Mail delivery is becoming a disappearing service in Australia, and I believe, also in many other countries. Emails and internet have taken the joy of seeing the post-man pop a letter in the mailbox for you to collect. Maybe you make a cup of tea first then take the cuppa and the precious letter to your favourite spot to read and re-read every word. Letter writing is becoming a dying art. Now it is a quick email, basic and to the point. No delicious descriptions of what is happening, no word pictures of where the person has been or how they are feeling. A click on the delete button and the email is gone.
In the past, before computers, history was preserved in letters and written documents. Today the communication is mainly emails that once read and answered, go in the trash bin. I wonder how today will be deciphered by historians. In the past precious letters would be kept, often tied with a ribbon and stored in a box, to be found many years later and again read, bringing back all the cherished memories.
I am always watching for them in my travels, there are not many around these days, but I found a couple over in Western Australia.
I would pass this happy little chap every time I went to town when we were house sitting in Geraldton. I always felt like waving back…
This character needs no introduction to an Australian. He is a national hero or villain depending on your viewpoint. Ned Kelly was a notorious bush ranger who was said to rob from the rich to give to the poor.
“The ‘letterbox’-style headpiece and matching body armour worn by Ned Kelly and his gang are recognisable icons that feature prominently in the work of artists such as Sidney Nolan and Albert Tucker.
In 1879 – the year before the Glenrowan siege and Ned’s ultimate capture – the Kelly gang began constructing the suits of armour from mouldboards, the thick metal parts of a farmer’s plough. They acquired these materials in various ways – some were bought; others were offered to them by sympathetic farmers; a few were stolen.
The suits allowed the gang to walk away unharmed from close-range shooting, but they also served a less practical function: they made the gang members – Ned in particular – seem larger, more intimidating; even ghostly. The shock factor of the metal-clad Kelly would have been much to Ned’s advantage during the Glenrowan siege.” ( More information here)
Rather a gruesome artefact but one that I saw in the Portrait Gallery. But more of that in another post.