I’m thinking that Heather at Notes from Lapland is going to have to employ a secretary soon because the secret post club looks set to grow exponentially.  Last time I checked, it was up to 75 members and why wouldn’t it be?

What a perfect gem of an idea it is.  Every month you send a randomly generated recipient something by post.  The ‘something’ doesn’t have to be costly, it doesn’t have to be anything- the point is that someone takes the time to post a letter, or a homemade gift, or a book, or a gorgeous set of postcards from New York (etc, etc) to someone else.  The joy is in the giving and the receiving… it’s a pure, altruistic exchange.  You have no idea what you’re going to receive, the amount you give is in no way related to what you’ll receive and you’ll make some wonderful connections along the way.

I hesitated when I first read about the idea, thinking:

a) I’m so flaky, I’ll never post on time and I’ll let everyone down

b) The things I send will be rubbish and the recipient will feel let down

and then I thought:

c) Bugger it, I really want to be part of this…

and I’m so glad I did.

I came home the other day and lifted the post from the doormat.  It was the usual crap: badly mail merged letter from the dentist ‘inviting’ the whole family for a check-up; cheerful reminder that youngest child is due for pre school booster (joy); postcard from David Wilson Homes inviting us to a ‘Valentine’s Event’ to buy a new home- surely the most tenuous use of the Valentine ‘brand’ I’ve seen this year; and, oh what’s this? A hand written, weighty envelope addressed to me.

The stamps were the first thing I marvelled at, I had to do close ups:

Carrots and lasagne…. I love that!

There’s something really thrilling about receiving post, and as for receiving post from a foreign country…. *faints*

I turned the envelope over and read the return address, printed in beautiful handwriting- Bosnia Herzegovina. Don’t ask me why but all I could think of at this point was Eurovision Song Contest, to the point that I had to google and see if some earth shattering entry had somehow remained locked in my subconscious…..it hadn’t.

And so, I opened, oh so carefully, not really wanting to break the spell, and pulled out a stack of movie-based postcards.  This would be a good time to reveal that I used to collect postcards, in odd little places in Soho or clubs or, well anywhere really.  I’d make big montages of them with bluetack or I’d use them as bookmarks but I loved their simplicity and their versatility and now here, arriving in my domestic chaos was a little bite-sized piece of nostalgia that Emily could never have anticipated, and I was joyous:

Just as I was coming down from my nostalgia trip and taking in Emily’s note, I noticed this card:

I flipped it over, and OMG, chocolate brownies…. easy-to-make chocolate brownies.  Pretty much the best thing that anyone could have sent me, with the obvious exception of ready made chocolate brownies and, of course, then I wouldn’t have had the recipe….

…give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach him to fish and he’ll eat forever… and of course its female equivalent…. give a women chocolate and she’ll eat it, teach her how to make something with chocolate and she’ll eat it. In the spirit of paying it forward, here it is for you to share.  I had planned to be really organised and make a batch so I could include a pic but, I’m just not, so that’s another blog… or vlog?!

So, to Emily at Brit in Bosnia, thanks again, you properly made me day and I hope you received something that made you feel as good, and to Heather at Notes from Lapland, I think you’ve created a monster- but a big, friendly, joy-giving one.


Postcards from Bosnia…
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13 thoughts on “Postcards from Bosnia…

  • February 17, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Excellent idea, great fun! Now I am going to be checking #secretpostclub every evening lol. Jen.

  • February 17, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    How lovely, I look forward to seeing the brownies. ;0)

  • February 18, 2010 at 12:50 am

    Chocolate Brownies will be made in the O’Hara household this weekend 😀 so this is a real “pay it forward” post (blog post/secret post club post).

    BTW, mrs PB – this blog post was ace – I was laughing all the way through it x

  • February 18, 2010 at 6:53 am

    The most amazing thing of all was that it only took 3 days to get there. Bosnian postal system coming up trumps when it matters.

    So glad you liked it. I had fun putting it together and a whole thrill of excitement just posting a secret parcel. Heather has come up with a brilliant idea here.

    PS – suspect that the stamp is a baklava rather than a lasagne – never seen a lasagne here (sigh) but baklava is a national dish. They have sweet teeth these Bosnians!

  • February 18, 2010 at 8:59 am

    umm, can you be my sender next month and send me some chocolate brownies? yum yum.

  • February 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Why don’t you join in Jen? It’s such a lovely thing…


  • February 18, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Doubtless they will not turn out as planned, but I’m sure they’ll still be delish… might get the kids to have a crack at it!


  • February 18, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Thankyou Mrs OH, lovely to be appreciated! You’ll probably make them before me then, so do report back!


  • February 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

    LOL!! That’s hilarious… on close examination it is indeed Baklava!

    I LOVED it, and am very impressed with your postal system. I sent mine last week and have heard nothing so it’s either a)so awful the recipient can’t bear to comment (as predicted) or b)lost in the quagmire that is the Royal Mail!

    Thanks again x

  • February 18, 2010 at 10:01 am

    That is a triumph, mine was posted last week and I’ve heard nothing so either it was too awful to comment on (as predicted) or it’s lost in the quagmire that is The Royal Mail!

    LOL, on close inspection you’re right… Baklava it is! I LOVED it, thanks again!


  • February 18, 2010 at 10:01 am

    you have the power to make that happen! x

  • February 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Oh what a fabulous gift. I’m still putting my parcel together. I may need to think harder. Emily’s gift is impressive!

  • February 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Wasn’t it lovely? It’s amazing how much time and effort everyone seems to be taking… just one glance at the twitter hashtag shows how much it’s meaning to us all. I’m sure yours is equally thoughtful 🙂


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