The postman only rings twice

I rarely send Christmas cards. That Ebenezer Scrooge resides in a zone 3 London suburb is hardly breaking news.

However, I like receiving cards from people I haven’t heard from in a long time. From colleagues at work and friends I see regularly, cards seem a little… unnecessary. But receiving cards from distant friends is a real treat.

One came through to my mother’s house last week. It had a Turkish postmark on it. My mother asked me who I thought it was from. I said I had no idea. She forwarded it on.

It turns out that it’s from old friends – now married – from my Japan days. He’s Irish, she’s Japanese. I was invited to their wedding 5 or so years ago but couldn’t go. Popping to say, France, for a wedding is one thing. Popping to Japan is quite another. I’d have liked to have gone though.

The couple are lovely. I have great memories of my friends from that period of my life. Completely different from UK friends.  I went to Japan on a one-way ticket aged 22.

These friends have sent me a card every year since I left Japan 10 years ago. I really appreciate it. What anguishes me, though, is that they don’t put their address anywhere on the card itself, nor on the outer envelope!!! Also, whilst I’m as likely as the next person to pour derision over round  robin type letters – from old friends like these, I would have hugely valued a newsletter like attachment updating me on their lives.

We have mutual friends, one of whom is in Scotland who I hope has their address. I also have old hotmail addresses for them both so will try to get their address that way. This couple have lived all over the world (he’s a specialist engineer) and I am, in honesty, quite jealous. A lot of my ‘Japan set’ went on to other countries. What united many of us was our nomadic need and urge to keep moving, to keep travelling, to keeping experiencing. That’s why I’ve felt so stuck in a rut here in the UK and have longed, and I mean longed, to go overseas again, to live. It will happen.

5 thoughts on “The postman only rings twice

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  1. Yes, it’s really tricky when people send Christmas cards for years and never send their address. My rule on Christmas cards is that I simply don’t send them to people I don’t WANT to send them to – I still send quite a lot but at least they’re all from choice.

  2. I love getting those Christmas cards from long lost people too! We went through 6 houses in 8 years out here so we lost a few on the way…. but I normally get quite afew from overseas.
    Now getting loads of more local American ones which are mainly printed by Shutterfly – where you just email the photo you want to use (usually of kids/dog) and they put it on fancy card, make a Christmas caption on it and print hundreds off. We get a lot of those with no personal inscription at all. Much prefer the UK handwritten ones!
    Funny how you consider yourself ‘stuck in a rut.’ I read about your living in the capital, your travel with friends and family this year, the gorgeous food you pick up weekly and I am envious of your cultural life!!!

  3. I only send to people I don’t see all the time now. Can’t be doing with all the hassle and mither.
    You’ll have to fix your rut in 2010. How about the services? Plenty of travel involved.

  4. Daphne – that strikes me as a very sensible rule!

    Enrico – yeh, it would have been. Wish I’d gone.

    Birdy – yeh, the ones from long lost friends are the best. Hmmm. I’m a bit hard to please. London has lots of upsides but I need constant change and new experiences and 10 years in the same city is a long time. Will see what 2010 brings.

    Mancais – services would be good! I would like to try something out of the private sector. Very treadmill like at times.

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