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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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:


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:


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)…


Rachael x






Introducing…The Tribute Collective

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

tributebrainstormI feel like I am forever apologising for being a bit quiet lately. Sorry again. I just wanted to reassure readers that my spark for 60 Postcards has not faded. Far from it. As I have explained many a time, it is important for me – both personally and for the future of the project – for it to become more of a group venture. Behind the scenes I am investing my time in my postcard project in a very new and exciting way.

Introducing….The Tribute Collective – a non-profit enterprise that I am aiming to launch by the end of the year.

I am being a little bold by sharing my initial ideas so publicly, but you have been part of this journey so far and I want to keep you in the loop – even at this early stage. (Please remember that this is very much a work in progress, though. None of the below is set in stone and I believe it would actually be a bad thing if it didn’t change and develop along the way!)

The idea:

Tribute postcard

What the Tribute Collective will provide:

1 – The Website 

  • Online postcard memory wall where photos of handwritten postcard tributes can be uploaded.
  • Features of inspirational stories.
  • Guidance on how to create your own tribute.
  • A page on how to seek further help if you need it.
  • An online community where you are able to chat to others.

2 – Speaking & Workshops

  •  Interactive workshops, encouraging people who have lost to get creative with their own projects.
  • Meet ups – tributes aside, this will be a chance to socialise at various events in a safe and open environment.
  • I am willing to travel around the UK as much as physically possible to deliver talks/workshops around this idea and the back story of 60 Postcards (including schools).

3 – The Tribute Collective Cafe

  • This will encompass all of the above in our own space in London. (Admittedly a long-term goal!)

The most important thing about The Tribute Collective is the notion that you can get as involved as you wish. You can sit in the comfort of your own home and read the messages, or you can share if it feels right. You can meet people if you feel, in your heart, that you are ready. Everyone is welcome at any stage of interaction.

What happens next:

I am currently working out the legal status to sign up as, I am working on my business model, trying to secure the website and social network aspects of the collective, looking for some help with logo and branding and all while researching various funding avenues. This is such a learning process for me. Starting up a business is a wee bit daunting. Some people disassociate business from emotion. I’ve thought about that a lot lately. The conclusion that I have come to is that they are wrong. Working on something so close to the heart can only be a good thing, as it drives the desire to succeed.

Focus Group: 

I think I have found the perfect spot to hold a focus group about The Tribute Collective. I am just finalising plans and then I will let you know the details. In order for this to be a success, I would love to gather feedback from those who know about the project. I chose the word, ‘collective’, for a very good reason. I like to think that when I launch this later in the year, it will be something that has been born through collaboration.

So there we have it! Apologies again for the radio silence but now you are in the circle of trust, I hope to chat more about the progress of 60 Postcards and The Tribute Collective very soon.

Speak to you later in the week,

Rachael x

watermarkbooksPS: I will be at Watermark Books in Kings Cross Station (just next to platform 9 & 3/4) tomorrow (Weds 1st April) from 6.30pm to celebrate the bookshop’s 3 year anniversary. Everyone welcome. Give me a shout if you can drop in!


Mother’s Day: With or Without Her

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


Sunday 15th March is almost here and Mother’s Day marketing fills the shop windows, dominates articles online and generally smacks the motherless amongst us in the face with every single mention. It is a day that is tainted for me since Mum’s death, but one that has changed over the past three years. As much as I hate the fact that I cannot spend the day with her, I feel as though the bitterness is fading.

daughterhoodI was recently introduced to The Daughterhood, which is all about  mother and daughter relationships. It was inspired by Natasha when her Mum was diagnosed with a progressive illness and she soon found many other people who wanted to take part in the discussion.

They have just released as a book and you can check out the website where people share stories. I adore the concept and, of course, wish it had been around before Mum passed. But, it was a lovely reminder that we don’t have to stay quiet about those we have lost.

I know this will be a difficult milestone for those who have lost their mum, but what I always find myself repeating is that we need to remember there is no right or wrong on how to feel or what to do on the day.

Perhaps you would like to avoid the world and stay in? Or go out and find a distraction? Whether you are with or without her, Mums should be appreciated and celebrated. Here are a few things that you may want to try this Sunday:

  • A Card or a Postcard 

If you have lost your Mum I would still recommend writing a card or even a postcard. This has been tried and tested by moi and although it is, inevitably, an emotional task, it can be helpful to get your thoughts written down. You can do this in the comfort of your own home and space, do it with friends or family and in 60 Postcards style, you may even want to leave your Mother’s Day note somewhere special.

  • #LoveforMum

Yep, Facebook and Twitter will be flooded with images and statuses of what people are up to on Sunday but, rather than be forced away from our social networking sites, I suggest we create an idea that we can all get involved with. Write a message (include a photo if you like) and send it to my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook…..


  • The Meet 

This Sunday afternoon I plan to head to a pub in Shoreditch. I will have my phone and laptop on me so that I can be sharing the #LoveforMum messages and you can contact me all day by email. Further than that, if you would like some company and want to join (on your own or with mates) then feel free to email me on 60postcards@gmail.com and I’ll tell you where I will be.

Speak to you next week. Until then have a lovely weekend, enjoy the sun and spoil or remember those Mums.

Rachael x

PS: Stars Charity Concert

My sister, Sarah, was inspired by Mum and her passion for singing to set up a charity concert on 10th April (7.30pm) at Merley House in Dorset. Songs from the stage and screen will be performed by a very talented group of singers and you can buy tickets here (includes a drink on arrival).

All of the proceeds on the evening are going to the children’s charity CLIC Sargent.

Raffle: A huge thank you to Tim, Norma, Raphael (Stylechapel) and Jayne (Home Farm House) who have kindly donated raffle prizes.

If you (or anyone you know) may be able to help with a raffle prize, please drop me a note at 60postcards@gmail.com.

A Heartfelt Note for Rose on the Brooklyn Bridge

This blog began as a way to document my personal tribute to my mum. To celebrate what would have been her 60th birthday, I scattered 60 handwritten postcards around Paris in her memory and I wrote my email address on them in case anyone was to find one. (You can read more in my Glamour article here.)

Since then, the project has now moved forwards with the overwhelming amount of messages received from people who are sharing their own stories. I invited readers to become a part of the magic via 60 Postcards Stateside and I set off to New York City to scatter the individual notes.

Today’s post is for Tony, who wrote a heartfelt note to his mother, Rose.


“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.”

I know Tony, as the daughter he refers to in his message is one of my closest friends, Beccy. Yet, this postcard came as a complete surprise and I felt so moved when I read about his search for Rose.

Beccy was with me for that very first trip to Paris and I lived with her for 4 years – she was there through it all. She flew off to Canada last year but we were able to meet in New York on her way home and so, naturally, we wanted to do this one together.

I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was about 12 so why not give it a whirl for the first time in years on the TERRIFYING roads of New York? Sure. We went to the bike hire shop in Brooklyn, signed a disclaimer saying that we would be responsible for our own deaths (great) and set off for the Brooklyn Bridge via Prospect Park and many a gorgeous NY street. I was wobbling about like crazy but we ignored the beeping cars, embraced the downhill straights and enjoyed a pit stop for an ice cream en route.


Our plan was to leave Tony’s postcard for Rose on the Brooklyn Bridge – a structure full of history, brimming with tourists and a gorgeous spot connecting Brooklyn with Manhattan. Beccy tied it to the railings with ribbon, we hopped on our bikes and rode away – hoping that it would be read.

The beautiful, Rose

The beautiful, Rose

In Tony’s letter (to accompany his postcard) he describes how, despite the fact that he was unable to meet his mother in person, he has now connected with new family members and they continue to tell him all about Rose and her warm and wonderful nature. I had the pleasure of meeting one of his cousins in NYC , too.

I’ve sobbed all over again writing this one up. It is an incredible story. There may be heartbreak in the separation of Tony from his mum, but there is so much beauty in the fact that he is still able to get to know her through others. And now, she lives on through him and his children too.

Tony, Rose – I will be raising a glass to you this evening.

With love,

Rachael x

Every single one of these postcards has a different story, a unique message and an overwhelming amount of warmth and love embedded in the words. If you would like to do a postcard tribute of your own, please do get in touch – I would love to help.

Email: 60postcards@gmail.com

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60 Postcards Hits 2 Years; From Paris to Now

Hi there. So, it has now been an utterly astonishing 2 YEARS since that first trip to Paris, where the 60 Postcards project began. I still can’t quite comprehend how so much has happened since that long weekend but I thought, to see the New Year in, it would be nice to review the journey over the past 24 months.

December 2012 – 60 Postcards in Paris

The month was December, the location was Paris and the reason for the long weekend there was my wonderful mother. Frustrated and lost after her sudden death to bowel cancer in February 2012, I wanted to celebrate what would have been her 60th birthday by spreading her memory around the City of Love. I chose to reach out to the tourists and locals who may stumble upon a postcard and wrote my email address on each one, in case anyone was to find one and get in touch.

My article for Glamour last year (60 Postcards; One Unique Tributesummarises the trip and the tribute.



March 2013 – The Beginning of the Blog

It took me three months to share my story. I knew that by documenting the magic of the postcards and the responses, I would also be talking openly about my grief – something which I had found so hard to deal with. But as the very first words hit the page, I felt a release. I realised how much of a taboo death still is, and how speaking out should not be something to be afraid of.

I have written 95 posts – approximately 720,00 words – and after a quiet couple of months recently (due to the development of the project behind the scenes), I am looking forward to writing again.

(You can read the very first post here.)

April 2013 – NYC – Part 1: More Postcards & Meeting a Finder


When I received an email from ballet dancing, NYC based postcard finder, Stephanie, I knew I had to get out there to scatter more postcards and see her perform. While I was there (with friend Caroline), I met so many wonderful characters, stumbled across inspirational projects and really didn’t want to come home. One of the projects was a Before I Die wall and I took part by writing a message on there:


I was incredibly lucky – my hope for the future came far sooner than I could ever imagine….

September 2013 – The Book Deal


Suddenly, it was more than the odd blog post that I was going to have to write. My world felt like it had changed in so many ways since the trip to Paris but it was on signing a book deal with Simon & Schuster UK when it totally flipped upside down. My extra curricular writing became a real life role as I took some time away from my full-time job for an energy company.

I can understand why so many people assumed it would be a book of my blog posts. But I didn’t want that. Although some of what I had already written has been echoed and adapted, I wanted the book to have a real narrative and to go into far more depth about both Mum and the postcards.

I buried my head in my laptop for a few months and fuelled with fear, emotion, passion and a hell of a lot of coffee – I wrote my memoir 60 Postcards.

February 2014 – The Release of 60 Postcards

I didn’t sleep all that well the night before the release of the book. I will never forget walking into the Foyles in Waterloo and seeing it on the shelf for the very first time. I thoroughly enjoyed a few chats on the radio and seeing my story in an article or two. It was all very surreal. When postcard finder, Stephanie, flew over for the book launch at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in March, it really was the icing on the cake.


October 2014 – NYC – Part 2: Postcards Scattered Stateside

As the months after the book released passed, I adored the emails that would fill my inbox from readers sharing their own stories. This is where my mind started to kick into action and with my strong desire to move forward with my own grief, I wanted to create an opportunity for other people to be a part of the project. 60 Postcards Stateside was the plan and I set off for NYC again. And this time I would be the messenger.


2015 – New Year Plans

High up on the 60 Postcards New Year event list is the release of the paperback – with a lovely new cover.

60 postcards_pb for cosmo

After the success of the New York trip, delivering memories on behalf of other people – I was sure that it was time to take this project to the next level. A social enterprise is a very daunting thing to be starting, but I am game. I am ready. I am petrified and excited in equal measure and now it will be a very busy year ensuring that I work fiercely hard at creating a network, platform and service that can offer help to those suffering from grief, using creativity either anonymously or for the world to see.

I won’t be able to do this alone and I hope to hold a focus group to bounce off some ideas and gain some honest and valuable feedback. More to come on that very soon!

Phew. I think that’s everything for now. Let the hard work begin.

Wishing you all a very happy New Year and a wonderful 2015.

With love,

Rachael x

PS I have also been invited to blog on the Huffington Post platform – my bio page showing my articles can be found here.

Lucy & Linda; A Message on the High Line

Bringing you news once a week about the ongoing 60 Postcards project (you can read a summary of the story in Glamour Magazine, here).

Earlier today I was in the creative cafe, Drink Shop Do, having a coffee and a chat with Lucy. I didn’t know Lucy before our meet but I did know a little about her already, as she heard about 60 Postcards Stateside in Emerald Street a few days ahead of my journey to NYC. Her postcard arrived just in time. Phew.

There is nothing like sitting down and chatting away with a total stranger who just ‘gets it’. Although the experience of losing our mum’s fell at different stages of our lives, the conversation flowed with openness and ease. We could share, rant, laugh, reflect and feel completely comfortable talking about the taboo topic of loss in a, ‘This is how it is’ way. Completely refreshing.

Today’s post is about Lucy’s note for her mum……


“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

The High Line in the Meatpacking district was high (ahem) on my list of things to do during my trip. Somehow I had managed to miss it on my first NYC visit. It is a walkway of greenery set above the streets, running over Chelsea up to the Lower West Side. It sounds pretty self-explanatory but I still wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I hopped up the stairs and realised how much of a hot spot it really was. I held Lucy’s postcard tightly in my hand and could only hope that I would find a quiet moment to leave it.

10830466_10152822099985873_6320938512997195063_oI walked along the urban park, taking it all in. I went through a group of stalls – one of which was selling old postcards. I was tempted to buy some but I have more postcards than I have ever owned in my life right now, and I certainly didn’t want to get any mixed up with the heartfelt messages I was carrying with me. I got about half way along the High Line when I took a stop break on a bench. Behind me was the buzz of the city and in front of me was the beautiful view of the Hudson River. This was it. This was the place. I didn’t want an audience for what I was about to do so I waited for a flurry of tourists to pass by and as the path became free of wanderers, I tied the postcard to the side of the bench, took a few snaps and flurried down the nearby stairs back down to street level.


The scattering moment has been made even more special after meeting Lucy in person. We talked about how difficult grief can be, as sometimes you want to talk and other times you don’t. That fact reminds me of why I believe using creativity can be so beneficial when dealing with the loss of a loved one. You don’t need to talk at all. You can remain completely anonymous or you can choose to share to the world. Even just reading other people’s stories can help ease the pain.

I adore the closing line of Lucy’s postcard, ‘Tell your close ones you love them today’. It is such a lovely call to action for whoever may find the postcard and to anyone reading this blog post now.

Linda and Lucy – this one’s for you. Thank you for being part of it.

Rachael xx

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Pauline & Jo; A Tribute Filled with Friendship

Bringing you news once a week on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story in Glamour Magazine, here).

It continues to be a very busy time at the moment – rushing around for meetings, doing research, filling the diary with events around Christmas (which I still can’t believe is almost here). I have also been enjoying my notifications from the Timehop app, which reminds me that at exactly this time last year, I was finishing the first draft of the book (and having several panic attacks in the process!).

So, today’s post is about another wonderful NYC postcard from my stateside mission (you can catch up on the plan here).

Over to Pauline…..


“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,


The friendship between these two ladies shines through in both the postcard and letter. As I have said to Pauline, I have no doubt that the fantastic support of her friends and family were the reason that Jo beat the odds and kept fighting. I know that this is very raw for Jo’s loved ones, as it was only last February that she passed – I am just so pleased that this note was packed safely into my bag for the journey to New York City.

The scattering….

It felt like I had walked to every corner of Manhattan and back on the day I left this message. I had worked up quite the appetite and as the Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts was on my way back to the Upper West Side where I was staying, I decided to find somewhere to grab a bite. The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Centre was the chosen location – a perfect people watching spot in the window of the Indie Food and Wine restaurant.


The NY Film Festival was on while I was visiting, so there were lots of industry folk and film lovers floating about. I ate my food very slowly as I watched the passers-by and I was beginning to daydream (as I do so well) when I felt a tap on my shoulder. A lady smiled at me warmly and asked if she could put her coat with mine on the seat in between us. ‘Of course!’

I slipped back into my daydream but couldn’t help but notice that the lady and her friend next to me were totally engrossed in a wonderful interaction. Chatting and laughing – as if they were the only people in the room – it made me smile. I was thinking about friendship and suddenly realised that this would be the perfect place to leave Pauline’s postcard. I psyched myself up, got into ninja mode, grabbed my coat (being as quiet as possible) and snuck the postcard onto the seat. I walked out quickly and calmly (and with a grin from ear to ear). I had to take a diversion so that I didn’t walk past the window in full view of the ladies, who may or may not have noticed the handwritten note that was hiding right next to them.

When I sent Pauline an email with info and photos showing where her words had been scattered, the last thing she wrote in her reply was, ‘Nice touch with the cinema. So thought through’. This left me a little confuzzled to say the least. The link I had picked up on was one of friendship. It was when I had a look at Pauline’s twitter account that I realised she works for BAFTA. Serendipity has surrounded this project from the very beginning until this very day.

I would like to send my love to Pauline and to Jo’s family. What an incredibly strong woman Jo was, and she now lives on through her daughter and all of the people she touched in her life.

I look forward to sharing more of these notes with you very soon.

Have a lovely week,

Rachael x


I am very keen to arrange a meet up for blog/book readers on a weeknight in the last 2 weeks of January (in London).

It will be an informal eve of chats, drinks, NYC tales and also an opportunity for me to let you know the ideas I am working on behind the scenes for the next stage of the 60 Postcards project. I would really appreciate some group feedback from those who know the story so far!

Just so that I have an idea of numbers, please may you register your interest by voting below. Thank you!




The Lost, The Found & NYC Bound…

Bringing you news once a week on the ongoing 60 Postcards journey (you can read a summary of the story in Glamour Magazine, here), and on Friday I share a story of an inspirational person, project or cause.


I lost the plot last weekend, for sure. ‘Moving house is stressful’, people warned me. ‘I’ve got this’, I thought to myself smugly as I looked around my room, absolutely certain that I could do it with my own bare hands. It’s just up the road – no need for a man in a van. More fool me.

I’m in now, but as I began to unpack (or at least attempt to move things from one bag or box to another), I seemed to embark on a journey of the lost and found…

After four years in my last home I had accumulated more crap than I ever thought possible and it is no wonder that things had gone awry between flats, especially given my decision to throw half of my belongings out ready for my new clutter-free existence. The problem with that came when I realised a few pretty important items were missing: paperwork, a couple of notebooks, chargers. (I’m still hoping they show up at some point.)

Then came the possessions I found: tickets, cards and letters. My own reactions took me by surprise. Mum’s handwriting was something I felt too broken to see soon after her passing but this time it felt comforting, in a way. A message from her in a Christmas card from 2011 read, ‘I hope you get all that you wish for in 2012’, which hit me hard. Though, on reflection, it was more of a quick, sharp pain than the constant ache I used to feel. Sympathy cards and letters of condolence were tough to read at first but they also gave me strength, as I was reminded just how wonderful my family and friends are. It was a significant moment for me. The words I always despised to hear, ‘It gets better in time’, finally began to make a little more sense.

Thinking so much about Mum led me to think about my postcard project – the next adventure to NYC – and it was at this point where I could almost sense her eye roll, chuckle and sigh as I scrambled, frantically, through my belongings to find the fundamental item for my trip. I had LOST my flipping PASSPORT. Thankfully, after about 15 minutes (felt like more) of muttering, ‘No, no, no, no, no’, I managed to retrieve it. A classic case of taking the ‘safe place’ too far.

So the passport may be back with me but I explained in my last post that I had not been overly organized on the accommodation front for New York. Well, it was only last night that I managed to secure a roof over my head for the first six nights. Paris postcard finder, Stephanie, is kindly putting me up for an evening. I am going straight from the airport to meet her at her dance studios to watch a rehearsal. I couldn’t imagine a better (or more apt) way to start the trip. Then I am hitting an Airbnb with my friend, Beccy. As for the rest of the trip….ummmm….your guess is as good as mine (but someone kindly pointed out that the subway is open 24 hours, so I should be OK.)

Now, somehow, it is the day before I fly and I face the same old pre-holiday quandaries. I haven’t lost the stone I had planned to because, honestly? I haven’t really tried. I haven’t bought a new wardrobe because I spent too much going for a ‘couple’ a few too many times. I haven’t got a gorgeous glow to my skin because I’m a little too afraid to go back on a sunbed after the time I made the error of putting the eye protectors on my……(don’t. Just, don’t). BUT, I do still have time to dye the greys out of my hair. Result.

I wonder if I will ever be a proper, real life grown up? As the thirty-first birthday approaches, I think it’s probably just time to admit that this is me. And now I better get ‘me’ checked-in online before I forget to do that, too.

Speak to you from across the pond.

Happy hump day (so to speak).

Rachael x