My postman, Patrick*, told me last week, "You get special mail. Very special." I like to think that decorated mail puts a smile not only on the face of the recipient, but on each and every person who handles it along its journey.
Here is a handful** - a very big handful - of the letters and postcards that Patrick and I have been enjoying lately, from all over the world. I don't always share incoming mail on my blog, but I thought today I would take a moment to celebrate some of the wonderful, generous, creative people who have taken the time to write to me.
Their letters are sometimes funny, sometimes musical, always heartfelt. Each one contains insights into the writers' worlds: tiny moments, glimpses into another way of living. Do you want to meet them?
↑↑ Luci from Oakhurst, USA, loves to walk in the Yosemite National Park, and hiking up to Mirror Lake is one of her favourite climbs
↑↑ Pia from Strallen, Germany, loves how Instagram puts her in touch with people she calls "beautiful souls"
↑↑ Sara from Carlton, Australia, just finished a botanical art course, and quit her job to apply for a Masters in Urban Horticulture
↑↑ Jen from Bossier City, USA, says "The Sound and the Fury" is her favourite Faulkner novel
↑↑ Camilla from Fonnes, Norway, told me about the Norwegian Constitution Day, on which (among other things) children can have as many hot dogs and ice creams as they want!
↑↑ Ally from South Hobart, Australia, once cycled around Brugge in the snow
↑↑ Joy from Nottingham, UK, is an artist, crafter, crocheter and sewer, who wants to write and illustrate her first book
↑↑ Esmerelda from Tustin, USA, designs cakes, greeting cards and chalkboards
↑↑ Andrea from Philadelphia, USA, loves the beer, food and museums in her city
↑↑ Wiebke from Dusseldorf, Germany, is starting a business with her sister, making postcards
↑↑ Roxanne from Carole Park, Australia, never got the mail I made for her, but saw it on my blog. I'm so sorry Roxanne. It didn't return to me so I hope it reaches you one day!
↑↑ Máiréad from San Mateo, USA, painstakingly embroidered this card herself
↑↑ Charlene from Oakland, USA, is about to have her second child, and is readying herself for two under two (I remember how that feels: equal parts excitement and terror!)
↑↑ Jessica from Hamburg, Germany, found this in a shop in Florence at the end of the Ponte Veccio Bridge
↑↑ Kay from Pleasanton, USA, is about to exhibit her art at a local venue
↑↑ Monica from Lake Michigan, USA, discovered a beach in the middle of America while on a holiday, and she and her husband loved it so much they moved there
↑↑ Cheryl from Perth, Australia, quotes St Augustine ("The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page")
↑↑ Jessica from Hamburg, Germany, found this postcard in an old album at a flea-market
↑↑ Rae from Chicago, USA, is an architecture geek who likes all those house-hunting and renovation TV shows as much as I do
The Minions plaster (thanks Ralph!) that I'm wearing is keeping salve on a particularly nasty burn, sustained when the sealing-wax I was using caught fire. I attempted to blow it out but was a little too enthusiastic, and the melted wax still on fire spilled over my finger. It's ugly and blistered and has been hurting for two days. Which is all to say, don't let anyone tell you snail-mail isn't a blood sport!
* Oh my gosh, I only just saw that. Postman Pat!
** If you have sent me mail and you don't see it here, please don't think that it didn't arrive or that I didn't love it. It's just that my filing system is pretty chaotic. I don't share every piece of mail I receive on the blog, and I chose these particular letters to photograph based on the fact that they were in the pile closest to my hand when I picked up my camera! Each of the lovely letters you see here and the lovely letters you don't thrilled me to the core when I found them in my letter box.