Will ambitious lawyer Olivia listen to her heart or her head before it's too late?
(She does send picture postcards.)
Find more about Hot Ticket and my other contemporary romances at
Recently I visited the exhibition Carte-o-Mania at the Australian National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. It shows 'cartes-de-visit', pocket-size portrait photographs which were taken and collected in Australia in the second half of the nineteenth century. This concept began in 1860 when Queen Victoria and her family sat for a photographer, and then made the photos available for sale to the public. After this, people also in Australia began to acquire their own photos to hand or send to friends, a kind of 'remember me', and collecting these became popular. Incidentally, around the time Queen Victoria initiated this fashion, picture postcards started to appear in Europe and USA, and collecting them began as a hobby.
This exhibition stirred my interest in today's picture postcards. I love them! When on holiday, I enjoy choosing cards to send, and receiving cards give me pleasure. I pin these cards onto a corkboard where they stay until the board is so full that they start to fall off, when I remove the oldest one or two that I can part with. Some have been there years, and I still enjoy looking at them. But are picture postcards a dying tradition?
Sending these postcards does take effort. First, to find them. In a tourist spot, this may not be difficult, though I've found that sometimes it's necessary to unearth them from the back of some shop selling assorted tourist merchandise as if the shop doesn't consider them worthy of better display. If there is adequate amount of choice, I want to match the card to the intended recipient, a picture which may appeal to an interest, for example historical, specifically scenic, mode of transport or related to a hobby.Then time spent at a cafe with a drink of choice is perfect for the writing. I believe a hand-written card brings a human touch to communication, makes the recipient feel important knowing you're thinking of them.
But are we in the minority?
My home is in a part of regional New South Wales which attracts tourists for its history and varied natural environment. The Visitor Centre holds a good selection of postcards depicting local scenes; I asked staff about the sales of these. "Noticeably declining" was the comment. "People aren't much interested anymore."
I took a straw poll of colleagues who travel frequently. "Always send cards to my grandparents who can't travel now and they love getting them"..."Postcards? Do people still send them? Why don't they use their phones?"..."Never sent one, I take videos"..."I like to send to close family and friends and most send to me"..."Couldn't be bothered, would take too long."
I know it's quicker and easier to take phone photos and share straightaway, or use a digital postcard app. It may be tempting to send several photos of your travel companion or a selfie at for example the Eiffel Tower; if this is the main method of communication, for me it feels uninspired. Rather than any number of phone photos, I would prefer to receive one hand-written postcard with a little local information, indicating that the sender has spent time and thought on it. However, I do understand that not everyone is as comfortable as I am putting experiences into words (nor is addicted to spending time in cafes!) And I admit I am a technophobe.
Enjoy your reading, Priscilla
Paragraph 1, reference: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, Australia