Mr Postman please, is there a letter in your bag for me?

Book coverIt’s only February and already I have a new worry waiting in the wings: letterboxes. As in – how will I explain letterboxes to my grandchildren on our future walks round the neighbourhood? Given that I have, as yet, no grandchildren and that letterboxes are still being used (well, sort of), this may seem a premature worry to you.

But the signs are all very clear. New Zealand Post alone processes 50 million fewer postal items every year. In the States this climbs to a terrifying 28 billion fewer postal items per annum.

I’ve been keeping my own stats and can confide in you that I received only twelve Christmas cards this year – all from the mobile elderly still lucky enough to have a post office nearby. Twelve. What else could I do but cheat and put up a few of my own to boost the numbers?

Our neighbourhood is full of characterful letterboxes: a weirdly shaped pukeko, a  mosaiced castle, a cheerfully painted kettle –  they are often the first and sometimes the only indication of the personalities that inhabit the houses. Chrissie Ward saw this coming and has put out a book on New Zealand letterboxes: Kia Ora Postie.

Of course I love my e-mails, but part of me is still the lady in this photo waiting for the postman to bring the mail from overseas – written on lined paper using a fountain pen and blotting paper, the parcel secured with string and sealing wax, embellished with colourful stamps and hand delivered to me outside my cottage  by a cheerful, chatty postman. Almost all gone now.

What makes you come over all nostalgic?  No need to send a note via carrier pigeon, just click on Leave a Comment above!

NZ Post Awards Finalists

The finalists have been announced for the 2009 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards! They are :

Picture Book

Junior Fiction

Non-Fiction

Young Adult Fiction