Postcard to Myself

Have you ever posted a card to yourself?

This is one I did.

Strictly speaking, it was sent by someone else to confirm receipt of a package I mailed to them; but I chose it, wrote and addressed it, and stuck the stamp on it.  So when I took it out of the mailbox I experienced that moment of puzzlement that unexpectedly reading my own handwriting on a piece of post will bring.

Something about not having seen it for a while, and knowing that it has been through the Royal Mail’s systems has given it a new identity.

It amused me when I selected this particular card from the stash I have in my desk drawer.  It’s from a pack of twenty sights of Moscow I bought in the mid 1990s; it was a piece of history even then.  There were no roads along the river so sparsely populated by cars in 1995.

It’s not a particularly interesting shot – in fact most of the cards in the set are exceptionally dull.  I think that’s what I like about them.  If you could buy a postcard of the Hangar Lane junction in London, it would probably have the same feel about it.

Sending a parcel to yourself has been used as a plot device in various thrillers: everyone is searching for a particular document, so the good guy drops it into a sturdy red post box, and everyone in the audience sighs with relief knowing that it’s out of harm’s way, for a few days at least, within the system, until it’s delivered to the safe house by a chirpy, whistling Postie on a bicycle.

It’s not the first time I’ve sent myself a card.  Some writing competitions invite you to include a card which can be sent back to confirm receipt; a couple of times when on holiday in the UK I’ve sent something, knowing it will arrive long after I’ve got home, and it will remind me of the day I sent it and the pleasure of holidays.

I once went to one of those places in Greece that offers ‘alternative’ courses to ‘find your inner clown’, and ‘dance through the doldrums’, and other such ‘mindful’ touchy feely, right-on things.  What came over me?  I can’t disrecommend it highly enough.

One of the things we were encouraged to do was to write ourselves a letter about what we had learned during our stay, with some advice on how to ‘stay on track’.  The letter would be posted a few weeks after we left, so that we could refresh our memories.

Enough time had elapsed so ,that when I received the letter I’d completely forgotten about it.  Imagine my laughter when I read  ‘They’re all nasty, narcissisitic nitwits.  It’s all great material for a story; but never, EVER, even contemplate going anywhere like it ever again.’

Great advice indeed!

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2 Comments

  1. margaret nickels

     /  May 18, 2011

    I think that I might just do that to check how long it would be before it showed up again ! I remain delighted that anything reaches its destination these days !

    Reply

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