Note: To understand the story from the beginning click here.

Eurostar vouchers were my Birthday and Christmas present for 2011.  How on earth I got this far without a trip to Paris, I will never know. I’d hoped to take Mum when she got better, but I think you can guess how that one went. As these vouchers were a gift from Mum and with the tragedy of losing her, I thought there could be no better time than a trip in December to celebrate what would have been her 60th Birthday. A bonus is the fact that it is the City of Love – ‘Love’ was my mum’s maiden name. Incredible. I emailed my closest friends with my plan and a flurry of, ‘I’m in’ responses cluttered my inbox. I have the greatest friends in the world. Fact.

I wanted to do something fun, something different and something to remember mum. So the brainstorm began and my housemate, Becs, and I talked about ideas – from leaving lovehearts to stickers with notes on. Then it hit me – Postcards. I can’t tell you how or why I came up with this but I’d like to think that somewhere – deep in my subconscious – I chose it for alliteration purposes.

60 postcards in Paris was born.

One of the postcard designs…

Parisian feel to them, isn’t there? Ironic really that I bought them from Paperchase in Kings Cross Station. Oh, and the poor shop assistant, “I’m sorry but I have to scan these in one by one” he sighed. It wasn’t me he needed to apologise to. I had all of the time in the world but I could almost feel the burn of the glares from shoppers in the queue behind me, who clearly didn’t. Ooops. So, 60 postcards purchased. Now for the tough bit – the words.

The brief:

  • Keep it short and to the point
  • Say everything you want to say
  • For goodness sake, make your email address legible (thanks to Trent for his quality control on that one!)

The words....

I went for my email rather than my home address. Why? Well, we are advised not to talk to strangers, which is admittedly something I’ve ignored sometimes – but, I get it. Giving your HOME ADDRESS to strangers is just straight bonkers. Besides, I had ticked the ‘keeping things authentic’ box by handwriting the whole darn lot so I chose a modern, tech-friendly approach with the contact detail. More likely to hear from someone right? Hopefully.

Now, a more organised person would have written these all out before the trip. Not my style, really. I took them with me, and with the help of the 60 postcards crew (more to follow on them in future posts), we would write them as we go – a few in the apartment or when we stopped for coffee approximately 20 times a day (hey, it’s Paris after all).

Coffees, croissants and writer's cramp
Coffees, croissants and writer’s cramp

We left the postcards on the eurostar, in cafes, restaurants, telephone boxes, on the metro, in bookshops, on benches and in postcard racks. It made the weekend have a real purpose. It was magical.

On my return to London, I tried not to check my phone too much. Yeh – good one. I checked it every other minute. I’d already said that I was just happy that I had completed the mission. That was a slight lie. I wanted to receive one. Just one response would be great.

On Tuesday 11th December I was on a train home with housemate Beccy when my phone buzzed. I think we had to apologise to fellow passengers for the yelps of joy.

YOU HAVE A NEW EMAIL:

Arielle: Paris Postcard Found!…………….

 

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12 thoughts on “Mission 1: 60 Postcards in Paris

  1. what a wonderful way to honour your Mum with such a novel idea….what are your replies as would love to hear all about the postcards you got back.

  2. Please come to Stirling, Scotland and leave postcards here so that I can be part of this great idea. I too am looking forward to the next installment.
    More please KC

  3. I love this idea. I’m all for leaving random things for strangers to find and have even left a card or two in Paris… Continue spreading that joy!

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