Mail it Mondays
When was the last time you received something handmade or written in the mail? I just love receiving actual mail, other than a letter from the tax department.
I’ve been a long-term lover of a handwritten letter; it can bring joy for a moment or joy for a lifetime, in the re-reading. I have piles of mail from times past, all tied up in ribbon, housed both in our attic and at my mum’s.
Throughout the years, I’ve been known to send little missives to loved ones on everything from a coaster, concert programme to a coconut.
I recently read, “While all keys on a keyboard feel the same, it’s difficult to replicate the tactile activity of tracing a letter’s shape. The connection between the hand and mind allows written language to flow easier.” I’d love to flow easier.
As The Great Pause draws on, we’re all drawing upon new ways to connect, reflect, and submit to these slower days.
Taking the time to slow down, sit down and write to someone, is a real act of love. And so one weekend not long ago, Mail It Mondays was born. The children and I decided to take some time out on weekends, draw, write and decorate envelopes, all to spread love around the world the following Monday, when it would be mailed.
Pen, crayon and watercolours were energetically put to thick, lovely paper, and envelopes small and large, were sealed on Sundays.
Thus recently, I trotted off to the local post office, and handed over our Mail It Monday loot. The next, was an exchange of words I’ve become accustomed to, living in Sweden; conversations leaving me perplexed, frustrated, amused, confounded, and at all times, even questioning if they happened at all.
‘I’d like to post these to Australia thanks’, I said. As I handed over our beautiful, decorative envelopes and waited for the jealousy to arise.
‘No, you can’t, it’s closed’.
‘What????? You’re closed?? I swear it looks like you’re open plus it’s only quarter past three.’
‘No, you can’t send them…’
‘Australia is closed.’
‘What? Australia is closed? When did this happen? I just spoke to my mum in Sydney, so I’m pretty sure Australia is not closed; actually schools, restaurants and pubs opened one week ago so I think it may be pumping.’
‘No, you can’t send parcels or mail of any type to Australia.’
‘It’s closed, you can call this number and ask.’
‘Well, this is the first I’m hearing about it! I’ve been sending stuff there for weeks, without any issue. And what about last weeks’ Mail it Monday bounty of envelopes that I paid stacks for because the kids all wanted to send just one piece of artwork per envelope because it was so exciting, so I let them. I posted it all with stamps bought from this very post office and used the mailbox over there!’
‘Mmm, it’s closed, so they are not going anywhere. It was a mistake that the casual staff let you post it. If you had a return address on the back, it will all probably turn up in your mailbox soon.’
‘What??? So basically, I’ve just paid a hell of a lot of money to post a picture of a unicorn covered in love hearts with the word, I LOVE YOU GRAN, to myself?’
Apparently, I had. I pressed on, ‘Well JUST SO YOU KNOW, Australia is sending post to Sweden, my friends are sending me parcels right at this moment, and I have the tracking number’.
‘I can’t comment on that, but we are sending nothing.’
Well, well. Ironies of ironies. The only thing actually closed in Sweden during corona: mail to Australia*.
But we are championing through this challenge, stockpiling Mail It Monday international edition for when the gates eventually open. However, for the coming weeks, Mail It Monday will have to remain domestic. If you live within our boarders and my children know your name, keep an eye out for not only bills in your mailbox, but also unicorns.
Editor’s note: These events took place a while ago, but I’ve not had time to write. Also, whilst Mail It Monday has a nice ring to it, sometimes, and there’s no need to mention this to the children, the mail only gets mailed mid-week/Thursdays, not that it matters, SINCE IT’S NOT GOING ANYWHERE ANYWAY.
*The Swede maintains it’s Australia who is not allowing post, whilst I obviously maintain otherwise. Neither of us can be bothered ringing up the post office to find out the facts. More to come.
When was the last time you received something handmade or written in the mail?
My son lives in Sydney and I posted a book to my granddaughter three weeks ago and it arrived with no problem.
Oh that’s good to hear! None of the things I have sent have returned to me, so hopefully it’s winging it’s way there. I did think it was the strangest thing to hear all of a sudden, so went to another post office to see what they said, same reply.
Maybe the staff out here in bondvischan are not as updated as those in Stockholm 🙂
Though that said, I was once quoted a ridiculously cheap postage for a parcel home to Oz because they told me that Australia was in the EU. I laughed – I mean we are in Eurovision, but it’s a bit of a stretch to say we’re in the EU. Turns out that they thought it was Austria.
A friend tried to mail something to the USA and another item to the UK last week and was told the same thing. I think spme parcels are going by sea, howevwr norhing by air unless it is medical and urgent
Oh, my sister sent me a parcel months ago and it’s still not here – on a slow boat I bet…
Ha! And yet we’re able to receive things from every other country. The online shopping and DHL planes flying over have never run so hot! Time for the Mexican stand-off.
Wow-wee… just nothing from Ikea. Some parcels have made it here from Oz, and some are taking months must be cash strapped Australia Post.
Huh! Now I can share that my local US mail has been deeply affected by Corona. It took 6 weeks for a *letter* to reach me here in Michigan from South Dakota. Um, it usually takes less than week. Things are disappearing into the US mail sorting facility near Detroit and we estimate it takes about a month to find their way out. My sleuthing has uncovered that the sorting facility was hit hard by absences due to COVID. Yet here it is June and nothing’s getting better. I can’t really complain either because there is no one to complain to. So I wait.
I wonder if you go back and get a different clerk if you’ll get a different answer? I think probably. 🙂
Oh that’s a pest having to way so long for a letter, guess things will be messy for a few more weeks. I did end up receiving a parcel from my sister, took nearly two months but it got here…