Sunday, 29 December 2013

Postie Hero - R. Ramachandra Rao

Postie hero R. Ramachandra Rao, we salute you!
"In an ample demonstration of the fact that love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries, Mr. Rao has been making all out efforts to reach out to the poor and the needy in his small way.

postman Ramachandra Rao (in blue coat) at Gandhinagar post office in Vijayawada

"After office hours, Mr. Rao made good use of his free time on Friday evening by going around the areas of Old Government General Hospital, Old Bus Stand, Railway Station, Eluru Locks and cinema halls and pavements that attract a large number of the homeless.

“Of the 80 needy women identified, at least 15 of them were pregnant,” he said adding that he gave them coupons and asked them to gather at the post office the next morning.
 "On Saturday morning, people in the vicinity of the Gandhinagar Post Office witnessed distribution of bed sheets, bread and fruits to street urchins and the homeless by officials of the Department of Posts.

"Contrary to the perception that such programmes are sponsored by a government department or an NGO, this distribution was sponsored by the postman of the Gandhinagar Post Office R. Ramachandra Rao.
Continues at The Hindu

Saturday, 28 December 2013

74 year old Postman Gran

 Anna Petukhova, we salute you!

"Anna Petukhov is probably the most unusual postman in the Kaluga region. She alone serves 11 villages – its plot extends for tens of kilometers. Parcels, letters, pensions, receipts and even products 73-year-old employee of the post office “Torbeevo” Maloyaroslavetsky district brings on his small jeep. For most customers, it is the only link with the outside world. ”We are also enters winter, spring and autumn mud – autobench ambulance and do not pass, the authorities do not drive. Only one I can get.”

"Anna became a postman in 1995, came as retired. ”Oh, how I tried to persuade as requested. Consent. Yes, I myself can not idle, I’ll former milkmaid. If I do not work, then go crazy, get to Bushmanovku.” (Psychiatric Regional Hospital in the town of Kaluga region Bushmanovka.) Please mail allocated pensioner bike but ride it was only possible in the summer, while the roads are dry, and stole it quickly. Then Petukhov own money bought a scooter – “ditched his grandson.” And two years ago the Moscow-law bought her ATV, 190 thousand rubles laid out as a pretty penny. ”He brought it as I waved her hands at once: no, I will not ride on such a dear, still smash. And in general, people laughed at me – that old uchudili, say. But then, what to do, began to learn to ride. Padala, jumped on potholes. From bruises did not come! And now I am the master, where it is necessary to give Gazkom where necessary – quieter meal. On such a machine never stuck it like a dog – jumping, jumping out of any hole. Though the case, and I stuck. Ushuruhalas, wheels can not see. But then a second as included, jumped out, pulled on the field, covered in mud. Came to the nearest village, screaming, “Nadia, come out, to wash me!"

 "A human ridicule Anna feared nothing. Very shy at first, cursed children: “At least you bought a quad bike black and then the red for three kilometers to see, ashamed,” wore sunglasses to on the road do not know. But then when I realized how her customers are happy to see, even on a bike, though a red jalopy, calmed down. After all, for some of her visits – a matter of life. ”Here I Kiryukhina village – there is one Grandma Olga Egorovna, lives at home with stool goes, based on her. Products She brings summer cottager, neighbor. A winter? If I do not come, then it has no pension, no bread will not. “ - And who of us doplyuhaetsya the regional center for the pension? - The conversation comes pensioner Maria Vasilyeva. She stopped at the house postwoman to treat her cat dry food Barsika. Village not only to Anna Alexandrovna with all reverence for Barsika universal respect also applies. – Or take a receipt for the light. Annie brings them to us, and how to pay? Well it is again necessary to go somewhere. So we give her money, she goes for paying our light. It is not required, but where to go? We very much regret it. Know how much she pay extra for delivery receipts?18 rubles! That’s so important for people who help the elderly. Whoever came up with this abuse, I used it all the face broke his stick.
“On the petrol does not give”This Anufrievna Maria came up with a couple of months ago to write a letter to the governor – to mark the selfless work of the village postman Petukhova. The letter was signed six retirees from the village Slyadneva. As a result, Anna Alexandrovna awarded.Presented her with a Certificate of Appreciation from the governor for his long and dedicated work, double blanket sheep and seven pieces of roses. ”At the petrol was not given! – Lamenting owner certificates. – And I only need a week to 20 liters. Neither form breech I do not have any bags to put down the newspaper. Vaughn gave backpack grandson-in-law gave a quad bike and a mini-sink for him Russian family friend help “.

"In backpack fuchsia Anna adds newspapers – “Lechebnik”, “News”, registered letters, receipts. Outputs from the garage ATV: “Before, in my youth, I was a horse, but this is much more convenient transportation. Feed is not necessary, less fuss. Summer I have it all without goryushko and freezes in the winter, it is necessary to pull zavodilovku – well, that’s his shoelace on the belly, dergalka. I already know when you want to pump up the wheel when the seat should Sima and wiring to connect to it to charge. And after work, I always wash it in the garage so dirty set – never, God forbid. care for him, as the child. “ Safety Anna also observes.Most importantly – do not stop along the way, no matter what happens. ”Often, people ran out into the road, hands rastopyrivat:” Stop! Annie, Carpool “I do not brake, even his own, though a stranger. With me money.” Most biker postman afraid robbery.Therefore, when it receives a pension, trying everything at once and razvezti no more to worry: “Then take me, and there will be nothing.” Before work Anna does not have breakfast, so as not seasick. Hungry leaves from the yard – and forward to the evening “ride through the mud.” On particularly dangerous sections of it like a cowboy, stands up in the saddle, and another at the entrance to the village of zooms – food, they say, dear, welcome. On the deserted streets signal is heard and who can perfectly – comes out.Rimma Sidorova, albeit with difficulty walking on ailing legs, but still she gets to the road – take a newspaper, talk, ask what’s new on the “mainland.” There is no electricity in the morning, the TV does not work, bored. ”Write to our postman gave medal war veteran – says Rima G.. – Then it will be an increase in pay.” Anna looks away in embarrassment: “Oh, come on, what are you.” Then clearly declares: “By law, – 460 rubles. Firewood and free.” Generally, Anna Petukhov proud of his work. And for those who forget about the importance of her work, is not shy to remind you: “Here is gone – howl.” But no one is offended. Cover-then nothing. So it is. Howl.Previously, on a site that caters to Anna, worked four postman. Now she was alone. And the post office “Torbeevo” small staff: Petukhov and her boss. ”If I resign, then close the mail. And I resign only if finally get old or if the ATV will not walk I can not walk. Everybody knows. So wish me health, and he, ATVs – to no damage.”

 “Kaka such love?”
- Previously we had large villages. In Slyadneva was 140 houses, there were dancing, the club was, and now 20 permanent residents will not be typed. So I have yet, of course, not so much. In Mitinke one pensioner in Lopatin – five in Mokrische – two in Lower Hills – three. One grandmother left in Russia, no grandfathers. ”Women tenacious – explains it odnofamilitsa Hope Petukhov, to which Anna went right into the house. – Although all unfortunates.” Postwoman agree – no happy women in Russia: “There is nothing good I’d ever seen. Starving after the war, lived-experienced anyhow. She got married – sorry for him, he took pity on me, okay? But the man turned out to be unlucky, cruel. Died okay. second husband drank all of the house passed. I gave him money to go to his mother went to Siberia, and he got to Moscow, all there to walk around and go back. itself with it came a train ticket bought, planted – and all cross. Solo raised three children, two girls and now live. Here they all right, so I’m glad. “ About love women refuse to talk. ”Kaka such love? – Hope Nikitichna sighs, too, by the way, the former postwoman. – We seen her? Affection We have not heard, all matrix peremat. It’s in your cities there … Well asked! It remains something of two meters to the cemetery. ”

 "Thinking women, however, report that now, perhaps, the best time of their lives. Children Attached, husbands and in-laws at the churchyard, and they are their own mistresses in their deserted villages. ”Good live alone – explains Anna Petukhov. – Nobody commands, one should not be afraid. Vehicles, its bathhouse, vegetable and potatoes. Nobody now not hungry. I have a pension 7000 but almost the same salary. What’s wrong? Tea with Never sand, cutlets do what they like! There are problems, but all – thank God. I was even afraid of fire because there is nobody to take my place … Oh, close the door, he immediately fired oven!. “ In the hut hot carpet in the house, the portraits on the walls and old children’s toys in the closet. Two friends-postwoman sit on the bed and laughing as a young man. All of them nicely: yes pension, cats, newspapers with a television program. They neither of whom are now independent and finally understood what freedom is. Want to – sit on a red quad bike and will be borne by all Russian pits, ditches on, over the abyss fly wherever he wants. Still medal Alexandrovna – and generally fine."

Source: Zarsas by Imroz Alam

Friday, 27 December 2013

Factoid - Thank you cards

It's never too early to be thinking about the swag you hope to receive next Christmas.

If you hope for better swag than this years swag, think on and thank on.

Fact. There's a direct correlation between the quality of your 'thank you' messages for the swag you received this Christmas and the quality of the swag you'll receive next Christmas.

thank you so much for
my lovely gift and
for not cheaping out
on me like some other
people i know.

inside: thank you

I thank you.

Cool Cards - Thank you cards

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Birthday card takes 13 days to be delivered

We wonder what Roy Mayall would have to say about this.
"Pat Yates turned 70 on December 9 so her friend, Ella Kimber, posted a birthday card in Sileby five days before. But when nothing came through the letterbox, Pat began to worry. She told the Echo: “My friend in Sileby posts me a birthday card every year.
“When nothing turned up I thought she wasn’t very well and that’s why she hadn’t posted anything. “But when I spoke to her she told me she had actually sent one.
“13 days is a very long time. She can’t walk very well but even she could have walked here by then!

“The post isn’t very good at all at the moment. Our old post man has finished, I think they might be struggling because we keep getting the wrong post.”

Royal Mail spokesperson Morag Turnbull said: “While we always aim to provide a next day service on first class mail and a three day service for second class, at this time of year Royal Mail deals with a huge increase in volumes of letters, cards and parcels with the Leicester area dealing with an expected 1.2m items on its busiest day this week.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of the time it has taken for this item to be delivered. The workload of our people doubles at this time of year and we work very hard to ensure we deliver every item of mail during the Christmas period.

“Our published figures show that nationally in Christmas 2012 54.3 per cent of first class mail arrived the next working day and 93.2 per cent of second class mail arrived within three days. This is in line with our advice to post a day earlier.”
"13 days" An apology but no explanation. 
"we keep getting the wrong post" No apology, no explanation.

Well done Royal Mail.

Source:  Loughborough Echo

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

"Yes, a card makes Christmas complete"

In 1968 Terry Gilliam was asked to create a piece for a show called "Do not adjust your set" to be broadcast on Christmas day on their special show entitled "Do not adjust your stocking".

In search of inspiration, Gilliam visited the Tate Gallery:

"I went down to the Tate and they’ve got a huge collection of Victorian Christmas cards so I went through the collection and photocopied things and started moving them around. So the style just developed out of that rather than any planning being involved. I never analysed the stuff, I just did it the quickest, easiest way. And I could use images I really loved.


Continues at Open Culture

Monday, 23 December 2013

Posties left out in the cold at Xmas

Roy Mayall tells us how it is for posties this Christmas. The season of goodwill it's not... It's quite a sad story.

"All the goodwill I used to have has gone. I no longer feel any loyalty towards the company I work for. Years of being sidelined and ignored, of a failure to consult over the most fundamental aspects of my working life, has left me feeling estranged. I used to love my work. These days it's "just a job": something I do because I have to, not because it gives my life any meaning any more.
 Continues at The Guardian - Comment is Free 

Roy Mayall is a pseudonym for a postal worker who has been in the job for about five years and works in a delivery office somewhere in the south-east of England. He writes a blog at

Friday, 20 December 2013

Ladybird Books - How Britain Got the Reading Bug

Our Ladybird book cards have proved to be hugely popular with classic images brought bang up to date with contemporary and snarky messages. BBC Four are broadcasting a Timeshift documentary on Sunday 22.12.13 devoted to exploring the story of Ladybird books.

Watch a clip from the documentary here.

"To millions of people, Ladybird books were as much a part of childhood as battery-powered torches and warm school milk. These now iconic pocket-sized books once informed us on such diverse subjects as how magnets work, what to look for in winter and how to make decorations out of old eggshells. But they also helped to teach many of us to read via a unique literacy scheme known as 'key words'. Ladybird books were also a visual treat - some of the best-known contemporary illustrators were recruited to provide images which today provide a perfect snapshot of the lost world of Ladybirdland: a place that is forever the gloriously ordinary, orderly 1950s."

Ladybird books were also featured on the Woman's Hour programme on BBC Radio 4 today and will feature in the Radio 4 Today programme on the 21.12.13.


The above cards and many more great designs at Cool Cards - Ladybird Book Cards

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Color blind Cards - Search for a Verse competition

"The only thing that should be separated by colour is laundry" 

Aspiring greeting card verse writers, heads up! Color blind Cards are running a greeting card verse writing competition.

Cool Cards have stocked Color blind Cards for some time and we expect to receive some great new designs in 2014!

"Writers should contribute two greeting card verses of no more than 70 words each on any two of the following topics.
Congratulations on your wedding
Happy Valentines Day
Mother on your birthday
To my Son
To my friend
To my Father

Closing date for entries is Jan 31st
"The UK’s leading multicultural greeting card and gift brand have teamed up with Words of Colour, to engage with the UK’s most talented writers, poets and speakers in a search for versing for the award winning Color blind Cards greeting cards which encapsulates the experiences and cultural nuances of our community.

Color blind Cards was launched in 2007 following founder Jessica Huie’s search for a card for her daughter, and the recognition of the lack of ethnic diversity in the high-street.

With the brand set to debut in major supermarkets in 2014, Color blind Cards are keen to find three writers who they can team with to create beautiful greeting cards for sale in the UK & USA. The opportunity will give winning writers an exciting commercial opportunity to have their work published and showcased to the world.

Winners will be celebrated at an exciting Color blind Cards London event in March 2014, promoting the growing visibility of diversity in the British high-street.

Terms & Conditions:

Writers should contribute two greeting card verses of no more than 70 words each on any two of the following topics.
Congratulations on your wedding
Happy Valentines Day
Mother on your birthday
To my Son
To my friend
To my Father

Entries should be emailed to

Please put ‘Color blind Cards competition’ in the subject line and enclose your full name, address and a contact telephone number.

Postal entries can be sent to: Color blind Cards competition, c/o Words of Colour Productions, Unit 2.3, 14 Greville Street, London EC1N 8SB

Closing date for entries is Jan 31st

Winning submitted verses may be used commercially and published on Color blind Cards greeting cards with no fee payable.

Exclusive versing created after the close of the competition for Color blind Cards, will be subject to commercial terms and paid for in advance by the brand.

Color blind Cards
Color blind Cards at Cool Cards

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Design: A million first steps

The British Library have released a million - a million! - images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. So what are you waiting for get 'shopping..!

Wait, there's more...

"We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.

Which brings me to the point of this release. We are looking for new, inventive ways to navigate, find and display these 'unseen illustrations'. The images were plucked from the pages as part of the 'Mechanical Curator', a creation of the British Library Labs project. Each image is individually addressible, online, and Flickr provies an API to access it and the image's associated description.

We may know which book, volume and page an image was drawn from, but we know nothing about a given image. Consider the image below. The title of the work may suggest the thematic subject matter of any illustrations in the book, but it doesn't suggest how colourful and arresting these images are.

"Historia de las Indias de Nueva-España y islas de Tierra Firme..." (1867)

"Next steps

We plan to launch a crowdsourcing application at the beginning of next year, to help describe what the images portray. Our intention is to use this data to train automated classifiers that will run against the whole of the content. The data from this will be as openly licensed as is sensible (given the nature of crowdsourcing) and the code, as always, will be under an open licence.

The British Library - A million first steps
The British Library - Flickr Photostream

"Historia de las Indias de Nueva-España y islas de Tierra Firme..." (1867) - See more at:

We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of.
Which brings me to the point of this release. We are looking for new, inventive ways to navigate, find and display these 'unseen illustrations'. The images were plucked from the pages as part of the 'Mechanical Curator', a creation of the British Library Labs project. Each image is individually addressible, online, and Flickr provies an API to access it and the image's associated description.
We may know which book, volume and page an image was drawn from, but we know nothing about a given image. Consider the image below. The title of the work may suggest the thematic subject matter of any illustrations in the book, but it doesn't suggest how colourful and arresting these images are.
- See more at:

Monday, 9 December 2013

Victorian Christmas Cards - 1843

The British Postal Museum and Archive is selling some beautiful, traditional Christmas cards this year, including a copy of the very first Christmas card designed by John Callcott Horsley.

 "In 1843 - the same year that Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol - Henry Cole, the founding director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, commissioned John Callcott Horsley to design a printed message for conveying his Christmas greetings. The Christmas card as we know it today was born.

Perfect for sending your own season's greetings, this new Christmas card pack from the BPMA contains five A6 cards based on the image from the front of the 1843 card, from an original in The British Postal Museum & Archive's collections.
Each card comes with an envelope and has been left blank inside for your own message."
 Free delivery is available for these cards all December with the code XMASPOST

 British Postal Museum and Archive - Christmas Cards

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Greenpeace Christmas Cards

Santa’s worried about his home. With oil companies like Shell and Gazprom moving in to drill in the Arctic Ocean, his home at the North Pole is rapidly disappearing from under his feet. Soon, it could be destroyed completely.

To take some of the pressure off Santa this Christmas and help Greenpeace at the same time.


It’s his home, and where he, the Elves and Mrs Claus produce, organise and deliver presents for all the children of the world. But the North Pole is only a frozen ocean and it’s melting away faster and faster. Santa can no longer function. His warehouse is flooded. All the presents are ruined.

That’s bad enough. But oil companies are trying to drill in the Arctic Ocean around him. They want to extract the oil that - when it’s used - will make the melting of the Arctic all the quicker.

World leaders are ignoring the reindeer’s cries for help as they sink in the melting ice. Even the threat of being on Santa’s naughty list hasn’t prompted a rescue operation.

If you sign up you will be joining Vivienne Westwood, Jude Law, Paul McCartney and Madonna in helping create a sanctuary around the North Pole. This would leave Santa in peace to spread joy around the world on Christmas Day.

In 1991 the world came together to protect the Antarctic and we can save the Arctic too!

Save Santa's Home is a new campaign from Greenpeace calling for action to protect the Arctic from climate change and oil drilling. Along with a video message from Santa, there is a set of Christmas cards designed by celebrities, artists and designers including Vivienne Westwood, Kurt Jackson, Jarvis Cocker, Raymond Briggs, Modern Toss and Jake and Dinos Chapman.

Greenpeace Christmas e-cards
Greenpeace Arctic petition

Friday, 29 November 2013

Post Office Reminder Service

Christmas Last Posting Dates 2013 - Post Office Reminder Service
"We want to help you get your cards and gifts to family and friends in good time for Christmas, so we’ve provided a handy list of last posting dates. And to make Christmas 2013 with the Post Office a little easier we’ve also created a simple festive reminder service. Just let us know where you’ll be sending your items to and we’ll let you know when it’s time to post them."
Royal Mail - Last Recommended Christmas 2013 Posting Dates UK

First Class - Friday 20 December
Second Class - Wednesday 18 December
Special Delivery - Monday 23 December

Royal Mail - Last Recommended Christmas 2013 Posting Dates International Airmail

Western Europe - Saturday 14 December
USA - Friday 13 December
Eastern Europe - Monday 9 December
Australia - Thursday 5 December
Asia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand - Wednesday 4 December

Christmas - Last Posting Dates 2013 - Post Office
Cool Cards - Christmas Cards

Friday, 22 November 2013

Humanist Christmas Cards

We're loving these Christmas cards from the British Humanist Association.

This first one is especially clever. If you turn it upside down it says something quite different. Something which pre-dates Christmas by quite some way...

Here's a clue:

Buy these and more at the British Humanist Association

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Uncooked cards - quick while snark lasts

So long Nat and Armand and thanks for all the snark.

You know when a great poem, a verse, a saying or even a humble greeting card message really, really, hits the spot..? Kelly Ripa did...

"you and i make such a cute
couple i bet we could be models.
or at least i could be one.
you probably wouldn't make it
very far with those teeth
of yours."

Earth calling Uncooked cards... Hello, Uncooked Cards..? Come in. Over... Danger... Alert... Warning...

Having graciously (seemingly...) received the above Uncooked card from Live! with Kelly and Michael host Kelly Ripa, American Football player Michael Strahan, the gap-toothed Record Breaking New York Giants Defensive End might like a word, or two.

View, but buy, buy and then come back and buy more Uncooked cards at Cool Cards. They could become quite collectable... quite soon...
(If we don't have the above tooth related card in stock we'll most likely have some different ones - while stocks last...)

Uncooked Cards - UK
Uncooked Cards - USA

News just in

Michael has decided against paying Nat and Armand a visit.
Long live Uncooked cards.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

All You Need Is Cash - Roy Mayall

Royal Mail postie Roy Mayall isn't impressed, not one bit, by the "Love Is All You Need" TV advert. He considers that Royal Mail is failing to deliver and this is what he has to say:

"Here’s a summary of the whole advert, in one paragraph:
There’s a Sikh postie walking along a corridor; a little girl placing stamps upon a parcel; a pen drawing hearts in red ink upon a sheet of paper; a man paying for his parcel delivery on-line using a tablet computer; a shot within a parcel depot featuring parcels running on a conveyor belt with lasers reading the addresses; delivery to a café (the café owner opens his arms as if he’s about to embrace the postie) followed by a series of other deliveries in quick succession: to a stately home, to a garage complete with garage-band, to a little girl’s birthday party; a Muslim postie walking passed a training centre with the words “For Hire” painted on the wall; delivery to a factory; a black female postie smiling (the only woman postal worker in the advert); delivery to an upmarket London townhouse; two rain soaked posties; another Royal Mail parcel depot featuring brand new, sparkling-clean Royal Mail lorries; a Royal Mail lorry driving passed a remote rural village; a little girl opening up a letter box in anticipation of a delivery (an intense light bursts from the letter box like a mystical sign); that Sikh postie again, in a massive block of flats (an Indian woman answers the door wearing rubber gloves); another postie dwarfed by another huge, semi-circular block of flats, followed by the slogan, “We deliver one billion parcels a year”; a shot of a postal worker raising his arms in apparent blessing of the contents of a Royal Mail van (he’s like Jesus blessing the loaves and the fishes) ending with the words, “We love parcels.”
Everyone is smiling.
All of that to the words of All You Need Is Love:
Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy
All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need.
And there you have it: the hypocrisy of advanced capitalism in precisely one minute.
The Royal Mail delivers none of that. It doesn’t deliver love. It doesn’t deliver diversity. It doesn’t deliver a welcoming smile. It doesn’t deliver to stately homes, to garages or to birthday parties. It doesn’t deliver hope and anticipation. It doesn’t deliver mail to remote communities. It doesn’t deliver friendliness in the rain. It doesn’t even deliver parcels. We do all of that: the men and women of all backgrounds and ethnicities who work for the Royal Mail. That’s our job.
Now that it is privatised, the Royal Mail’s job is simply to deliver returns to its investors.
For a long time now the Royal Mail has been divided, between management and postal workers, between those who see it as a business, and those who see it as a service. The people who commissioned that advert are the former rather than the latter. It’s not a service to them, it’s a way of making money."
 Continues at: Roy Mayall - All You Need Is Cash

Super Happy Posties

Just look how happy all the Royal Mail Posties are since the recent privatisation..!

"We love parcels. In fact, we deliver 1 billion of them a year.

We're launching our first major TV advertising campaign in six years featuring our postmen and women, and the voices of the Royal Mail Choir.

In the advert shows what our postmen and women do what they do best; delivering parcels to people across the nation.

The advert shows the care and commitment taken by our people to deliver parcels to addresses across the UK no matter the weather, as well as the joy people feel when they receive their parcels.

It's being launched at the start of Royal Mail's build up to Christmas 2013; the company opens 10 temporary parcel sort centres across the UK on Monday, November 4th, as part of its planning for the festive season deliveries.

The advert features the iconic Beatles song "All You Need is Love" sung by the Royal Mail Choir. It was recorded at the world famous Abbey Road Studios, 46 years after 'The Beatles' recorded the original version."

Friday, 1 November 2013

Postman Pat and his black and white cat

 "My name is Pat. When I'm not playing music, I work part-time as a postman.

That's right - I'm Postman Pat! The other day I was delivering a parcel - I knelt down to write out a card for a customer, and this happened!

It's Postman Pat and his black & white cat... you couldn't make it up...."

 "So, two days after the friendliest cat in the world made itself at home on my back, I was delivering a parcel to a customer and had an unexpected visitor. This cat decided that it wanted to explore my van...

Not as funny as the last video but the cat lovers will appreciate it I'm sure!"

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Uncooked Cards on FOX news

It's not like Fox News to be congratulated for their reporting, but just sometimes they slip up and get caught bang to rights which they did when they described Uncooked cards as being "Funny, snarky and brutally honest".Well done that Fox News.

Buy funny, snarky and brutally honest cards at: Cool Cards - Uncooked cards. As recommended by Fox News.

An Interview with Jesus and Mo

Fans of our Jesus & Mo cards may well be familiar with the recent hoo-hah at the London School of Economics Student Union.

The Author of Jesus & Mo today gave an interview to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

      Could you tell us a little about your influences as a cartoonist and stylist, and in a wider sense, who influenced you in terms of your sense of playfulness towards the conceits of religion, and your satirical sensibility?

I'm still a bit reluctant to call myself a 'cartoonist' even after 8 years of making Jesus & Mo. I think cartoonists need to be able to draw, and that is not a skill I would claim for myself.

That said, as a child I read a lot of Peanuts - had a load of Charlie Brown paperbacks which I'd read and reread. I still do. I love the gentle tone of Peanuts, the mixture of innocence and worldliness, the lightly worn wisdom. Schulz was a great artist - much too good for me to declare him an "influence" in any way other than the fact that he instilled in me a love of the 4-panel form.

     How long does it take between an idea for a cartoon coming to you and its completion on the page? Does the actual drawing take long?

Most of the drawing is already done. I'm a lazy copy-paster. Most of the time is taken up with writing a script, then chiseling it down. I usually devote Wednesday morning to it.

      Your cartoons often are very topical. Do your ideas mostly come to you spontaneously? Are you always switched on and looking for an angle on these issues in the news and elsewhere?

I carry a notebook around, and keep online notes, too. When something happens in the news, often the irony jumps out at you. I get a lot of mileage out of religious people saying funny things - sometimes all I need to do is transcribe them (credit is always given to these unknowing guest scriptwriters). Other times I just sit down and tap away until something funny-ish comes out. Or not, as the case may be.

Interview continues at the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The People's Post

The People's Post: A Narrative History of the Post Office

BBC Radio 4.

As Royal Mail continues to face an uncertain future, Dominic Sandbrook charts the development of the post office and examines its impact on literacy, free speech, commerce and communication. Over the course of 15 episodes he explores and describes the rich and diverse history of the Royal Mail from its inception to its current privatisation.

Listen here: A Narrative History of the Post Office

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Snark Whisperers - Uncooked cards

We don't have a favourite New York greeting card company, but if we did have a favourite New York greeting card company, Uncooked cards would be our number one favoutite New York greeting card company.

We always imagine Nat and Armand - the genius snarkbrains behind Uncooked cards - to look exactly like this:

But no. New York style magazine The Aesthete shows them to look like this:

And then they go on to say:
In an age when entrepreneurship is hot, Armand and Nat Prisco are sizzling. Together, the couple is the wit, snark and humor behind Uncooked—a brazen independent line of greeting cards they founded in 2004. On a recent sunny morning in their airy Tribeca apartment, the two talked business, marriage and parenthood, laughing at their unconventional experiences with all three.
 “When we started [Uncooked], we were just looking for a way out of the corporate world,” Nat says from their sizable, picnic-like dining table. The pair met in 2000 while they were both working in advertising at McCann Erickson—she as a copywriter and he as an art director. “We would pitch ideas and everyone would say ‘You guys are too weird,’” Nat recalls. “So we’d sort of hide in our office and think of other things to do with our life.” Her knack for creative copy and his illustration background made greeting cards an ideal venture. “It was like taking these stupid skills we had…” Armand says. “…And making them into something stupider,” Nat finishes.
Read more at The Aesthete

Buy Uncooked Cards at Cool Cards

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Night Mail - Public Service Broadcasting

We've blogged before about the famous Night Mail service.

Night Mail is a 1936 documentary film about a London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) mail train from London to Scotland, produced by the GPO Film Unit. A poem by English poet W. H. Auden was specially written for it, used in the closing few minutes, as was music by Benjamin Britten.


It's been updated with a 21st Century groove by London duo Public Service Broadcasting

Night Mail - Public Service Broadcasting from PSBHQ on Vimeo.

If the above video doesn't work... try this:

Cool Cards blog - Night Mail
Public Service Broadcasting

Friday, 13 September 2013

Postal Service is Public Service

Just as the British government has given formal notice to the stock exchange that it plans to privatise the Royal Mail and straight off the back of our recent Royal Mail - Cycles post, we were delighted to see these postcard images on the Missive Maven blog Postal Service is Public Service.

"...a 'postman bike' from India. The caption reads "Prototype of a postman bike bearing the new logo of India Post and its slogan in Hindi: 'Dak Seva, Jan Seva' meaning Postal Service is Public Service."

And this postcard, one of our own British postmen featured on the cover of a Ladybird 'Easy-reading' book.

What also caught our attention was the way in which Missive Maven received these postcards. They arrived via Postcrossing which is something new to us.

What is Postcrossing? "It's a project that allows anyone to receive postcards (real ones, not electronic) from random places in the world." ... Read more.

What a great idea! We've just signed up. We'll keep you informed..!

Postcrossing Stats
434,720 members
216 countries
1,074 postcards/hour
19,199,491 postcards received
465,858 postcards traveling
99,488,955,924 km traveled
2,482,569 laps around the world

Missive Maven

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Expat Birthday Cards - Sending to the UK

Expat birthday cards. We receive many birthday card orders from Brits abroad which we duly personalise, print and post to your relatives and friends here in the UK and elsewhere on the dates you ask us to. 

We thought we'd look at how many of you far-flung brits are out there, where you are and how best you can use Cool Cards.

How many of you? 

In excess of 5.5 million British-born people live outside of the United Kingdom, that's about 1 in 10 of the UK population.

Where are you?

What? 3,750,000..? Really? That's a lot of brits in Hong Kong..! Wiki must have got that one wrong.
We've yet to receive an order from Hong Kong. Most of our expat birthday card orders from Australia, the USA and then Spain.

Who uses Cool Cards abroad and Why?

Expats, holiday makers, business people and forgetful people. Forgetful people? Several of our customers place a years worth of birthday card orders with us early in each year. We then print and post their cards on their chosen dates throughout the year.
Other customers use Cool Cards because of the lack of local card shops and post offices, or sometimes they have difficulty getting out and about or simply they just don't have the time. But it's most likely that expats use us simply because we offer such a great service, great value and a fantastic range of greeting cards, many of which cannot be found elsewhere!

Other advantages of using Cool Cards are that you don't have to allow for uncertain postal delivery times to the UK. Within the UK, Royal Mail aim to deliver over 93% of 1st Class mail items the next day. Order before 5.00pm for same-day order processing and posting.
And then of course then there's the cost - you get free UK delivery with orders over £5.99 - UK orders below £5.99 are charged just £0.99. All our UK greeting cards are sent 1st Class Royal Mail.

What's not to like..?

Q. I'm Bob, a forgetful expat in Australia. So you're saying I can order a card from you in, say, January and you'll print my birthday message and post it to Aunty Joan who lives in Edinburgh in time for her birthday in August?
A. You've got it Bob.

Q. I'm working in the USA, can I order from you to send a birthday card to my expat dad in Spain?
A. You certainly can. We post using International Airmail.

Note: International Airmail from the UK usually arrives within three days to Western Europe, four days to Eastern Europe and five days for the rest of the world.

Q. Can I choose which font you use to print my message?
A. Currently you can choose from 6 different fonts, but if you prefer an alternative font, just get in touch and we'll do our best to accomodate your preference.

Q. Can you print my message if I write it in a language other than English?
A. Yes we can, and often do.

Note: You need to be careful if copying and pasting text - for example copying a poem from a webpage and pasting into our text box. Sometimes characters are copied over which aren't recognised by our system. It's always a good idea to first paste into a plain text editor, like Notepad, then from there into our text box. If you're not sure, just check your order confirmation email to check that everything looks ok.

Q. Can I place one single order for several different birthday cards to be sent on different dates to different addresses?
A. No. Our system allows for one delivery address/posting date per order. 
You could however place one single order for several different cards to be posted to the same address on the same day.

Q. I forgot the Postcode...
A. Is that you Bob? No problem. You can use our Postcode finder during the Cool Cards checkout process, or you can use the free Royal Mail Postcode finder.

Q. I did have another question, but I forgot...
A. Hi Bob. Any questions, please do get in touch.


Wiki - British diaspora
BBC - Brits abroad
Royal Mail - Postcode finder
Cool Cards - Cool Cards
Cool Cards - Email us
Fonts - Dafont

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Royal Mail - Cycles

"Postmen employed on cycling work should be strongly recommended to wear woollen vests and drawers, and opportunity should, when possible, be afforded to men who get wet to change their clothes..."
Cycling Duties - Circular to Surveyors, March 1909

Line of postmen with their cycles, 1920s

"Pedal cycles have been used since the 1880s to increase the speed of mail deliveries and the distances the delivery postman and postwoman may travel. The photograph below shows a dynamic group of cycling postmen ready to start their round in the early 1920s.

Before 1880, Post Office trials with early bicycles failed, mainly because it was difficult to find men fit enough to ride them! In 1880, two tricycle posts were used experimentally in Coventry. Their rider-owners had a weekly allowance of five shillings (25p) towards their purchase and maintenance.

In the late 19th century, experiments took place with two, three and even five-wheeled cycles. In 1882, at Horsham in Sussex, there was a local trial of the centre-cycle (or 'pentacycle', with five wheels) for carrying mail. The centre-cycle was also known as the 'Hen and Chicks' as the four small wheels around the large centre wheel was similar to a mother hen with her brood.

By 1895 there were 67 regular cycle posts set up throughout the country. In 1909 there were 5000 postmen on bicycles, carrier tricycles and bicycles with trailing carts.

A standard design bicycle was introduced nationwide in 1929. By 1933 some 20,000 were in use. This basic design remained in use until 1992, although some changes were introduced such as models for women and reinforced versions for taller, heavier-built postmen.

Today, Royal Mail has about 37,000 delivery bicycles, including new designs developed for the 21st century - the Mailstar and the Millennium."

 Source: The British Postal Museum and Archive

Hen and Chicks. Five daring postal workers on centre-cycles in Horsham, 1882

Replica pentacycle, 1930

"This is a replica of a five-wheeled cycle (pentacycle or centre-cycle) made in 1930. The Pentacycle was originally invented and patented by Edward Burstow, an architect, from Horsham, Sussex in 1882.

Postal officials at Horsham tried out these cycles for both postal and telegraph delivery work. Although the centre-cycle did not prove popular elsewhere, the Horsham postal workers wrote a letter of appreciation to Mr Burstow, praising the pentacycle.

Replica pentacycle, 1930

Tricycle with forward basket carrier, 1934

Double top tube standard delivery bicycle, 1929-1992

 "This is an example of a delivery bicycle produced to the standard specifications established by the Post Office in 1929. With little variation it remained in production until 1992.

This cycle has a Double Top Tube frame, which is designed to carry a taller rider. This Double Top Tube was one of three frame designs for Post Office Standard cycles. The others were Gentlemen's and Ladies'.
The standard bicycle weighed up to 23kg and had to last four years before replacement.

Inspector’s bicycle, 1956

"This bicycle was probably used by a Post Office manager or inspector. We can tell this because it is black. The usual delivery cycles were always red. It was produced by Tyseley in 1929, to the standard Post Office design.

Inspectors' bicycles like this were used until the mid-1980s when they were phased out and replaced by motor vehicles.

Inspector’s bicycle, 1956 - chain wheel detail

"The initials GPO (General Post Office) can be seen worked into the design of the chain wheel – a feature that started in the early-1930s.

Mailstar bicycle, 2001

Modern Mailstar bicycle and rider, 2005

"This cycle is the last of this model produced by Pashley Ltd. It was one of the new delivery bicycles for the 21st century, introduced by Royal Mail in 2001.It includes many of the technical advances already put into commercial production by cycle manufacturers. It features a unisex, step-through frame so that it can be used by both postmen and postwomen. It also has lever-operated cable hub brakes. The metal carrier at the front can carry loads up to 24kg. This would have a plastic tray in it to hold the mail bag. It also has a twist action control for the five-speed gears.

Mailstar: Pashley Cycles
Roy Mayall: Going Postal