‘Join the Journey’: Girl Guides Scatter 140 Postcards around Europe

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey in Paris and New York, you can read a summary here. For 60 Postcards in Australia – click here

I’m taking a step back from the Aus experience this week, as I would like to share a reader’s story. GirlGuiding leader Katriona, got in touch with me recently about a European adventure she enjoyed along with a group of Girl Guides. I was thrilled to hear that they had taken on a postcard mission as they went and I was flabbergasted when she told me the scope of it: 11 girls, 8 countries, 8 days and 140 postcards were going with them. 140? Crikey. Read the girls’ story, written by Katriona, here….

Join the Journey – The Background

One of the celebrations to mark the centenary of the Senior Section (girls aged 14-25) within GirlGuiding in the UK this year, was the Senior Section Spectacular, Join the Journey. Join the Journey is a jailbreak style trip, which saw the Senior Section groups from across Scotland travel from Edinburgh on the 1st August to meet in Cologne, Germany, on the 6th August for the ‘Catch Us in Cologne’ event. Myself and two other GirlGuiding leaders, Sarah and Ceri, led a group of 11 girls (aged 14-18) on the adventure…

The group with the Viennese policeman they left a postcard with

The group with a Viennese policeman they left a postcard with

140 Postcards

Having read Rachel’s book, “60 postcards”, thanks to chancing upon a review of it online, I urged fellow leader, Sarah, to read it and discussed the potential of doing a similar type of postcard activity during our upcoming trip around Europe. We agreed that it would be a good opportunity and asked all those going in our group to bring ten postcards of their local area with them, as we were coming from many places across Scotland. This gave us a massive 140 postcards! Plenty of scope to leave them in unusual places during trip with that many to choose from!

The Handwritten Message

All the postcards had the same message on them,

“Hello!
Congratulations!  You have found our postcard. We are a group of girl guides from Scotland and are taking part in Join the Journey for Senior Section Spectacular 2016. On this journey we are travelling from Edinburgh, Scotland to Cologne, Germany via 8 countries. Please get in touch with us to let us know who you are & where you found this postcard”

The postcards had our group e-mail address on them so for finders to contact us. We left them throughout our trip where we visited Edinburgh in Scotland, Copenhagen in Denmark, Malmo in Sweden, Krakow in Poland, Budapest in Hungary, Vienna in Austria, Cologne in Germany and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. We left them in many places including airports, train stations, trams, hostels, on mopeds and in public places! We also handed them out to people we met during the trip, which resulted in some wonderful conversations with interesting people (locals, other travellers and also fellow members of the GirlGuiding and Scouting movements).

The Responses

We were only half way through our trip when we received our first response and were delighted when more came in. So far we have had six responses to our postcards:

1. Timon and Daniel (from the Netherlands) – postcard given to them by us in Budapest, as a thank you for taking our group’s photo when we were visiting the local spa. (The spa is a must-visit if you are in Budapest!)

2. Sander (from the Netherlands) – postcard found on a train, travelling through Austria.

3. Sebastien (from Lille) – postcard found in Budapest and Sebastien is leaving the postcard in a new country.

4. Christopher (from Connecticut) – postcard found in Amsterdam.

5. Christian and Sabine (Marseille) – postcard found in Vienna.

6. Marina – postcard found in Vienna.

The Adventure Continues

It was a fantastic experience leaving the postcards during our amazing adventure around Europe but it also was so wonderful to see the joy and intrigue on people’s faces when we gave them a postcard as a thank you. We were all very excited, awaiting people getting in touch with us when they found one. When we were in Heroes Square in Budapest and received our first response from Timon and Daniel, it really built the excitement of the “60 postcard” idea and the girls were keen for others to get in touch too.

The positive response to our “60 postcards” adventure was not only shared by the girls but also their families and friends back home, who were just as excited to hear about who has found our postcards.

Looking to the future I hope that it has inspired the girls to continue the idea on future trips they undertake with family or friends. I know that I am going to do it again at some point over the coming year though maybe not with 140 postcards this time!

Katriona

*****

A huge thanks to Katriona and team for keeping the handwritten postcard project alive and for sharing their story. Girls – please keep in touch to let me know how you’re doing and if any more magic comes from the project. You never know when a response may come!

I will be back to the Aus tales next week.

Happy Tuesday all,

Rachael

The One With Sarah and SY: Postcard found in Melbourne

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey in Paris and New York, you can read a summary here.
   
Ok – hands up! I left this one hanging a little while…
 
My first postcard location in Australia was the State Library, Melbourne (catch up from the previous blog post here). I was hopeful for a response and was delighted when I received a message to say that the handwritten note had been found. But that particular interaction never developed to anything more and I thought that the moment had been and gone.
That was until I heard from a lovely couple from Malaysia, who had found the postcard within the library while they were on holiday in Aus. I was delighted to hear from postcard finders, Sarah and SY, who sent a wonderful email telling me all about their story. Kindly, they are happy for me to share their words….

“Hi Rachael!! Hope you’re doing well!

My boyfriend and I (photo below) have been in a long distance relationship for the last 18 months. If you have never been in a long distance relationship before, I have to tell you that it is simultaneously one of the toughest and most rewarding things that I have ever done. We don’t often get the chance to go on extended holidays together and Melbourne (in June) was our first one this year.
Sarah & SY on their trip to Melbourne

Sarah & SY on their trip to Melbourne

It was a wet and miserable afternoon in Melbourne and we had gone out to meet a friend at the State Library. In the lobby there was a little umbrella which had been left unattended on the bench and right next to the umbrella was your postcard! We sat down and started reading it together, half intrigued as this was the kind of thing you’d only see in movies. We googled 60 postcards, read all about your story and wow… we just knew we had to try to help your postcard continue its journey and to spread its message.🙂

Serendipitously, at brunch the following day, we were sat at a table with some Malaysians, one of whom was based in Pennsylvania. We began to tell them about how we had encountered the postcard and how we wanted to see how far we could send the card.  

I often wonder about our connectedness as individuals. The fact that I am writing this email halfway around the world and the knowledge that somebody, somewhere, will be reading this entry on your blog is testament to that. As I am writing this, I also realise that although we may not see the threads that bind us, we are connected in more tangible ways than we may realise. On a personal level, I relate very strongly to this, being in a long distance relationship, and sometimes not being able to physically spend time with my boyfriend for a few months at a time. 

Being apart from one another does not make the relationship any less real or any of the fights we have had any less painful. But, above all it does not make any of the moments we share when we are apart any less precious. Being part of your story has made our already memorable trip even more so and for that we both thank you.

Best wishes,
Sarah and SY :)”
A beautiful message from a beautiful couple. I was touched by the words and their take on the project and it was particularly interesting to hear how Sarah related with the project through her experience of a long distance relationship.
 
It is a lovely reminder that while the project may have been born from a struggle with grief, scattering notes for strangers is not just about the loss of a loved one. It’s about being open, sharing stories – whatever they may be –  and creating connections. The world may be huge but as Sarah says, we are more connected than we realise.
 
I am staggered to say that the Australian leg of the postcard project has brought more responses than ever before and I look forward to sharing more stories from finders all around the world.
 
Sarah and SY – thank you for becoming a part of the project.
 
Until next time,
Rx
 

What’s Your Story? A Postcard Left in the State Library Victoria

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

Ey up,

Part deux of the Australian postcard tales continue today, with the story of where my first postcard was scattered in Melbourne.

As I rambled about in my previous post, after enduring severe hand-ache with the frantic postcard-writing (as per), I decided to set off to the State Library of Victoria to deliver my first handwritten note.

When I asked a passer-by on the street if I was heading in the right direction, they gave me a warm but slightly strange smile. Weird. Turned out that the grand building was directly behind me, just across the road from where I was stood. “Oh yeh, that looks like it – must be the jet lag” I said, as the shade of my face rose to match that of my BRIGHT RED cardigan. I do love a bit of colour coordination.

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I set off up the stairs to the building (still cringing from my blind moment) and took a look around the library, full of gorgeous reading rooms and…well…a hell of a lot of books (over 2 million, in fact). Despite wandering for a while, I already knew where I was going to leave the postcard – Palmer Hall. A lovely blog reader sent me a message before I set off to tell me about an interactive display there called, ‘What’s Your Story?’ Perfecto.

The display featured videos of different people from Victoria sharing personal stories. Visitors were invited and encouraged to share their own stories, which will all be collected to become a part of the permanent State Collection there.

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Undoubtedly this display was right up my street. It brings it all back around to the power of storytelling – one of my greatest passions, particularly in personal stories. Although they are often very tough to share, I think it is a great way of celebrating the uniqueness of us all while also allowing us to create links, to relate to each other and understand each other better.

I couldn’t resist taking part so grabbed one of the cards and wrote a message under the ‘family’ section with a short message about mum. I snuck it in the pile. Being a tourist and not a fellow Victorian, I doubt my note qualifies for the collection! Still, it felt good to get involved. It was also a good distraction from my main purpose there. It was a decidedly tricky place to be nonchalant and drop a postcard without anyone seeing. I stalled for a while and walked around the exhibition re-reading everything about 100 times. Also did a few too many loops around the little shop which just drew attention to me even more as I was asked, “Can I help you?” by every member of staff which I think was translated as, “What is your problem, why aren’t you buying anything – are you a thief?”

The crowds had died down and there was no one around the story card collection drawers. I seized the moment (definitely out of blogging practice – just had to remind myself how to spell, ‘seized’. Gah). I popped the postcard into the drawer then casually and cooly (slash none of the above) wandered out of the room and then out of the library feeling that familiar nervous excitement.

Some days passed and I actually heard from someone who said they had found it in there. But all I had was a name and an email address and I haven’t heard anything since. Putting that one down to a beautiful moment in time and very grateful to that person as they moved it on within the building. It didn’t go unnoticed as I saw the following tweet…

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They couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe it and, of course, I got in touch with the finder to hear their story. A lovely one it is, too.

Until next week…

The Australian Postcard Tales Begin…

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

I did it. I went to the other side of the world. Crikey, it’s far isn’t it? I thought I had an idea of what the cities would be like but no clue about the rest, other than what a few Google images and Trip Advisor searches could let me know. I was surprised and excited by what I found out there. What a magical place. And magic struck again with the postcards. You’d think I’d be used to process by now but every time a postcard was scattered, that nervous excitement kicked in again. The lovely people of Australia were so warm, welcoming and supportive of the project. And, after wondering if I would receive any responses, luck was on my side.

First stop – Melbourne

I felt like I watched approximately 20 films on the flight over. It would have been the perfect time, as I mentioned in my Aus launch blog, to write the postcards. Of course with the frantic last-minute packing and my fussy nature when it comes to choosing the right cards – I didn’t get them in time. Classic. And so, on arrival in Melbourne, I headed into the city to find what I thought – maybe, possibly, not sure – what I was looking for.

The Melbourne Shop by Lumbi was where I spotted some postcards with a design of Australian stamps all over them. That’ll do nicely. I picked up 20 and took them to the counter. Super helpful and lovely, Elle, served me (photo below) and was a more than a little puzzled by my purchase of so many of the same postcard. I told her why, we chatted for a while and then I decided to return a little later to make it up to the whole 60. Job done.

Postcards purchased, now it was time to go off and get writing. The familiar wrist-ache kicked in. Always worth it.

The postcard message:

“Hello there, 

You have found one of 60 postcards scattered around Australia. My name is Rachael and I am visiting from London, UK. The 60 Postcard project first started in memory of my wonderful mum, where postcards were scattered around Paris & NYC, asking the finder to get in touch. Now the tribute has grown and has become more of a collective concept to reach out to strangers, create new connections and to remind us all that grief does not have to be shouldered alone. We are in it together. If you stumble upon this note, please get in touch and become part of the project and story. With heartfelt thanks, Rachael xxx”

It felt good to be writing postcards again and it felt fantastic to be re-launching a project I love so dearly.

As soon as I began to write, I was itching to get out there and leave some around the city. My first stop was the State Library. I had a tip-off from a reader that there was an exhibition there which was right up my street.

And how right she was…..

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Please Note: My 60 Postcards Facebook page is temporarily out of action (for two weeks) due to another blog series I am writing called, ‘Girl Offline’, on the Huffington Post. Read more here.

60 Postcards in Australia: The Relaunch

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

So, it seems to be the 9th of June in the year of 2016 and I have NO IDEA how that happened.

Time has flown. My grief has remained but adapted and moved in different ways, I’ve had new work experiences and become an Auntie. Life’s been good, challenging, surprising and wonderful – things are ticking along pretty nicely. Yet, whereas I really needed to give my head and heart a break from the 60 Postcards project for a while, I’ve recently started to feel like there is something missing in my world. I soon realised that it was this. It’s time to get writing and postcard scattering again.

As ever, I am going for the slapdash, totally unprepared, late-night blogging-over-a-glass-of-wine approach. As ever, I’ve decided to incorporate 60 Postcards in to my upcoming travels. As ever I am still no better at planning the what, the where and the how. Hey – at least I’m consistent.

But the idea is very simple – the way it should be.

I’m hitting Australia at the weekend for a 3-week trip, travelling around Melbourne, Adelaide, Cape Tribulation, Whitsunday and with a final night in Brisbane. There was absolutely no way I could head to the other side of the world for an adventure and not use this opportunity to scatter postcards as I go.

60postcardsinaus

I will handwrite a message on 60 postcards  – explaining that it is a project to remember lost loved ones, that grief is universal and shouldn’t be shouldered alone – and scatter them around the places I visit. I will leave my email on for people to get in touch. I will wait and worry and hope that someone may find one. I will probably drink some beers along the way.

If you want to get involved by sharing ideas or spreading the word, please get in touch. And if you are an Aussie who happens to be around in the locations I am hitting, perhaps you could help with the postcard scattering. I am on 60postcards@gmail.com, tweeting on @60Postcards, photo sharing on the @60Postcards Instagram account and will be posting all updates with the hashtag, #60postcardsAus.

Just 6 days ago I received an email from a man who had stumbled across my book in Brisbane. He is launching a postcard project of his own and I am going to meet him when I am there. Serendipity is back in my vocab.

With just under 48 hours until I leave, I best get postcard writing. Failing that, I’m sure I will find some time on the delightfully long flight. Gah.

It’s good to be back,

Rachael x

 

Peace For Paris: Why Social Media CAN Make a Difference

60 Postcards is moving towards the Tribute Collective. To find out more or to get involved, please contact: thetributecollective@gmail.com

Feeling overwhelmed by the online world and intrigued to experience life without it, I spent October completely switched off: no Internet, nor a mobile phone. At the time, I appreciated it and was reluctant to log in to anything again. But on Friday night, after the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, I felt grateful to be back online and, in particular, to be back on social media, as I realised how powerful it can be; a powerful force for good.

Sickened by the barbaric events in northern Paris, I wondered how I could help in any way. Realistically unable to jump on the next Eurostar to the city, I felt that social media was, and is, the most accessible way to offer support. Yet, I was disheartened and disgusted to find so many disagreeing with that fact.

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Jean Julien’s ‘Peace for Paris’ sketch – now a global symbol

I have witnessed and heard several slammings of the French Tricolour profile picture on Facebook and the sharing of the ‘Peace for Paris’ symbol with some questioning, ‘How does this even help?’

Are you kidding?

Rather than scrolling through feeds of day-to-day dilemmas, trivial moans or vain holiday selfies, instead we are viewing a sea of solidarity; people all over the world joining together, showing support for the City of Love and letting those affected know that we are thinking of them. In my eyes, it is poignant, crucial and comforting in a time of crisis. No, of course it isn’t going to put a stop to acts of terrorism directly. But it is a global act of love, for a city and country shaken up, terrified and grieving. We are offering a virtual hand on the shoulder. We are telling them that we are here, no matter how far away we may be.

Isn’t this the best possible use of our online presence?

I wonder if the people opposed to this example of unity are also opposed to the function of ‘checking in as safe’ or the ability to use the platforms to share information about missing people? I doubt it.

I understand and appreciate that social media provides a space for everyone to share their personal thoughts and opinions, but I felt compelled to write this to remind myself, and others, that we really need to take control of our own networks. WE set up our accounts. WE select who we connect with and who we follow. WE choose what we read or ignore. WE decide if we want to show support by joining in global campaigns like this – for Paris and beyond, of course. WE have the option to unfollow or unfriend the poisonous people who post vitriolic, ignorant, racist statuses. Cut them out – don’t let them have a voice.

Right now is a time where social media should be used positively and for its vast reach. It is not a time for hating. There is enough of that going on.

Out with the selfies and in with the solidarity.

Paris – Je t’aime.

x

 

Inspired Travels: A Post from A Reader

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

The Tribute Collective, which launches in November (initially to readers of this blog), is all about inviting people to join a unique, collaborative group – a chorus of voices – who use words and stories to remember and celebrate loved ones.

Sarah’s story is a different example of grief and one that is very important to share. When I heard that she had created a postcard project of her own, I got in touch with her to tell me all about it….

“Hi I’m Sarah, a 40-something-year-old from Kent, England.

Back in March this year I finished reading Rachael’s book, 60 Postcards, whilst on a touring holiday in Spain. I could really relate to her grief – it’s one of the only books I’ve read that made me shed a tear.

Although my situation is very different, I could relate to it as my mum, Anne, had a major stroke 8 years ago. Although we are still lucky enough to still have her with us, she is severely disabled, needs everything to be done for her and has completely lost her independence. That is just not my Mum!

Sarah&Anne

Prior to her illness she was extremely active, always out and about and the life and soul of any party. That few seconds back in October 2007 cruelly swiped the ability for that life away and left her with a body unable to function in most normal ways, exhausted with fatigue and at times unable to clearly remember or register what’s going on around her. So although I am lucky that she is still here, I grieve for my mum the way she was.

As requested, when starting the book I purchased a postcard. This was done in Barcelona – my favorite European City. Once I’d finished the book, I had a burning desire to use it to do something to help improve things for my mum; to help to fulfill her want to travel – which post stroke is very difficult – and to brighten the routine in her day. So the planning started…

I decided that it would be fun to start a similar project to Rachael’s, by hiding postcards for people to find. I scribbled out a brief message which changed several times and then set up an email address dedicated to this project. In the message, I asked the ‘finder’ to give their recommendations of places I could visit which I could talk to my Mum about. Once I had refined the message, I wrote out my first postcard.

Preparingpostcard

When we headed out on the next day of our tour, I took my postcard with me and decided to hide it when we stopped for lunch. We were on a day trip in the Pyrenees and stopped at a café bar in Font Romeu for lunch, I decided on my hiding place and carefully left the postcard, feeling like a criminal. I’m not sure that you can be arrested for hiding a postcard but I felt like I might be. Shortly afterwards, I left the cafe feeling very pleased with myself and bought another postcard in preparation of my next hide. To date, I have hidden 15 postcards at various locations around the UK and Europe.

postcardstonehenge

Recently, I started to feel brave enough to talk to people about my project. I am overwhelmed by the response I have received. Everyone is extremely enthusiastic about the idea and I’ve had offers of help from donations of postcards for me to use, to people wanting to write and hide cards for me. I’ve currently got friends travelling around Europe buying and hiding cards for me, as well as taking cards back to Australia to hide there for me too.

Each week is bringing new discussions and the opportunity to interact with new people. I’m having fun, enjoying sharing tales of how the project is evolving with both my parents and enthused by the offers of help I am getting. I’ve yet to hear from a finder, but I guess the way I am hiding the cards is a bit of a needle in a haystack chance of them being found. I have every confidence that I will get a finder eventually, though. In the meantime I’m having great fun and it has created interesting conversations to have with my beloved Mum each week.

If you want to hear more or join in the fun, please contact me on Twitter (@travelinsp) or via my email address (inspiredtravels71@gmail.com).

Sarah x”

***

Thank you so much to Sarah for writing this and I will be following to find out more about the wonderful postcard locations and how everything develops.

I hope this is the first of many stories shared – if you have one (it doesn’t have to be postcard related, of course) then please drop me an email or a tweet.

Have a beautiful bank holiday break.

Rx

Revisiting Tales of the NYC Postcard Tributes

To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

Within a week, I’ve heard of two people embarking on postcard adventures of their own. It reminded me of the NYC tributes and how many of those stories are yet to be told. With a promised move towards the creation of a tribute collective (in November this year), I wanted to revisit the four postcard messages I have shared before; a taster of things to come…

Grand Central Terminal: A Postcard for John

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Postcard Message:

“Great! You found me!

My name is Jo, I live in Dorset, England. I’ve written this card in memory of my brother John who sadly lost his battle with cancer 7 years ago, age 56. During his life John loved to travel so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to join the ’60 Postcards’ Project and let his memory do some traveling.

Now you have found this, please do get in touch. I’d love to know about you and were/when you found my card. 

Here’s hoping, Jo xx’

R E A D   M O R E…

*****

Pauline and Jo: A Tribute Filled With Friendship

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Postcard Message:

“We always knew Jo would go before us. She’d been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at 14 but ‘made it’ to 45 so we sort of thought she was invincible.

Jo had been my best friend since we had a fight over a boy in the playground in the 80’s. That boy (& many others) went by but we remained the best of friends even though I moved 200 miles away. Her legacy lives on through her beautiful daughter who through the grief aced her A Levels & this month starts uni.

Jo would have been so proud and I’m so proud to have had such an amazing best friend,

Pauline.”

R E A D   M O R E…

*****

Lucy & Linda; A Message on The High Line

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Postcard Message:

“To whoever finds this postcard – local or traveller, I send you positive energy from London, UK.

I am writing this to spread the memory of my mother – Linda who passed away in 2003. 3 months before this we took a trip to NYC having the trip of our lives. It remains a very special place to me due to these memories of happy times. My mum wanted to travel and see the world a great deal more than she had the chance to. I’m lucky enough to travel monthly with work and take her memory with me. Most recently to Greece – as on the front of this card. 

Tell your close ones you love them today. Lucy🙂 x”

R E A D   M O R E…

*****

A Heartfelt Note for Rose on the Brooklyn Bridge

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Postcard Message:

“Hi there,

Please don’t throw me away but take a few minutes to read.  

This card is in memory of my mother, Rose, who loved New York. Sadly I never really knew her. She gave birth to me in Dublin in 1953 when she was just 17. She looked after me for 18 months but in May 1955 gave me up for adoption. I was adopted and went to live in England. She then set off on the boat for New York, where she worked hard and made many friends. It wasn’t until 1987 when I decided to trace her that I found she had been taken ill in 1974, returned to Ireland and died aged only 39. I met her sisters and brother and heard who an amazing, loving and lovely person she was. I don’t know if it’s genetic but my daughter loves New York and would love to live and work there.

Not a day goes by without me thinking of Rose and I’m sure that between 1955 and 1974, while living in New York, not a day would have gone by without her thinking of me and praying that life worked out OK. I can let her know now that it did. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Tony.”

R E A D   M O R E…

*****

Thank you again to Jo, Pauline, Lucy and Tony for sharing your words and memories.

I look forward to posting more of the NYC postcards in the coming weeks along with other articles from readers. If you have created a tribute in memory of someone or would like a platform to share your story, then please email me on 60postcards@gmail.com. Come join the collective.

Speak soon,

Rachael x

Grief: Let’s be Honest…

 (To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.)

“We don’t want to overpromise – we want to be honest”, she said.

That comment was made just a few days ago during a conversation with someone I am currently working with. I first heard from this lady by email. She was messaging from London as I was standing under the clock at Grand Central Terminal in New York last year, during my postcard mission. It was a moment that will always stay with me.

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She had stumbled across an article about 60 Postcards and, as her project was born from her own experience of loss, wanted to reach out to find out more. Since then she has become a mentor, a confidant and a friend.

Her words about overpromising and honesty have also stayed with me as I realise that on this very blog, I often tell you how frequently I plan to post when I should simply explain that I will do it when I can.

So – speaking honestly – It has now been 3 years, 4 months and 6 days since my mum died and I still had an unexpected meltdown over the weekend. The fact that I have just spent so long trying to work out how long it has been is another horrendous blow. One minute you wish you didn’t have the monthly reminder of ‘that’ date – the next, you hate yourself for having missed it.

60 Postcards may have started as a tribute of handwritten notes scattered around a city but it is now about sharing stories and connecting with people. I have previously mentioned how powerful it can be to find yourself nodding in agreement and feeling a great sense of comfort while reading something that you can relate to.

There have been two profound articles shared online recently that have that effect.

Journalist, Sali Hughes, with the experience of losing her dad nine-and-a-half years ago, offered her thoughts on an article for The Pool:

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Image source via The Pool

“Grief is not a choice, a project to manage or a course of medication to take. It just happens while you’re unable to form a single, sensible thought.”

“…within the hangover of grief, you will still be able to experience the joy of a great joke, of a kind gesture, of an excellent meal or a Sunday morning in bed.”

“And if a dear friend you care about loses their parent first? Say, “This is horrible, this is complete and utter shit, this is the absolute pits of the pits” – never identify any silver linings in an utterly ghastly situation.”

Read the full article HERE.

The second was Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg’s open post about her husband’s death:

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Image source via Facebook

“Real empathy is sometimes not insisting that it will be okay but acknowledging that it is not.”

“I have learned how ephemeral everything can feel—and maybe everything is. That whatever rug you are standing on can be pulled right out from under you with absolutely no warning.”

“I appreciate every smile, every hug. I no longer take each day for granted.”

Read the full article HERE.

I have mentioned my vision for a Tribute Collective before. These articles (amongst so many others) fuel my passion for making it a reality as soon as I possibly can. Despite grief being a totally unique experience, there is also a resounding, underlying sense of a society; a collective.

Until next time (whenever that may be)…

Goodnight,

Rachael x

 

 

 

 

 

My Pitch to Enrich for Virgin’s #pitchtorich

 To find out more about the 60 Postcards journey so far, you can read a summary here.

voom

In my last post I introduced the concept of my new collective to you. As I confessed, I am spending time preparing and looking for as much help as possible in order to give this a real chance of long-term success. Richard Branson is a name we all know. Branson started his first business (a music magazine) at the age of sixteen. Now, of course, he is the famous entrepreneur who founded the Virgin Group. He has been through it all in business – the struggles, the trial and error, the highs and the lows – everything that has contributed to reaching the stage he is at now. With a wealth of business knowledge, Branson runs a competition called #pitchtorich which offers growing and new businesses the chance to win funding and guidance. I had to put the Tribute Collective forward…….

THE PITCH:

Tribute Collective

 Offering people an alternative way to channel grief through the creation of unique projects in memory of lost loved ones and providing a platform where stories can be shared and connections made. Join the movement.

Most people reading this will have experienced the loss of a loved one. It is something that we often feel like we have to deal with quietly, on our own.

Together, we can change that.

The Tribute Collective is inspired by the readers of the 60 Postcards project – a project where handwritten postcards in memory of a much-loved mum were scattered around Paris for people to find. The journey was documented in a blog and a book, and hundreds of people have been in touch – sharing stories and expressing an interest in becoming part of it. Every message received sparks the passion and drive to form a collective.

The collective will offer:

1) A website where people can share memories, seek guidance on creating their own personal tributes and connect with other users.

2) Workshops, talks and meet-ups for face-to-face help and interaction.

3) A Tribute Collective London HQ in the form of a creative café for the above to take place (long-term goal).

Postcard Photo Wall

Because it is:

UNIQUE – being the first collective of its kind.

FAR-REACHING – bereavement is a universal issue and we want to help as many people as possible.

ORGANIC – it all started with a personal tribute but developed very naturally through connections made and stories shared.

COLLABORATIVE – the word, ‘collective’, was carefully chosen. We want the people who join us to be a chorus of voices in our future business decisions.

ENRICHING – no one will ever be able to stop the inevitable, uncontrollable storms of grief but we hope that through this collective we can provide beautiful distractions while keeping memories alive.

LEARNING – we don’t know everything about business but that is why we would love to have the Virgin team guiding us, and giving the Tribute Collective the exposure we know it deserves.

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WHY I WOULD LOVE YOUR VOTE:

It always makes me cringe when you have to ask people to vote for something – I am going to be sharing this all over my 60 Postcards and my personal social media streams so be prepared!

The reasons are simple, though. You have been part of the 60 Postcards journey for a long time and, therefore, you will understand better than anyone.

The only chance to get shortlisted in this competition is by the amount of votes you receive. I have used up almost every single character of the word count allowance to get my message across on-screen, but what I really want is the opportunity to present my passion through pitching it myself.

If you believe in the idea, PLEASE VOTE HERE!

I will leave the last words to Mr Branson – words that reassure me of my mission:

Richard Branson

Have a top weekend,
Rachael x