RA Pocket Shrine 213/? – Still Growing

Today I was the recipient of happy mail. Following Twitter over the last few days, I had already seen some lovely happy mail from Germany reach all over the world. Now it was my turn, and I was laughing as much as I was oohing and aahing over the lovely surprises Kate put into the envelope.

Oh sigh… if Guy doesn’t warm your heart, then who will? Mr Thornton, I guess 😉. Kate has written about her project happy mail HERE, and I can only say that it definitely was a huge success with me. Thank you for the gorgeous goodies. Those mini cards are in my wallet already. Guy will be guarding my wealth with eagle eyes, I am sure. The book mark is perfect for my new note book with Ani’s magnificent drawing of RA. I’ll keep the “I am your master now” reminder in there, too. And those bon-bons? I might actually turn one of them into a brooch.

Happy mail is the keyword of the day. With the kitchen project almost done (I didn’t tackle the cupboard today – I actually had translation work to do *hooray*), I have applied myself to finishing three shrines that I had started recently. When Kate’s happy mail arrived, an idea came to me. I thought of our Italian fan sisters and how we all RT’d that message of solidarity the other day. It’s a lovely gesture, and it certainly is true for me that I am thinking of Italy every day when I look at the latest covid19 stats. (I was delighted to read in that context that Germany will take in patients that will be flown to Germany from Italy. That is European solidarity!) However, I feel that I would like to do more than just tweet my solidarity. I am under no illusion that what I am doing is nothing but distraction and silly entertainment, but if I can temporarily cheer someone up, then that is good, right? So, instead of raffling the shrines, I am going through my address list and I will “letter-bomb with love” my unsuspecting Italian fan sisters.

I’m lucky that I have access to a number of addresses thanks to previous raffles, or badge shipments, or auctions. However, I was thinking how cool it would be if we had a list of addresses of Italian fan sisters (who’d be willing and interested to be cheered up with happy mail) to whom we could send personal messages of love and solidarity. Not just me but others, too. They have been under lockdown since March 9, 2020. Not sure whether that is possible or even wanted. I am aware of the usual privacy concerns, of course. I’m just putting it out there… Maybe one of them will chime in.

[Careful, rant following. Skip three paragraphs down if you want to avoid.] So, the first three shrines are on their way now. Not without problems, though. After 6 days inside, I ventured out to the post office today after having received assurance from one of our Italian fan sisters on Twitter that they are still receiving mail. At the post office, I felt as if I was a character in a dystopian novel – with the customers waiting the mandatory 2 metres apart and the radio in the background making safety announcements. “Maintain physical distancing. Wash your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid close contact with people outside the home.” When it was my turn, I placed my package on the scale. The postmistress asked me where the package was going, and I answered Italy. She turned on me really rudely as if I was personally handing her the virus and informed me that Italy is in lockdown and no mail is sent there. I replied that I’d like to buy the stamps regardless so that I could send it once the mail service worked again. She scoffed and told me that she didn’t know when that would be. I paid, and as she printed out the stamps, I noticed a large poster over the counter that listed all the countries that currently cannot receive any mail. Italy was not listed there. When I pointed out to her, “Oh, but Italy is not mentioned on your list here?”, she rudely dressed me down with an aggressive “There is no mail going to Italy, Italy is in lockdown”, as if I was a dumb eejit. I admit, I kind of snapped at that, and sarcastically barked at her “thank you, I have heard that in the news” and left. (Daft cow. She’s always this rude. It’s not the first time that I felt treated like shit by her.) 

Suffice to say that I didn’t believe the woman and checked the website of our national mail service. Under the list of suspended services it says, “Customers can still send mail to Italy & Spain, although you should expect delays in delivery.” An Post’s twitter account confirmed to me on request that the info on the website was correct and regularly updated. So I stuck the stamps on, marched to the mailbox across the street from my house, and sent the letters on their way. Honestly – if anybody in the world needs some cheering up by way of post right now, it’s the people in the countries most affected. How dare this postmistress snub me like that? Grah.

Ok, breathe, Sonja, and now get to the fun part. The shrines were not sent on their way without the customary photo session. Today I bring you the first.

Three guesses who this shrine is made for…

The gorgeous doctor. Yes, still growing. Still room for improvement in terms of his treatment of women, if I may say so…

No need for improvement for Richard, though. Professionally speaking, haha.

There we are. Celebrating a play (and an actor) that received great praise. We can but hope that it will finish its run at a later date. And that the whole world may breathe again, soon, too. The shrine comes with a couple of candles, some extra goodies – and lots of love to the recipient. I hope the delays won’t be too long.





34 thoughts on “RA Pocket Shrine 213/? – Still Growing

  1. Absolutely gorgeous!!!

    Bitch please with the postmistress. I would have been equally nasty back – well, I’d like to try anyway, since everyone else says it can be done! Step aside!

    Yeah. I’m that cranky!


    • You know, I am a firm believer in a German proverb that goes “the way you shout *into* the woods, is how it will echo back at you”. Meaning: treat others the way you want to be treated. (Oh, isn’t that one of Mr A’s favourite sayings?) So, if the postmistress hadn’t been nasty to me, I wouldn’t have been snarky to her. B… indeed. (I was so annoyed yesterday – and I am usually a rather stoic person…)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are indeed #OurMagnificentGuylty! May I please PayPal you some money to help with the postage to Italy? If anyone there would like some #HappyMail from someone who is not even remotely crafty and will be able to send only a cheerful letter, please sign me up!

    P.S. You are a saint for putting up with that horrible woman!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That horrible woman will be paid back in bad karma, I totally believe in that.
      And oh, what a lovely gesture, LoLo. I will accept a *tiny* sum, if you would like to do so. But I would be equally as happy if you wanted to use that money for another good cause that is currently engaged in alleviating the crisis. In Ireland we have this great initiative called ‘Feed the Heroes’ where donations are collected to buy lunches, dinners etc for the frontline health care workers who are currently fighting on our behalf. https://www.gofundme.com/f/feed-the-heroes Or we have an Artist Relief Fund for all those freelancing actors, musicians etc who are currently unemployed due to the crisis. https://www.gofundme.com/f/artist-emergency-relief-fund/donate Maybe you have something like that in the US – or you can also donate there. Or whatever you prefer 🙂


  3. The RAPS is really beautiful, sigh! I´d join in with some #HappyMail for our Italian friends, I´ll be working at home from tomorrow on and will have some time for that… And I would have been just as annoyed with that woman as you were, awful behaviour!!


    • Lovely – thanks for joining up, Andrea. If you already have an Italian fan sister’s address from one of the plushie swaps, then that’s a great starting point 🙂


  4. Hi from Italy, you’re very kind to worry and care for us, thank you ❤
    The mail situation is a little crazy because everyone is trying to shop for grocery online to avoid going out, so deliveries are very delayed. Amazon stopped selling non necessary items to give priority to food deliveries. But sooner or later mail should arrive. Luckily Flat Richie made it back to you before all this happened. 🙂
    My husband is working at home too and we are well so far. Kira (the dog) is very happy to have everyone at home all day 😛
    I hope this lockdown will be successful in stopping the virus and that other countries can stop it as soon as possible.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad to hear you are doing ok! A lovely pet can actually be a wonderful distraction at such a time. (Are you able and allowed to take her outside for a stroll once a day?)
      Totally makes sense that the mail service is currently focussing on food delivery. Of course that should take precedence, and everything else has to be secondary. Hopefully the ‘light relief’ in the shape of personal letters will get through at some point, too. I *do* believe it is important to receive personal messages of love and care, particularly at this time.
      I am convinced that the lockdown – as hard as it is – is the right thing to do. We shall conquer this!!!


      • Yes, dog’s owner are allowed to take them out for their needs, but they have to stay in proximity of their homes (no more than 200 mt from there). We are lucky because we have a garden where she can be outside without leaving home.
        I agree with you that the lockdown is the the right thing to do. And we are lucky after all: we have food, internet, tv and books to pass the time, many can keep working from home.


        • The internet has proven a godsend in these times. I am so glad that my mum has an iPhone, too. I talk to her every day, and we can see each other. And likewise, it is nice to be able to chat here or on Twitter or elsewhere with people in self-isolation all over the world. At least we have that.


  5. Speaking of “finishing its run at a later date.” A friend of mine pointed out that the people who need to rehearse the play scheduled at the Harold Pinter Theatre after Uncle Vanya can’t get there to rehearse (or to design the sets, figure out the lighting, etc.), and wouldn’t it be easier for a theatre, once it reopens, to re-mount a play that is already “in the can”? Do we dare hope that Uncle Vanya might come back in June or November, or sometime? Does anyone have experience or informed knowledge about this possibility from past events (given that this one is extraordinarily unprecedented, of course)?


  6. What a great idea. Spreading some RA cheer where it’s sorely needed. I don’t have any privacy issues so if I can be supportive in any way, let me know.


  7. Talking all things post related my daughter had a strange encounter yesterday, she finally is working from home as of yesterday afternoon, but before she left her office she met the postman who was taking photos of the business Park. He said to her ‘what do you do here?’ She replied manufacturering and he went off muttering .
    Now I am not saying they have been asked to spy but it was very odd.


    • That does sound odd… I mean, I get that the authorities are monitoring movements of people, but I’d expect the police to do such monitoring, not the postal service…


  8. I would gladly send some happy mail to Italy if anyone is interested.

    Lovely RAPS. Bit bittersweet for me, but I really like it. I have taken a few days off, so I don’t have to be in the office with the people who don’t understand about distancing for the rest of the week. Hooray!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the happy mail. It must have been fate that I got distracted with the extra phases and deliveries now coincide with this extraordinary situation. Any smile thus created feels like a small victory in the face of adversity.

    Stay safe everyone!! ♥️♥️♥️


    • I am glad to hear that you can work from home for the next few days. Especially with that ass of a boss. Hope Mr Kate can also limit his time in *his* office.
      It really worked out well with the timing of your happy mail. It was needed now more than ever. And you have put that so well – a small victory in the face of adversity.
      I’ll keep you posted on the Letterbombing Italy with Love scheme!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh dear, I’m crying! Thank you! Today I’ve beaten those kitchen drawers, and yesterday I managed to enroll in the online library, so I’m quite happy. My children’s teachers begun queries, so they are not in the mood to share my joy! We are fine, waiting for better times. Stay safe ladies, tale care of you.


  10. What a perfect way to celebrate this wonder play. Hoping it will be rescheduled, not sure if I will be able to travel then. I would love to give this special shrine a home.


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