Win a Happy Post Day!

Letterbox-karma-sample-stationery-15Yep, it’s that time again (the 15th time to be exact), it’s time for me to make someone’s day with a delivery of happy post! Most of the time what lands on our doormats is nothing more interesting than flyers, bills and junk mail. Which is why I want to relieve you from that boredom by sending the winner of this wee giveaway a little bundle of the green gables’ papery goodness. And then you can use some of your prize to send someone else a happy post day! And so the happiness spreads…

All you need to do for your chance to win is leave a comment below or on my Facebook page post before midnight GMT tonight (Thursday 17th). I’ll pick a winner tomorrow morning and announce the winner in this post’s comments and on Facebook.

And if you’d like to share this there are buttons at the bottom of this post to make it super easy. Good luck!

It’s about more than the coffee

Suspended coffees, ever heard of them? The idea is that when you pop into your local cafe and buy yourself a lovely cup of coffee (or tea in my case) you pay for another one, but that coffee is held in suspense until someone who really needs it comes in. Someone who is homeless or perhaps they’re having a tough time finding enough money to pay for the hot drink that would warm their bones and soothe their soul. It’s a fresh take on the idea of buying a stranger a coffee because you think they could do with a lift.

The Suspended Coffees movement was launched a year ago by John Sweeney in his home city of Cork, Ireland. There are now nearly 1,000 cafes in 24 countries signed up and advertising the movement. Suspended Coffees are currently crowd funding to become a certified non-profit and revamp the website to make it easier for cafes to join and be found.

coffeesI love the idea of suspended coffees, it’s a simple act that can have such a meaningful, positive impact on someone. As John says, “It’s about more than the coffee, it’s about helping a person in need with an act of kindness.” And you know I’m partial to a random act of kindness!

So, the last time I popped into my local cafe I bought a suspended tea along with my own. The lovely lady behind the counter hadn’t heard of Suspended Coffees (but said she loves random acts of kindness) and so put the money aside ready to use on a hot drink for someone in need of it. I don’t go to cafes nearly as often as I’d like but I’ve decided to make the purchase of a suspended coffee an integral part of every visit.

To find out more you can check out Suspended Coffees’ website, Facebook, crowd funding page and twitter. This short film made by John in Cork helps show what the movement is all about. If you like the idea of Suspended Coffees why not share this post to help spread the word and buy one next time you’re supping a cuppa?

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Why you shouldn’t write letters but why you’ll want to

Have you heard it said that people should write letters more? Why should you? I’m all for folk putting pen to paper and popping it in the post, but telling people they should write letters out of some kind of duty is all back to front and upside down in my opinion. Let me explain.

Two years ago I finally cleared out my old room at my parents’ house. I created enormous piles of stuff for charity, for recycling, for the dump, I found things I hadn’t looked at for 20 years. And buried in all this stuff were shoeboxes of letters and birthday cards. I have no space in my own home for decades-old birthday cards but I decided to keep one letter that each member of my family had written to me.

Family-lettersI chose random letters from different years, they give me snapshots of our lives in 1984, 1989, 1994… My siblings wrote to me from university while I was in secondary school. My mum’s letter was sent to me when I was at university myself. The letter from my dad was posted from a hotel in Germany when he was away on business. One of my brothers even wrote a letter from his bedroom above me when he was supposed to be studying for his A Levels! (I particularly like his stamp drawing on the envelope.)

I haven’t kept these letters because their content is remarkable (although another brother included a good quotation at the bottom of his, I remember he went through a phase of doing this) or because they paper they used was special. I kept the letters because they were written by my family to me. I can hear their particular turn of phrase, I’m reminded of the daft things they found funny, the silly names they’d call me – I can hear their voices as I read their unique handwriting. When my family wrote these letters all those years ago they didn’t think about me keeping them and looking back on them in 2014. They certainly didn’t think I would be writing about their letters on my blog (blog? internet? eh?)!

Family-letters-signaturesMy family didn’t write me letters out of duty, because I needed something to keep and treasure for 20 or 30 years, because one day they may not be here to write me any more letters. They wrote to me because they felt like it, they thought I’d enjoy getting a letter in the post, I might find the contents amusing or interesting and I might write back. And they were right – I did love getting their letters in the post (even the one hand delivered from a bedroom upstairs) and I enjoyed reading them. I wrote letters back too, which I think they probably liked receiving and reading also. And now, many years later the letters still raise a smile, and a laugh in places, and have provoked me to write this post.

So, don’t write a letter because you think you should. Write a letter to someone you care about because getting a hand written letter in the post from you will make them more happy than you’ll know. Don’t worry about having anything of significance to say, don’t worry about your scratchy hand writing. Just remember that reading your words, written in your hand, finished with your signature will bring a smile to their face. That’s why you want to write a letter, not because you feel you should.

And who knows, they might keep your seemingly ordinary letter safe and in 30 years’ time read it again. And smile again too.

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