Time to write a letter…


Thailand stamp 1970
Thailand commemorates International Letter Writing Week circa. 1970

Dear reader of my blog,

I hope this letter finds you well.  Do you mind me asking, when was the last time you wrote a letter?  I confess, it’s been a while for me… With that in mind, I thought I would share a few dates that you may like to add to your calendar:

All this encouragement to send a letter is great, but at the end of the day, the date you choose is immaterial, so long as you make the time – at any time. You don’t need a reason to send a letter: ‘just because’ really is reason enough, and any day of the year is perfectly adequate.

Stamps exist because of the need of human beings to communicate and connect with each other. Before the days of instant communication by text or email or skype – or even telephone! – letters were the thing which connected us, from country to country, from town to town, even from street to street. Once upon a time, there were multiple postal deliveries every day, to keep up with the fine art of letter writing.

USA postage stamp, 1974
“Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls; For, thus friends absent speak.” – John Donne

Correspondence between famous figures in history and literature can be found in almost every museum (and the Letters of Note blog, too!); but not every letter needs to be a masterpiece. You can write about the most inconsequential, everyday matters and the recipient will appreciate that you took the time to pick up a pen and share whatever you happened to be thinking. While a text or an email is immediate, there is a special quality to ink on paper that multiplies the words, and somehow also gives expression to the words left unsaid. A letter carries a piece of you with it that simply cannot be conveyed through a message on a screen.

Some historic moments in postal history illustrated with postage stamps:

rowland hill penny postage stampIn 1840, Rowland Hill campaigned for the Uniform Penny Post to standardise mail delivery across the United Kingdom. Soon thereafter, the famous Penny Black stamp was introduced.  Over the years, Hill has been immortalised on literally hundreds of postage stamps from many different countries worldwide.

romania upu

In 1874, the Universal Postal Union was formed to simplify and standardise the carriage of mail between countries around saint-exuperythe world.

Experiments with airmail began as early as 1911, but was still in its infancy in the 1920s. Did you know that Antoine de Saint-Exupery (author of The Little Prince) was one of the pioneers of international postal flight, and wrote the novel Southern Mail in 1929, based on his own experiences flying for the French airmail service?

Definitive STamps notebook coverAnd don’t you think a stamp on the envelope helps add character to a letter?  Next time you have a letter in hand, remember to ask at your post office for a stamp instead of a label.  There are some amazing stamps out there, but even ‘boring’ definitives can make a striking collection. You never know, maybe your letter will encourage somebody else to discover the joy of stamps – and of course letter writing! – too.

I had better sign off now, as time is escaping. But perhaps tomorrow I will trap some of it between some ink and paper & send it off to someone I’ve been meaning to write to for far too long…

Yours stampfully;


P.S. If you’ve been inspired to put pen to paper, check out my stamp art letter sets for stationery that is just a little bit different…

green set DESK 2 ff ed2


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