Tied up with string,
These are a few of
My favourite things!

My favourite things! Sang Julie Andrews . Yes, mine too, when I was a kid. Such excitement! A Parcel! With foreign stamps, brown paper, string and sealing wax. A Proper Parcel which only arrived before or after birthdays and Christmases. Posted by kindly aunts from Overseas, that mythical place.

When last did you make and post a parcel? Not a padded white bag, a Proper Parcel. Last week I parcelled up a book, to send to a friend in Napier. Not so far from Cape Town as the crow flies, but he no longer drives and I’m not prepared to drive the distance. So a parcel it must be.

First I looked for the brown paper. I knew I had some. But where was it hiding? I finally tracked it down, hiding coyly in a cupboard. Next I dug out my sticky tape, scissors, and my ball of string. Got to have string for a Proper Parcel. Parcel completed, I dug out my old address book and find his postal address. Right – Done! Now to glue my return address sticker on the reverse of the parcel.

The final touch: tracking down my very last stick of red sealing wax, Burning my fingers as I held the lighter flame to the wax , but it was worth it, I love the smell. It’s a distinctive smell. You don’t get that bonus from a white padded envelope!

I have to confess the white padded thingys are a great deal quicker, but I enjoyed the old, familiar process of making a Proper Parcel, even though it took me at least 25 minutes. I’ve sent hundreds of parcels in my lifetime, because my family are scattered all over the place.


How about you? When last did you post a Proper Parcel ?



11 responses to “BROWN PAPER PACKAGES

  1. Brenda

    Always good to add that very important return address especially if it’s going via our general post office service. That way you have two chances of it actually being delivered either to your friend or back to you if you’re lucky.
    My Mom used to send me parcels back in the day. I loved receiving these ‘Lucky Dips’ from her.
    Nowadays I eft money to my grandchildren overseas and they do their own shopping, because it’s quicker and the deposit is sure to arrive in their accounts. Aah, but yes it’s definitely not the same as receiving a posted parcel packed with loads of love.
    I am waiting with bated breath for three postcards sent from my granddaughter about three weeks ago.;)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Although our PO is painfully slow, you will ULTIMATELY receive the items. I have received postcards from overseas that have taken up to four or five months to be delivered. But they got here in the end.


  3. how delightful Alison. A proper parcel! wow! I remember seeing them as a child from overseas – that distant magical golden land.
    No I have never received any personally, just missed it… Pity
    Think my next parcel I send, will be done the good old fashion way. Thank you for reminding me

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Marieanne COURSEN

    It does sound lovely. Unfortunately I don’t think our post office would take a package with brown paper and string (US). I always love getting mail!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Alison – this was a blast from the past. I haven’t seen a brown paper parcel since helping my Gran pack them when I was a child! I loved that though.

    As to our post office woes – yeah, items do usually arrive, albeit MONTHS late. Dear friends from Hamburg mailed us a home-made calendar in November, and it only arrived this week. We’ve had other items, bought online, which also took months to reach us. But they did all get there in the end.

    It certainly doesn’t help that the Post Office at the Howard Centre, which was always so popular among the elderly residents of Pinelands, shut down in November last year, because they were so bankrupt that they couldn’t pay the rent. Appalling to let it get to that point. Our nearest post office is now in Main Road, Maitland, where there is virtually no parking, lots of aggressive taxis, and dodgy characters lounging about. I don’t know what the elderly residents of all our retirement villages in Pinelands do… I certainly wouldn’t want my granny to go to Maitland – and besides, without a car you can’t even get there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The SA Post Office provides excellent training in developing patience! Very problematic about the closure of the Howard Centre PO. I remember using it, in years past. Are the POs in Rondebosch area still operational?

      Liked by 1 person

      • According to Google Maps, the Rondebosch Post Office is located in the Riverside Mall, and still exists. And at least there is safe underground parking there. So perhaps it’s a good idea to check it out. But I do feel sorry for the hundreds of Pinelands residents who still rely on the Post Office and who don’t have a car. I often see buses from the various retirement villages in Pinelands dropping off people for a couple of hours, to do their shopping and everything at the Howard Centre. It’s a lovely outing for them.


  6. And I can add….Memories

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s probably a very long time ago that I did this – as you say its so much easier these days to just go and buy a box or a padded bag…..

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have sent packages recently, but not in the charming (but more difficult) way you describe. But I imagine it would be exciting to receive one!

    Liked by 1 person

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