The world is full of surprises. But mostly, they’re big and/or nasty surprises. There are very few small and good surprises.

Finding 50p in your pocket. Walking through a nice-smelling section of air. Seeing someone reading a book that you’ve also read and enjoyed. Seeing a pigeon in an unusual place.

Spotted doing a bit of after work shopping in "Coo-stle" Mall #businesspigeon #norwich

A photo posted by Ant Cule (@antok87) on

And one of those pleasures, the small pleasures, the pleasures that make you feel a little spark that the world might be alright in the end, is trotting down to get the post and seeing a cheery little piece of card beaming up at you from the matt. You turn the card over, and there’s writing – actual writing! in pen and ink! – in a hand you distantly recognise. No matter whether the message is short, there is something so personal about knowing someone has taken the time to pick out a postcard, uncap a pen, and write you a message.

We live in a world of digital ink, and emails and whatnot. But I can’t see, no matter how much we try to humanise ‘tech’, how it can connect with us in the same way as seeing someone’s handwriting. There’s physical effort in handwriting. There’s connection between human and pen and pen and paper. There’s mistakes that you can’t get rid of (unless you have one of those pen erasers).

Receiving a postcard automatically makes you think “I wish I sent more postcards”. And that’s a great thought to have. You should send more postcards! So should I! On my desk I have a book called ‘Chekhov; A Life in Letters’. No-one in this day and age is going to be known as ‘A Man of Emails’. Man I wish I lived in the 19th century. Just the 19th century with wifi and all the modern conveniences that we enjoy (eg. coffee, Netflix, etc.)

All in all I highly recommend receiving a postcard for getting a warm feeling and one of life’s little surprises. Why not surprise someone whose address you happen to know today? Send them a letter, or a handmade postcard, or just a regular postcard!