Friday, 28 February 2014

Annoyed, to say the least...

Royal Mail has announced details of postage rates coming in effect on the 31st March 2014.

  • First class will go up to 62p (from 60p)
  • Second class will go up to 53p (from 50p)
  • Europe upto 20g airmail will go up to 97p (from 88p)
  • Rest of the world first weight band will be upto 20g - there'll be no 10g rate currently 88p. The cost of sending upto 20g airmail will still be £1.28 (although this is a 40p increase for lightweight post under 10g, and for postcards)
  • Some weight bands have been removed. Some heavier letter rates will be "cheaper" 
  • Airmail will be renamed International Standard
  • There'll be a letter size for International post, not exceeding: 24cm length, 16.5cm width and 0.5cm depth.

Overall, I am not a happy bunny. 97p can sort of cope with that... but a 40p rise for outside of Europe for postcards........... well, I think I will need to do some serious thinking about whether I can send postcards around the world. I know this will hit many UK postcrossers hard and think some will even give up.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Post wet again

I have just come home from a few days away visiting my mother, to a pile of wet post. Some of the envelopes became see-through and getting the letters out was not the easiest task. Some of the stamps also peeled off easily. There are also wet postcards, one is panoramic and is curling at the ends. I have the letters drying on a clothes airer although I am eager to read them. A couple of letters escaped the damp.
Postcrossing postcards, stamps and an envelope drying on a towel....

On a happier note....
Look at my new toy!!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Crosswords and surprises.

I buy a paper almost daily... and have a look at the puzzles page.
You may be able to make out clue 16 Down - Letter-writing friend (3,3)
And do you know the answer to clue 14? Item studied or collected by a deltiologist (8)
I have had some surprise post through LetterMo and InCoWriMo. This sealed & parcelled letter came from the Czech Republic.
Inside was a nice letter, a postcard and a bookmark. I will be replying to this.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Postal Art

A couple of months back, I went to an art exhibition.
This caught my eye...
Little metal "postage" stamps...
and a letter ....

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Some nice post

My first InCoWriMo surprise letter reached me yesterday on the 7th February, earlier than my first surprise from LetterMo last year. I also received yesterday a letter from a regular correspondent
I used my letter knife to open the one from the Netherlands...
Inside that, was a letter written on Diddl wavy paper. I am not too old for Diddl, although it is cute.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Weather, letters, ....

This winter, I don't think this Mailbox Gritbox has had much use.... but....
2013 didn't end well and 2014 didn't start well either due to the weather. Storms and wind together with high spring tides caused flooding in December along the east coast of England, and heavy rain flooded many parts of the UK over Christmas, and also the wind caused havoc. We were away when we returned to storm battered Wales and the battering wasn't over, with January high spring tide + storms affecting Wales and south-west England. February high spring tide + storms have affected Wales a bit, and England's south-west and south coasts... 
Post had been delivered in the rain while we ere away over the festive period and was a little bit on the damp side... I tend now to use ballpoint pens for the address, for fear fountain pen ink would run in the rain.  Luckily, these made it to me...
The paper crinkled from the water... but the letter was still readable.
One of my presents was To The Letter by Simon Garfield... I have started reading it. I intend to write a few comments about it for this blog. Maybe for my birthday, I could ask for Shaun Usher's Letters of Note.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Lettermo/InCoWriMo progress

So, there have been 4 postal days here in the UK, and I have sent 6 letters, including two for people via Lettermo/InCoWriMo. It is early days, but my letterbox has been very quiet, last mail for me was received on Saturday 1st. Last year, my first surprise letter arrived here on the 12th so plenty of time. Looking back on last year though, I sent about a dozen Lettermo surprises but none of those led to a correspondence, and received about a dozen surprises all replied but maybe only a third of those still correspond. Sometimes I feel disappointed. Some people were able to send over a 100 items in a month last year, but if I exclude postcards, if I push it I think I could do 30-40 letters a month (perhaps 75 or so postcards and letters). As I write this, someone says they sent 243 items this month. I will concentrate more on quality than quantity.

I have been struggling to decide who to write to. There are messages from people on both of those sites saying that they are up for receiving nice post... and then there is my Postable account where people have left addresses... However, sometimes I think what is the point putting heart and soul in a letter to a complete stranger.... would I get a reply....... did I just waste my time....? Only time will tell. I'm logging off now to start a reply I would like to finsih off tomorrow for posting (6th Feb).

January Stats:

Out: 13 Letters; 8 Postcards; 7 other flat mail items; 1 small packet (more post than last year)
In: 20 Letters; 1 Postcard; 11 Christmas Cards; 4 other flat mail items; 1 small packet. (not as much post as last year).