Anna Campbell

April 2010

Postcards From The Edge

As most people in my circle know, I’m a complete postcard fiend. Can’t get enough of them.

I love to send postcards when I travel. They’re a wonderful way to share the trip because they’re quick to write and unlike an email, they’re visual. And hey, who doesn’t like getting stuff in the mail from foreign climes with groovy stamps and pretty pictures?

When I’m out and about, I write postcards by the hundred. I get into a routine first thing in the morning – and I mean first thing! If I’m in a place I’m using for research, I always write my travel diary, then I do a few postcards. It always gives me a smile to pop them in the mailbox! Something satisfying about that soft thunk of happy messages about to take flight all over the world!

On my travels, I also collect postcards purely for pleasure. Favorite paintings from an art gallery, for example, or beautiful shots of places I’ve been that far outstrip anything my limited talents as a photographer could achieve. Many old houses and museums don’t allow indoor photography so you have to buy a postcard if you want a visual souvenir. In front of my desk in my office, I have a corkboard and a horrible painting I’m happy to cover up. Many of these blank postcards end up there to inspire me.

I absolutely adore receiving postcards. I keep them not only in the office but on the fridge. When things get crowded, they go in a box. No postcard ever enters this house unloved!

I thought I’d share some of my favorite postcards. This column was inspired by my Bandita friend K.J. Howe who travels frequently to exotic destinations. Bless her, she knows how much I love to get pictures of foreign locales!

Just recently, K.J. fulfilled a lifetime ambition and did a South Seas cruise including Tahiti (lucky K.J.!). She sent me the fun postcard of Seducers of the South Seas. Sounds better in French, doesn’t it? Perhaps it’s just me, but I usually find these posed men shots really camp and this one is no exception – made me giggle, I have to say. Which I’m sure was K.J.’s intention! Those big long sticks are just… ahem, big long sticks!

Also courtesy of K.J. (K.J., if you’re reading this, can I become your assistant?) comes the beautiful postcard of Barbados. Don’t you just want to dive into that perfect blue water? Lovely! I’ve always wanted to see Petra in Jordan and K.J. got to visit last year. I’ve treasured the postcard she sent me because realistically, that’s probably as close to the “rose-red city half as old as time” as I’m going to come. It’s certainly cheaper being an armchair traveler!

I don’t only love postcards of gorgeous places. Sometimes the pictures are just fun or touching or pretty. My good friend Vanessa Barneveld sent me the gorgeous shot of the girl with the lion cub. Doesn’t that just make you go awwwwww? Another wonderful friend I used to work with sent me that fabulous shot of Baryshnikov’s arabesque on that grand piano. How cool is that? That one has survived years of postcard culls and probably will continue to do so. It’s a brilliant picture!

Pop back next month and I’ll show you some more from the collection. I suspect you’ll have itchy feet by the time you’ve finished reading the post! Oh, and if you’re traveling, make sure you send me a postcard!