the post on why people do or don't comment under posts(!), I mentioned that I was toying with another style of travel writing, in postcard form, that I might include on here. When you come to think of it, a postcard is the most succinct format of travel writing there is: it is more expansive than a haiku, and certainly not as poetic, but much more compact than a travelogue-style post, of which there are many examples on Bonkers. Every line has to pack a punch, as space is at a premium, especially if the postcard is one of those with lots of printed description of the image overleaf, or has a warning at the bottom not to write below this line, because it is 'For Official Use Only'. Although in my experience - as evidenced by the state of the card on its arrival - officials rarely use the area in question!
Following the deaths of my mother and father (a long time ago in both cases, I should add), when I came to clear out their respective homes I found that both parents had separately kept bundles of postcards from me, secured with long since perished rubber bands, of which only 'sticky toffee' traces remain.
In my mother's case, she may well have kept the postcards for their sentimental value; in my father's it was more likely due to his incorrigible hoarding instinct. To give you an idea, he had also kept a tottering pile of Kays' catalogues stretching back 20 years, as well as every piece of post he had ever received. Whatever their reasons, thinking that the cards might provide some additional travel writing material, I proceeded to sound out a few colleagues and friends, and sure enough, they had kept my cards too. One chap I worked with in the '80s at St Ivel had 25(!), which he has kindly forwarded on the proviso that he would like them back at some point before he reaches his dotage, in case he feels like re-reading them.
So after giving the matter some more thought, I decided to feature one or two of these cards every now and then on the blog, as a kind of a 'palate cleanser' / diversion. Some are from holidays, some from work trips, while others are from work trips that felt like a holiday, or holidays overshadowed by the prospect - or memories - of work trips!
And postcards they may be, but I should warn you that some of them are not terribly 'pc', so apologies in advance for that. I do tend to speak as I find in terms of my impressions of places and people. I hope they don't overstep the mark - it is certainly not my intention to cause an international incident!
Before I lit upon 'Returned to Sender', I did think long and hard about what to call this series: 'Postcards from the Edge' was sadly taken, though it would have chimed nicely with my usual bonkers theme. I briefly considered 'Postcards from the Grave', but not all the card donors are dead - by a very long chalk. And nor am I. 'Postcards from the attic' had quite a nice ring to it, but not all the cards were found in attics. Well, only a handful in fact, and poetic licence isn't quite that elastic a concept, even in my book.
So without further ado here is the first card, sent to the aforementioned colleague in 2003 from a holiday in the West of Ireland with ex-Mr Bonkers (aka 'N'). I thought I would kick off the series with a card that isn't particularly contentious, unless perhaps you happen to work for TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland).
"And you thought our dining room was vivid! Well, despite the mixed weather, and the loose chippings and switchback roads (could definitely do with some more polyurethane foam** in the chassis of our car), and the road signs exclusively in Gaelic, and the ones that aren't there at all, and the kamikaze sheep, and the appalling reception on Channel 4, Ireland has worked its magic on N, who, in his black jumper with white T-shirt peeping coyly out the top, is even beginning to look like a pint of Guinness. Drinking copious amounts of the black stuff is helping complete the transformation!"
(**the latest product I was researching)
Experimenting with new formats is always risky, so if you have a view on this new idea either way, do let me know!
PS Back shortly with a post on lipsticks, one on perfume packaging, a Truffle 2 year anniversary special(!), and some more reviews!