vendredi 30 mars 2012

March's mail

I know there's still one day left before the end of March, but I never get mail on Saturdays since I leave home before the mailman arrives, so it's already time for the traditional monthly post!

Here are all the letters I got on March:

Great mail month this time! I got 12 letters, in 31 days: that means around 0.39 letters per day, or a letter every 3 days.
Average distance traveled: 2162.25 km.
Shortest distance traveled: 755 km (from Eraclea, Venice, Italy)
Longest distance traveled: 8326 km (from Blaine, Washington, USA)

Have a nice April, dear followers! I wish you tons of mail! <3

jeudi 29 mars 2012

Have a nice trip, little letter!

Have you never wondered what happen to the letters you leave on the mail? I have, and that's why I made some researches about it. I found a very well done explanation of a letter's trip so I thought about translating it into English to share it with you.

So, here we go!

Step one: collecting and gathering the mail:
First step, the mail people collect the mail from all the postboxes. In France postboxes (like the one on the picture above) are divided into two parts: one for the mail within your own department and the closest one, and the second is for mail to the rest of France and to abroad. The mailmen grab the mail in two bags of different color: one for each destination.
All the mail collected in the postboxes from one or several towns is then gathered in the mail gathering center.

Step two: preparing the mail:
Mail is brought to the preparation center. This center gathers and centralizes all the mail from companies and people. It's during this step that international mail is separated from national mail. The mail is also sorted by type (big or small size), destination and stamping (priority or second class)
This sorting is done by machines mostly. During the night, a machine cancels the stamps and puts a bar code on the bottom of the envelop (small orange bars) On the left, there's the code for the street name and number. On the right, the postcode.
Mail is then organized in boxes put in trolleys, ready to load on trucks.

Step three: organizing and delivering the mail:
Mail goes to a mail center. Here is organized all the mail from the department and sent to other mail center in the whole France depending to the letters' destination. To do this task, mail centers have machines able to tidy 50 000 letters per hour for each of them. All the envelops that can't be read by the machines are scanned and read by remote control in a numeric mail center.
Mail travels to the mail center by the most adapted transportation: it can be plane, TGV (high speed train) or truck.
Mail arrives again in a mail center where it's organized by postcodes, cities, areas. Then it's sent to a delivering center, where it's organized for the last time to fit in the mailman's journey to deliver mail to people and companies.
To allow the mail to be delivered on time, all this process starts at 6.00 pm and runs all night long. The aim is to leave mail in the delivering center (where the mailman's journey starts from) before 5.00 am.

Some numbers about mail in France:
The distance covered by the 100 000 mailmen is equal to turning 50 times around the Earth.
It exist 70 000 different mailman's journeys.
Each day the post service collects around 75 million of letters on 135 000 postboxes.
Mail transport requires 3 TGV, 13 planes and 460 trucks.
Mailmen deliver mail in 27 million mailboxes.

mardi 27 mars 2012

Enlarge your horizons

Today I got a letter from Destiny in the USA! My first letter coming from outside the European continent. It traveled 8326 kilometers to reach me :)
 Such a lovely letter! The envelop is awesome, don't you think? I picked it it my mailbox just before going to classes so it was a real torture having to wait four hours before reading it XD
I'm in love with the love stamps as well. The one on the top was a little unstuck: did the mailman also love them and tried to steal them? Nasty man! >.<"

And here is the letter, with a nice postcard, and a pressed penny from Peach Arch. Destiny went there and she got me a pressed penny, how nice!

My hand look so weird on the picture, don't you think? -.-"

Hope you all had a great mail day today! <3

dimanche 25 mars 2012

I love when I get mail on Sundays ;)

Indeed, there's nothing better than coming back home and finding my mailbox full, as I found it today: 2 letters, and a postcrossing card:

Let's start with the card :) It's the second unexpected card I receive via Postcrossing in few weeks, that's really strange, I don't participate anymore in Postcrossing but I still receive cards. I don't know why, but it seems that the random address generator is in love with me! XD
Anyways, here's the card. It's from Saint Petersburg, Russia:

Secondly, I got a letter from my new penpal, Sara from Italy. It's a short letter, but it's only the first one, so I forgive her :) And she sounds a really nice person.

And finally, a letter from Almante from Lithuania. I just love the stamp she used. Yes, I'm a snow-lover ^^"
The letter, with a cute postcard from her home city, Vilnius:
The small card you see on the envelop is actually a calendar. Here's the back:
Now I know how to spell the months in Lithuanian. Haha |D

My pile of letters is getting big, but I wrote a letter this week end and I plan to write one or two more this week since I'm rather free from homework at the moment, so I'll make it get smaller ;)

Have a nice week! <3

jeudi 22 mars 2012

A boring day that ends up being awesome

Today started veeeery boring. I stayed half of the day at home with nothing to do, until I finally decided I could not stay at home when it's so sunny outside.
So, I went out, and did a bit of shopping :) Penpal related stuff, as always XD
First I bought a new fountain pen:
I've always wanted to have a fountain pen like that ;)

And I also bought an Alice in Wonderland notebook to keep track of the letters sent and received:
...and back :)

I started right away to fill it... with my new pen!

And this evening came the good news, that achieved to make my day more than awesome.  Some days ago I took part in a book giveaway, and today I received an email to let me know I was one of the winners! I can't believe it!! I took part in the giveaway just for fun, I didn't think I would indeed win :D I don't know which books I'll get yet (I just know it'll be crime novels). Can't wait till April 1st I get my prize! 

mardi 20 mars 2012

Spring is in the mail!

When is the official beginning of Spring, actually? I have two diaries and one says it's today, the other it's tomorrow. What do you think?
Anyway, Spring is already in my mail! I printed some new letter papers and envelops, and here's the latest outgoing, very springlike!

First, a letter to Annalise from England:
The back of Annalise's envelop is more spring themed again:

Then, a letter to Slovenia, for my dear penpal Teja:

To Marita from Norway:

And finally, the letter I've just finished some minutes ago, to my new penpal, Bruna from Brazil:
I wonder if it's spring in Brazil, too, since it's located in the other hemisphere :) I should have asked Bruna the question, but I've just thought about it right now, and the envelop is already closed n_n

Spring is beautiful, don't you think?

Have a nice spring, people, either if it starts today or tomorrow! :3

jeudi 15 mars 2012

Who doesn't like Air Mail envelops?

Definitely not me ;)
I was so desperately looking for Air mail envelops, that I finally decided to make them myself. I have quite a lot  of boring plain white envelops, so with blue and red felt-tip pens, it was childishly simple to transform some of them into cute Air Mail ones :)
 Well, I still can improve them, but I'm quite satisfied with the result yet :)
The first ones will travel soon!

mardi 13 mars 2012

The art of writing beautifully

Today I went to the library (aka. my second house ^^") and I stopped by in the arts section- just for fun, I wasn't intending to borrow a book about arts, I just wanted to have a look at which books were there. And then I found this one:
A book about calligraphy. I planned to teach myself the art of writing beautifully this summer, I don't think I'll have time for it before, but I couldn't help myself bringing this book home. At least it could give me a first idea of what I could do :)

Such beautiful handwriting styles!

Now my motivation to learn calligraphy has just grown up again! Can't wait for the summer, to finally start!

dimanche 11 mars 2012


I found a stamp order in my mailbox today!
As you can see, there's a lot! I'm sure the mail people wondered what I was intending to do with all these stamps when they prepared my order! Haha.
Now, let's have a look at each of them...

First, a bunch of stamps celebrating the 30th birthday of our TGV (high speed train):
Three "classic" French stamps. I find them quite boring, because they are all the same and not very colorful, but one of my pals told me he loved them, so I'll use them for him :)
My favorites: Twelve environmental themed stamps. I remember my mom bought the same last Spring, I used some of them to send my application file to university, and apparently they brought me luck, because I was among the first students to be accepted! :D So, when I saw them on the post website, I immediately ordered them!
And finally: a bunch of 5 cents and 10 cents stamps to complete the postage:

With all of them, I guess I have enough stamps for a little while! So now, let's write letters! It has been quite a while since I last wrote letters, because school assignments and mid term exams kept me a little behind -.-" But soon I'll be done with all that stuff, so letter writing time will start again soon!

Have a nice week, people! <3

dimanche 4 mars 2012

Sunday's mail

Before you start wondering, no, mail isn't deliver on Sundays in France. But I'm never at home on Saturdays so I can check the mailbox only on Sundays. So, for me there's mail on Sundays, but not on Saturdays :)

Nice surprise, when I came back home today, two letters were waiting in the mailbox. Funny, both of them were in green envelops!

Spring themed paper and a cute postcard from Teja, Slovenia:

So cute gifts from Marita, Norway! *.*
I wonder if they are handmade? ;)

There's a feeling of Spring in the air! I love it. I'm definitely a Winter person, but Spring comes in second place in the list of my favourite seasons ;) 
Yesterday I wrote a letter in front of this landscape. My first letter written outside this year! It was awesome *.*

jeudi 1 mars 2012

100 reasons to snail mail #2

Let's go for the second part of my challenge: finding 100 reasons to send handwritten letters :3

  1.  You will discover that writing a big amount a pages isn't worth an effort. Because no one obliges you to write a minimal number of pages like for a school essay. You just take a pen and let the words fill the paper, page after page.
  2. When you write a letter, you are obliged to express your thoughts clearly, because your pal can't ask you "what do you mean by saying that?" So you'll improve your writing skills- even if you write in your native language.
  3. Letters use paper. Paper is made by trees- so writing letters kills trees, are you going to say. Yes, but paper is 100% recyclable. Computers aren't.
  4. Do you imagine yourself showing your old emails to your grandchildren with pride and nostalgia?
  5. If you collect stamps, don't you think it's better to get them from the letters of your beloved penpals, than buying them in philatelic stores?
  6. You can improve your artistic skills creating envelops or decorating your papers.
  7. Do you want a hobby that will make you different and give you something to tell? Snail mail then! ;)
  8. I may be a little selfish, but I love the idea that someone far away is waiting impatiently for my letter to come, spends some of her time just for me when replying, and thinks about me while buying stationery.
  9. It's always funny to see how people look at you when you're about to put several colorful envelops in a postbox ^^"
  10. Snail mailing will give you the opportunity to make your brain work to try finding answers to questions like: where do lost letters go? or how can a letter addressed to France be missent to Thailand?