Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Q is for Quake

NZ Post has this month issued a set of 26 postage stamps - The A to Z of New Zealand - so we can take a "T is for Tiki" tour of New Zealand culture.

As an earthquake connoisseur, "Q is for Quake" has to be my favourite; I do so love living in "the shaky isles."

And I am very proud of New Zealand's staunch nuclear free policy, so this one is a must-have:
There are two other stamps in this series that I will be making sure I buy, because, as for so many Kiwis, the fantail and the Southern Cross are so much a part of my own personal iconography.

But who on earth writes an old-fashioned letter these days? I consciously try to remember to get pen and paper out every now and then, and just pour the words down longhand. It's so much more inspiring and personal a way to write to someone, than email (let alone txt), and I'm sure that in the relative leisure of a handwritten message, there is less opportunity for those dreadful misunderstandings that can arise from online communication.

A year or two ago an old friend and I wrote to each other once a week in that 'snail mail' way; it seemed a subversive act, one we both delighted in, and that pushed us to express, reminisce, and to relate to each other candidly and at length. We kept the habit up for about a year before our enthusiasm waned. I really miss the excitement of receiving the post-marked envelope with its familiar elegantly scripted writing.

Before I forget how to use a pen, I must dig out the letter-paper and scribe an epistle, and put a meaningful stamp on the envelope! Not one of those clinical machine-printed postage labels, but a real stamp, bearing whichever letter of the alphabet that takes my fancy.


Vanda Symon said...

I will put my hand up and say, yes, I am one of those old-fashioned creatures that likes to write letters, with a pen, and not just any old paper - flash stationery, because letter writing and receiving snail mail is an event nowadays.

The moment I saw the new stamps I went out and brought a sheet, and will probably go back and buy another. In fact, when I walk into my local post office now, they say, oh, we've got some new interesting stamps in that you'll like. So I brought a sheet of the Olympic cycling and rowing stamps, and lots of the Matariki ones, and the weather ones. I hate the boring bog standard stamps.

Of course, one of the downsides to writing letters properly is that my friends get lovely hand written letters on great stationery and with cool stamps, and then they email me back!

Mary McCallum said...

I saw the whole sheet of new stamps just the other day and wanted to buy it but didn't. Wondered what I'd do with it...frame it perhaps? What will you do with yours PC and Vanda?

The Paradoxical Cat said...

Vanda, I'm with you all the way here - I also have a whole stack of different kinds of fancy stationery with arty or cultural themes, and I make a point of buying special stamps too (I liked most of the weather ones). And I have the quirky (some would say twee) habit of putting stickers with my favourite themes, all over the envelopes - eg musical notes, trains, yellow flowers, clocks, stars and planets, and of course cats!

Mary, at Post Shops you can buy a sealed pack of all 26 stamps for $13, and included for free is a tasteful poster with the whole alphabet of images on it. So you can have your stamps and lick them too...

Vanda Symon said...

Mary, I'll stick em on letters and post them. I don't actually collect stamps as such, although I must say I'm tempted to get that pack you were talking about PC.

I have two drawers of fancy stationery, including two sets of personalised stationery. I often put inked stamps on envelopes, and if I'm feeling really flash, a wax seal!