries, oceans and hemispheres, this Friday I bring you: five old-fashioned, repurposed, or just a little bit kooky ways to make it personal.

1. Send a telegram Ah, the romance of a bygone era. When I arrived at our empty new house on a very wet winter's morning, suitcases under my arm and a furniture delivery truck waiting in the driveway, the telegram at the top of this page was waiting in my mailbox, encased in a lovely, vintage-style yellow envelope.

Ok, I sent it to myself. "Lord Cavendish" is someone I made up from the house we own and dearly love on Cavendish Street in Sydney's Inner West. But I wanted to test out this clever, old-school telegram service, and what better way than to send an inspiring message to myself and Mr B as we embark on our new lives in a new city? It's easy and cheap, so I guess you could say Mission Accomplished. Now I'll be sending telegrams all over the place. I love the vintage feel and the special surprise these 'telegrams' bring to a mailbox. Visit Telegram Stop to join the fun.

2. Commission a (free) portrait Or have a portrait done of someone you love. I've sent a photo of me and Mr B in to Free Crappy Portraits and I can't wait to see the result! I'm hoping it arrives in time for our first anniversary. The site says, "Send any picture you want immortalized by one of our terrible artists." They also encourage you to tell them a bit about yourself, funny, quirky or otherwise.

3. Reach out to a stranger University student Katie is running a little project called Letters From Strangers. The concept is pretty simple. She says: "You send me an anonymous letter, written to a stranger, and a self addressed envelope. I repackage your letter and send it off to a random stranger. Then, I send a random letter from a stranger to you." It's kind of like Postsecret, but more intimate.

4. Get inside the story Put someone you love inside one of the classic stories they enjoy the most. Let me explain. If your friend has a hankering for Mr Darcy (and let's face it, who doesn't), put her in the role of Elizabeth! Now Mildred (or whatever your friend's name may happen to be) can have the halls of Pemberley and the pectorals of Fitzwilliam all to herself. The folks at U Star Books & Novels will change the names of key characters to suit you and your friends. They also have a range of steamy romance novels for you to personalise.

5. Find a penpal Hermine Van Dijck lives in Antwerp, Belgium, and she wants to be your penpal. If you ask her, she will collect and send you a beautiful package of flowers, textiles, notes, whatever she can gather, and the idea is that you will do the same in return. Hermine and I have already been in touch via email, and we're both preparing little packages to send to one another. Take a look at her blog, Journal de Jours, to see the lovely packages sent and received.

That's all for now, folks. Have a great weekend! Yours truly, Naomi

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