Showing posts with label O2. Show all posts
Showing posts with label O2. Show all posts

Monday, 13 August 2012

Wish you were here - the death of the postcard

From pictures of Tower Bridge at night to images of sun-drenched Provence, the summer holidays are never complete without sending a postcard or two. I love choosing my favourite cards and mailing them to family and friends.

So I was shocked to be sent an O2 press release this morning saying that the age-old tradition of sending holiday postcards is dying out. Apparently only a sixth of us bother with them these days while more than half of youngsters under 24 have never sent one in their lives.

It's not that we don’t want to keep in touch with loved ones when we’re away. No, apparently the good old-fashioned postcard is being usurped by texting, phoning, Facebook messages and emailing. 

When O2 questioned 2,000 people about their reluctance to send postcards, more than a third claimed postcards are too slow. Another third said buying stamps and finding a postbox is too difficult (what a weedy excuse) and nearly one in ten worry about the postman reading their messages (I think they've got better things to do!)

Maybe the answer is to combine the best of both worlds and design your own postcards. A company called Cards in the Post lets you upload your own images and messages online, then creates real postcards and mails them out for you. As the company says: “We love the internet. We think it’s great. But you can’t beat receiving a real physical postcard in the post from someone.”

My thoughts exactly.

PS. The postcard above is called A Lemon from Beirut by the artist Chloe Cheese. A friend sent it to me years ago and I love it so much that it’s still propped up in the kitchen. 

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Lost in the fog - and Jools Oliver's new children's range

For a moment I nearly panicked. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, in freezing fog, with no phone signal and not a clue where I was going. I was off to my monthly book club, with a copy of Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women tucked in my bag, but it looked like I wasn’t going to make it. 

Of all the stupid things to do, I hadn’t checked where I was heading before I set off. The February meeting was at P’s new house in one of the loveliest villages in Northamptonshire. She’s only just moved in and I hadn’t visited before - but I assumed finding it would be a piece of cake. After years as a news reporter, haring off all over the country at a drop of the hat, my sense of direction hasn’t failed me very often. So all good, except I don’t have a sat nav and I’d left in such a hurry that I hadn’t phoned P for directions or printed out a map. “Oh well,” I thought, “I’ll just get to the village and ring P from there.”

Only it wasn’t as simple as that. The snow has vanished from Oxford as fast as it arrived but the winding country lanes of Northamptonshire are a different story. As I drove at snail’s pace along the back roads, past snow-covered hedgerows, rabbits skittering in the ice and posters emblazoned with the words “No HS2 Rail Link” fluttering from the trees, thick fog descended and I could only see about two metres in front of my nose.

Finally, half an hour late, I drove gingerly into P’s gorgeous but alarmingly hilly village. Reaching for my mobile in the pitch black, my heart sank. “No service,” said the illuminated words on the screen. I’d stupidly failed to appreciate that in the wilds of the countryside O2’s signal is patchy to say the least. I drove up the hill, peering at the country cottages, all shrouded in darkness. There wasn’t a soul about and I briefly contemplated knocking on doors, reporter-style, but was too much of a wimp. After managing a scary 28-point turn to avoid ending up on the icy verge, it seemed my only option was to concede defeat pathetically and drive the 40 miles home.

And then suddenly, for a second at the top of the hill, a tiny bit of signal miraculously appeared. Another book club friend answered my call and yes, I made it to book club after all. Late, flustered and slightly incoherent, but I made it.

PS.  I’m not usually a fan of celebrity collaborations but I reckon Jamie Oliver’s wife Jools is a great choice to design a range of children’s clothes for Mothercare. The mother of four (three girls and one boy) is ultra-stylish, down-to-earth and I reckon she’ll come up with clothes that mums want to buy and children want to wear.
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