Saturday, 30 June 2018

Perfect Bliss

It is the end of a long, long week.  I have been working in my bedroom trying to fill in dents, holes and a long, large crack down the middle of the back wall.  It looks like a scar, jagged and ugly.  All week I have been filling and sanding only to have to do parts of it again and again.  It's probably the heat, we've had what is being described as a heatwave here even though it is only in the 80s.  The filler bubbles up in parts and I have to do it again.  By the end of the week, I think I got it all smoothed out and hope to put the paint on next week and be finished with it...finally.  It's been very hot upstairs and if I open the window the bugs and birds come in...there are no screens in England.  When you open the windows you are one with nature, a good and a bad thing at times.

In between working I've been helping my son study for exams.  It feels like it has been going on forever.  Next week is the last exam and then we can put away all the revision guides.  There are only three weeks left of school and I am so looking forward to a break in the daily routine.

All week I kept thinking about the letters I had to answer and composing as I worked but hadn't managed to get anything down on paper.  Very frustating.  Every time I thought I had a moment or two to write I got called away.  Today I declared I was "off duty" and set up my writing table in the garden and enjoyed the afternoon just answering letters while enjoying the view and listening to the birds sing.  Bliss.  The Write On Challenge helped me to get caught up and now there is no angst about answering letters as they are all up to date.  So, I had a wonderful day just relaxing and doing what I like best.  I hope your day was the same.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

A Fine Day for a Cup of Tea

All of my tea parties have arrived at their destinations and the weather here has finally cooperated so I can enjoy my own tea!  I love sitting in my garden.  It's still a wilderness since most of our efforts are indoors presently but it doesn't matter to me about the weeds and brambles.  Just to enjoy the blue sky and hear the birds sing is bliss to me.  For the past week or so we've had drizzles, or gusty winds and when you have to wonder if your table cloth is going to take flight or you'll have to sit under an umbrella, it's better to wait to have your tea party.  

Today is an idyllic day with blue skies, puffy white clouds and just the hint of a breeze.  I found a nice spot in the shade to put my table where I would enjoy my tea.  The small orchard we have is underplanted with daffodils and while we wait until they are ready to be cut, the area turns into a glorious meadow full of wildflowers and tall grass.  It's mesmeric watching the meadow gently rock in the breeze.  Butterflies and bumble bees go happily about their business as I sit and sip. Long after my tea was finished I sat at my little table writing.  I'd brought my letter writing things out with me and wrote letters to friends and pen pals while I drank my tea.  I lingered quite a long time, loathe to break the spell of contentment.

I've been getting letters from my guests and Mrs. Duffy has talked about her tea party experience here.  It's nice to hear how everyone has enjoyed the tea party.  Even though miles separate us we all meet over a cup of tea.

Friday, 25 May 2018

Everyone's a Winner!

This week has flown by.  I've been busy getting my things together for my tea party and having far too much fun doing it.  I've had the teacups for a while now but had to get some vintage napkins and all sorts of other bits and bobs.  I like using vintage things and parcelling items up nicely to make the package look inviting so I have been working happily this week.  But, now the time has come to choose my winners.   I was intending to have four at my tea party, inviting two pen pals and two readers of my blog but since there were three comments it seemed a shame to pick just two of the three so I'm inviting all three of the people who commented to my tea party.  Thank you for your kind comments and congratulations on winning.  Here's to four more years of friendship and postal goodness.

Friday, 18 May 2018

An Anniversary and a Wedding

Happy Friday everyone. Today is my four year blogoversary. Yep, four years ago today I finally got my nerve up and decided to start this blog. I'm so glad I did. I haven't had too many posts lately due to internet problems but thankfully today I can post and even add a photo. Thank you to those of you who read my blog and those who comment too, it's always nice to get feedback.

I thought in light of my anniversary and also to mark the Royal Wedding tomorrow I would have another of my postal tea parties. I'd love to make it a special tea party by inviting two of my readers as well as two of my pen pals. All you have to do if you want to be a guest is leave a comment. I'll leave the comment section open for a week before the  two winners are chosen to give everyone a fair chance. Good luck to all.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Write On Challenge 2018

Hello everyone.  I have been trying to post this for two days now but the internet around here had other ideas.  The photo I took just won't upload before the internet peters out so I'm going to forgo it.  If I can add it later I will.  Very frustrating!  

Anyway, the Write On Challenge has begun and I am ready for it.  I set up shop at the end of the dining room table so I can write and still be close to the fire.  It's still a bit too chilly to sit at my writing table so I thought I would just get comfortable downstairs for the time being.  I've got a stack of letters to answer, thank you notes to write and even query letters to museums and colleges to do with the restoration of our house to compose, so I have plenty of motivation.  I am being sensible, however, since the cold and damp make too much writing physically impossible at any one time.  Having everything I need close at hand and near the hearth is proving a very positive action and I've written something each day so far and hope to continue with the challenge. 

I had hoped to create some stationery to mark the event but fell into the grips of yet another cold.  I do have some stationery to use from my stash but I just thought it would be fun to make something, or even embellish something for the challenge.  I suppose there is still time to dabble but, writing, first and foremost just now.

I hope those of you joining in with the Write On challenge are having fun with it.  And for those of you interested in stats, so far I have written 2 letters, a postcard and a thank you.  Not too shabby.  I usually participate in Lettermo to get my letter writing back on track after the holidays but with the flu that didn't happen so I'm doing that now and liking the connectivity with pen and paper on a daily basis again.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Message in a Bottle

Who among us can resist the allure of any story about a message in a bottle? There's just something mysterious and exciting about the prospect of finding such a note. I’ve always enjoyed reading the success stories of people being contacted when their message is found, sometimes years after they set their missive adrift.

In today's news yet another tale of finding a message in a bottle was reported. You can read about it here  This time the message in a bottle was found in Australia, when a woman and her husband were walking along the beach. Seeing rubbish that had washed up with the surf, the woman decided to tidy up and take the rubbish home to dispose of. The very first thing she picked up was a brown bottle and inside it was a rolled piece of paper tied with a string. The message was not an actual letter but information from a German ship studying ocean currents. The amazing thing was that it was dropped in the ocean 132 years ago.

No matter who releases a message out into the world, there is always an element of hope that goes along with it. That someone, preferably in a far away land, will find it and respond. It's just the same when a letter writer pens that first letter to a prospective new pal hoping to get a reply. My son received the above kit from a very dear friend. We sent it on its way several years ago and every time a story about someone finding a message in a bottle is in the news we start to speculate about our bottle; wondering where it is and if someone will find it soon.

The concept of sending a message in a bottle is not a new one, and although it usually conjures images of desert islands and last ditch attempts of being rescued, messages in bottles have been utilized in other ways besides the classic romanticized notion. Using bottles in the sea as a method of communication or study was something the ancient Greeks practised, Benjamin Franklin studied ocean currents in this fashion and Elizabeth I appointed someone to the post of “official Message reader” upon being presented with the news that a mere fisherman had read a secret dispatch that was found in a bottle floating in the Thames.

Another more whimsical story is about a wistfully tossed note from Ake, a Swedish sailor, who asked for any pretty girl to respond. A Sicilian fisherman, picked it up and passed it on to his daughter thinking it a joke. Amused, his daughter, Paolina, sent a letter to the sailor. A correspondence ensued; Ake visited Sicily, and shortly after he and Paolina were married.

There are quite a few other tales of people happily writing for years as a result of finding a letter sent by “sea mail.” News items emerge regularly of individuals finding sea-bound missives from strangers reaching out their hand in friendship. Of course not everyone is touched or even amused as Paolina’s father was. Some people think it is just refuse and would just as soon the romantics found another venue for their whims. I read of one such encounter in the newspaper where a man here in England picked up a floating bottle, promptly wrote to the author in America telling him his litter was not appreciated.  I hope he doesn't find our bottle!

A message in a bottle is never an ordinary thing. It has the power to amplify one voice for many to hear. It seems to have found many forms over the centuries but the sentiment still remains the same and that seems to be for love and friendship. Not unlike a lot of us who use the post for the same reasons. 

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Getting Back To Business

It's been a while, too long in fact. Living in a small village has its perks but good internet isn't one of them. A massive roll out of fibre was put in on the main road at the end of our lane, but they didn't connect any of the six houses in our post code to that fibre. Now all power goes to those on the new fibre and we get the residual power which isn't always very much. At times I can read my mail, sometimes I can answer other times the internet just fades away while I'm trying to do something. It is very frustrating as the internet is my life line to family and friends as well as fuels my research and connects me to my blog. I have found that if I get up very early, I can type and send before the internet gets busy so whenever I find I can't sleep I bundle up against the cold and come to the computer.

For the past month I have been battling the flu and I'm finally able to do some work again, though I still get tired and have to rest. I'm glad I'm feeling more energetic every day but a bit sad I have missed out on some of my annual mailings. Next week we have Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday/ Fat Tuesday), Wednesday is Valentine's Day and Friday Chinese New Year. I try to send things out for these days but being ill has made that impossible this year. I have folders for each day with clippings, patterned paper and embellishments but I'll have to save them for next year. Ideally, I should start making them now to send out for next year, but I'm definitely not that organized.

I hope those of you participating in InCoWrMo and LetterMo are having fun. I didn't think I could cope with either this year so I'll take a break from them and join in next year.

We are still in the beginning of February so I am focusing on my Black History Month postcards. I still have time to work on them without rushing so I'll put my energy there and enjoy the process rather than fussing and rushing trying to send out cards for all the holidays. The good thing about holidays is they come every year so I'll catch up with them then.

For now I'll sign off and get back to work on my postcards and hope you are all enjoying your February, wherever you may be.