4 Of The Best Fan Mail Responses From Celebrities

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Celebrities receiving mail from their adoring fans is a well-known phenomenon – however, hearing fans receive mail from their favourite celebrities is a concept that often goes unheard of. Given their busy schedules (and their huge deliveries of fan mail, obviously), unfortunately many fans go without hearing a response to their starstruck correspondence – but once in a while, will receive a surprise in the post.

From the fictional character thanking a fan for their support to the letter from one of America’s most famous TV personalities, here are four of the best ever fan mail replies from celebrities:

1. Conan O’Brien. One fan asked talk show host Conan O’Brien if he would accompany her to her prom – but sadly, O’Brien politely declined the offer. “Dear Nikki – Thanks for your very flattering offer. It’s great to know I have such a devoted fan out there, and I’m sure you would make a great prom date (I didn’t go to mine – it’s a very sad story). Unfortunately, I got married recently and my wife doesn’t allow me to go to proms anymore with cute 16 year old girls. Still, it was very cool of you to ask me. Thanks and have a great evening. Your friend, Conan.”

2. Joe Biden. A gun that shoots chocolate? Quite possibly the ‘sweetest’ fan letter! “Dear Myles, I am sorry it took me so very long to respond to your letter. I really like your idea. If we had guns that shot chocolate, not only would our country be safer, it would be happier. People love chocolate. You are a good boy, Biden.”

3. Rupert Grint. This Harry Potter fan was left spellbound after Ron Weasley – sorry, Rupert Grint – sent her a very apologetic letter: “Hi Katherine, Thanks so much for your wicked letter, sorry it’s taken me so long to reply!!!!! I had a great time on the Prisoner of Azkaban, it’s going to be pretty scary, (though it doesn’t take much to scare me!!!!). That will be in cinemas in June, the same time as I take my final GCSE exams (groan). Sorry again for taking ages to reply, I’ve enclosed a signed photo, I hope you like it and I hope you enjoy film three. Rupert.”

4. Space Ghost. Imagine if your favourite cartoon character could send you post? Well this fan’s dream came true when superhero Space Ghost wrote back to them: “Dear (blank), I want you to know how much your loyalty and support have meant to me. When I think about the success of my movies, Saturday Night Fever and Grease, I realize that so much of it is due to all of you. There have been many ways that you’ve let me know that you’re there and that you care. I’m glad I finally have this chance to really say ‘Thanks’ to you. Love, Space Ghost.”

Have you ever sent a letter to your favourite celebrity – and received a letter in response? Tell us about your brush with fame in the comments box below!

Image credit: JulyVelchev, iStock, Thinkstock

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Strangest Substitute Items Offered On Home Delivery

Last year, figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that three in four Brits now shop online – with an impressive 74 per cent of adults having purchased goods or services online. Thanks to its ease and convenience, with so many people adopting the online retail approach, what’s not to love about home delivery? When you don’t quite get the original order you requested…and end up with a pretty poor substitute in its place instead.

While some of us will have been fortunate enough to avoid this awkward instance, others haven’t been as lucky – placing what they thought was a relatively simple order and receiving an item that was NOTHING like they requested. Spare a thought for one person’s cat – after its owner ordered cat food only to be given the next best thing…dog food?

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Here we list some of the strangest – and questionable – substitutes:

1. Ordered Cadbury Creme Eggs, received hen eggs. This is a pretty simple mistake to make – after all, we’d choose delicious chocolatey goodness over standard hen eggs any day.
2. Ordered green toilet roll, received white toilet roll. We weren’t even aware that green toilet roll existed – who knew there was a rainbow of toilet rolls to choose from?!
3. Ordered Jiff lemon juice, received a single banana. Both fruits, both yellow. Close enough.
4. Ordered Cumberland sausages, received sausage meat. While it’s the same taste, sausage meat doesn’t quite do as much justice in the stylistic sense – sausage meat and mash, anyone?
5. Ordered bread, received a packet of Brazil nuts. We get that both items begin with the same first two letters…but unfortunately that’s all we got.
6. Ordered a tin of fruit cocktail, received dried mixed fruit. Good intentions were definitely meant here – but perhaps this was from the same company who substituted Jiff lemon juice for a single banana…
7. Ordered strong white bread flour, received plain flour. There’s just no pleasing some people, eh.
8. Ordered 12 tins of Whiskas cat food, received 12 tins of Pedigree Chum dog food. If a dog can be man’s best friend, surely dog food can be man’s best substitute?
9. Ordered mozzarella, received spicy grated cheese. Variety is the spice of life, right? Excuse the awful pun.

Apparently when ordering online, if your chosen item isn’t available then the computer determines the substitute – so the next time you order online, be prepared to expect the unexpected! What surprise substitutes did you receive? Tell all in the comments box below!

Image credit: Antonis Liokouras, iStock, Thinkstock

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Celebrate National Words Matter Week

They say actions speak louder than words, but for the first week of March, people all over the world can put their words into action – by celebrating Words Matter Week. Highlighting the significance of words, the week looks at improving spelling and grammar by stamping out any poor practices – both in the literal and verbal sense.

This year’s quote for Words Matter Week 2015 comes from author and actor, Earl Wilson:

“If you wouldn’t write it and sign it, don’t say it.”

A yearly event, Words Matter Week can be celebrated online (www.wordsmatterweek.com) as well as offline – in schools, bookshops and libraries. So how can you get involved? Luckily for you we’ve got a whole host of ideas for you to show your support:

1. Blogging. Are you a prolific blogger? Does the idea of a misplaced apostrophe get you in a writing rage? Channel that negative energy into a positive outcome by creating a daily blog post on the topic of words – from writing about your favourite authors to asking people which word could needs to be banished from the English language, get involved by getting other like-minded writers involved. P.S. Don’t forget to link back to the official Words Matter Week website!

2. Library and book shop displays. Set up a fun display featuring word-related titles – include grammar guides, dictionaries as well as etiquette literature. Additionally, you could also hold a workshop on words – why not make up your own portmanteau or personalise a paraprosdokian?

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3. Writers groups. Get aspiring authors and literary fans to show their support for this week – young or old, complete beginners to writing veterans, anyone with a passion for prose can take part. You could even hold an open mic night to share your creative content.

4. Word games. Turn Words Matter Week into a week-long celebration by holding word parties – where families and friends can enjoy games such as Scrabble and Boggle.

5. Post your penpal. Got a friend you’ve lost contact with? This is the perfect time to get back into touch. Pen them a letter, or better still, pass on the present of perfect punctuation by gifting them a book about words.

6. Volunteer at a school or nursing home. Help young children with their reading or volunteer to write letters for nursing home residents – or alternatively, encourage others to talk or write about their favourite word-related memories.

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How many of you have already kicked off Words Matter Week? If so, what activities have you planned? Keep us updated throughout the week – we’d love to hear your stories!

Image credits: Raylipscombe and Purestock, iStock, Thinkstock

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5 Of The Funniest Dear: Blank, Please: Blank Letters

For all the courier connoisseurs who know their envelope etiquette, every postal pundit knows that the traditional letter format goes a little something like this:

Dear (blank)

Body of message

Sincerely (blank).

A standard practised in the mailing industry, this approach is not only simple, it’s also…safe. Which is why Jared Wunsch and Hans Johnson decided it was time to challenge this convention – in the form of the very hilarious and ironic ‘Dear blank, please blank’ project.

“We had this idea for a website, mostly because Hans had a bad experience,” explained the project’s authors. While the letters start and end with the familiar ‘dear’ and ‘please’ wording, it’s the unusual concept of said ‘bad experience’ that has helped make this small-scale project a worldwide phenomenon. So without further ado, we present to you five of the best ‘Dear blank, please blank’ correspondence:

1. Dear Diet Coke,

I feel like you’re overreacting.

Sincerely,
Mentos

An experiment combining Diet Coke and Mentos to cause an eruption conducted by Lee Marek and Marek’s Kid Scientists led to this becoming a viral mimicked by other wannabe scientists – but we’re over it now, as demonstrated by said letter.

2. Dear Yahoo,

I’ve never heard anyone say,
“I don’t know, let’s Yahoo! it…”

just saying…

Sincerely,
Google

“You know what’s a great idea? The next time we do an online search, let’s Yahoo! it,” said no one EVER.

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3. Dear Noah,

We could have sworn you said the ark wasn’t leaving till 5.

Sincerely,
The Unicorns

OK so rhinos are practically unicorns but imagine a world where Noah’s ark had hung around a while longer (just saying).

4. Dear Frozen fans,

Let it go.

Sincerely,
not a fan

While hearing Frozen’s “Let It Go” is OK for the first few hundred times, it does get somewhat unbearable and annoying to hear it on repeat everywhere in the world.

5. Dear recently graduated college students,

Have fun moving back in with your parents!

Sincerely,
the economy.

Because let’s face it, there’s nothing better than coming home to freshly cooked food and your laundry done courtesy of your parents – remember, family time is FUN time!

Do any of you fancy giving this writing project a go? Simply head to dearblankpleaseblank.com and post your work online – or alternatively, get your friends and family involved by sending each other your own ‘Dear blank, please blank’ letters. Oh and please – feel free to share your ‘Dear blank, please blank’ letters in the comments box below!

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Write for RAK: Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day

From helping that old lady cross the road to giving up your ritual ‘Come Dine With Me’ viewing schedule so your other half can watch their favourite programme, the world is filled with kindness – and to acknowledge this generous practice, people from all over the globe will be taking part in Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day, an event celebrated by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

On Tuesday 17th February 2015, Random Acts of Kindness Day seeks out kind-hearted individuals looking to volunteer their time to the causes they care about the most. Research has shown that kindness breeds more kindness, with this positive influence resulting in a chain reaction – so with that in mind, why not follow our random acts of courier-kindness with these postal possibilities?

1. Write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life. This is actually one of the suggestions offered up by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, and it’s a suggestion we couldn’t agree with more. Think of all the people who inspired you to succeed, encouraged you to take on a challenge or supported you when you needed them the most – and let them know how they changed your life for the better. By recognising the positive traits these people brought out in you, this in turn allows others to be inspired by said positive traits you inherited.

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2. Pay it forward. Instead of paying back someone for a good deed they did for you, you pay it forward – by doing a good deed for someone completely different. One example is the world-famous Starbucks pay it forward scheme that saw nearly 400 people do an act of kindness for a complete stranger! Why not pay for someone’s lunch and leave a note telling them about your kind act? Although actions speak louder than words, words can also speak volumes when in the form of kind notes.

3. Write a poem for a special someone. For the creative kind of, erm, kindness, why not compose some prose for someone special? From the simplistic three phrases of five, seven and five format of a haiku to an artistic acrostic poem (where the first letters of each line align vertically to create a word), put your deepest feelings on paper or alternatively, write a light-hearted limerick!

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4. Adopt a soldier. Show your support for the soldiers by adopting one as a pen pal – another great idea courtesy of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Being away from home and their loved ones, quite often access to their creature comforts is extremely limited – so why not send an encouraging note letting them know how grateful you are for their hard work? From a single card to a huge care package, not only do you get to make a new random act of kindness, you also get to make a new friend.

Just as kindness is free, so is writing – so why not come up with your own ways of being generous through your written skills? It’s true what they say – the best things in life really are free!

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Send A Secret Valentine To Your Crush On February 14th

Oh Valentine’s Day – with couples cosying up to each other and doting duos spoiling their other halves with a selection of cards and gifts, how can you not feel the romance on such a lovey-dovey date? Well if you’re single, it’s pretty easy to not feel said romance. With many singletons feeling singled out (excuse the pun) for not being part of a pair, why not use February 14th as the opportunity to let your crush know that you fancy them?

While your feelings for them may be loud and clear, putting it into words can be a slightly different matter – after all, what exactly is the best way to let your crush know how you feel about them and more importantly, what exactly do you say? Thankfully at Parcel2Go, our Cupid couriers have plenty of tricks up their sleeve to help you get the message across loud and clear:

1. Valentine’s Day card. If you’re not quite sure what it is you want to say to your crush, then let a card complete with an already printed message say it for you. Not only is it a convenient way of letting your crush know you like them ‘like them’, it’s also a classic – how could you go wrong by giving them a beautifully designed Valentine’s Day card featuring a well-written declaration of your feelings? Just make sure you don’t go overboard and mention the ‘L’ word (that would be the word ‘love’, not ‘loser’ in case that’s what you were thinking).

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2. Write a letter telling your crush how much you like them. Sending your crush a note telling them your feelings on any other day of the year would be considered by most as pretty weird, but fortunately on Valentine’s Day, this grants you an automatic pass! If you’re really struggling to put pen to paper, why not ask a friend for help? You might find that around this time, some romantics are willing to give you a helping hand with a love-letter writing course – where they’ll suggest anything from a hand-written letter to using a typewriter to seal the deal. Remember – keep it short but sweet, as a little goes a long way.

3. Handmade gift. For those who aren’t a fan of cards or conversations, why not try the adage of ‘actions speak louder than words’? Often being thoughtful can be the biggest statement of romance itself, so recalling their favourite songs and compiling them into a mix tape or baking their favourite cookies can deliver the most romantic results. Not only could you potentially learn a new craft, you also gain bonus points from your beau for remembering their most-loved things!

Are any of you planning to let your crush know how you feel this Valentine’s Day? If so, how will you communicate your affections their way? Let us know your ideas, and better still, whether your romantic notions worked!

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Send A Card To A Friend Day

When’s the last time you received a card? Or more importantly, when was the last time you actually bought a card, wrote your greetings inside the card, placed it an envelope, stamped it accordingly, then place it in the post box to be sent to its intended recipient? If trying to recall this memory dates back further than the last time you used dial up internet, then fear not – as we’re here to save the day: literally.

On 7th February 2015, you now have the perfect excuse to send a card to a friend – because this particular Saturday is aptly named…’Send A Card To A Friend Day’. Sure it’s thoughtful to send them a text message wishing them well (or alternatively, the time-saving process of liking their status on Facebook), but taking the time to send them a handwritten card adds a certain personal touch to the occasion. However if you’re stuck for ideas on what type of card best suits your friend, we’ve helpfully come up with a list of categories guaranteed to match your friend’s personality – please, thank us later:

1. Cute. From that kitten-obsessed lady friend of yours you’ve known since secondary school to the animal-loving guy mate you’ve been solid companions with throughout your job, pets are universally a guy’s – and girl’s – best friend. As one of the best-selling themes in the greetings cards industry, you can’t go wrong with an adorable animal wishing your recipient best wishes (unless it’s one of their ‘pet’ peeves).

2. Humour. Let’s see if your friends see the funny side of the humourous card you’ve sent them – as getting their sense of humour right is absolutely essential in making all the difference between making them smile and seriously offending them. Consider how long you’ve been friends with them and the type of stuff you both find funny – are they more sarcastic? Or do they prefer the slapstick variety? If you’re worried that the joke may be lost on them, keep it simple with light-hearted humour – after all, the act of sending them a card is the thought that counts!

3. Thank You. If you’re torn between sending cute correspondence or mailing a humorous card, play it safe and from the heart – by thanking them for their friendship. Personalise it by crafting one from scratch, maybe add a photo or a lyric from their favourite song – or simply share your favourite memory of them in the card. However if you’re stuck for words, you can always just get a ready-made card – just get ready to post it in time for Send A Card To A Friend Day!

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Do you have any inspirations you’d like to share with the rest of the correspondence community? Let us know your ideas in the comments box – we look forward to receiving your card in the post (hint hint)!

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3 Of The Worst Types Of Letters To Receive In The Mail

The clatter of the letterbox to signal the arrival of new mail is a familiar sound in many a household – and the anticipation as we wonder what could be stuffed in the envelope can vary from a welcoming piece of correspondence to unwanted post. So if we’re looking forward to receiving mail such as birthday cards and letters containing good news, what type of post are you likely to reject?

It probably comes as no surprise that the majority of people dread post concerning money – from their bank to the tax office even if it’s to surprise us with some unexpected cash flow, as soon as we see that post bearing that familiar financial institution logo, quite often more than not we’d rather see this correspondence relegated to the junk mail pile. What types of letters would you rather were returned to sender? Our list details the top three types of post no one wants to receive:

1. Bank/credit card statements. No one likes to be reminded about how much they’ve spent during a particularly indulging season (post-Christmas broke binge, anyone?). The sinking feeling in your stomach when you realise you’ve gone overdrawn is a sentiment shared by several in the New Year, especially if pay day came early in December to accommodate for people’s Christmas shopping – but whilst January may seem like a long month until your bank account’s topped up with your monthly wage, there’s always the alternative: online statements. Not only is it good for the environment, but for those who aren’t technically-savvy, it’s also good as that way you can’t access your online banking (and view your dwindling funds)!

2. Job rejection letters. Got your hopes up about that potential job? After a dry spell where you’ve not had any communication with your prospective employer, quite often a letter from said recipient can be a sign of bad news. But instead of seeing this as a negative outcome, see the positive – and use it as an opportunity. While you may have missed out on that must-have job, act upon the rejection letter by writing to the interviewer thanking them for considering your application. Highlight how impressed you were by the company, and should they have any future openings, ask that they consider you should a suitable role open up.

3. Penalty charge notices. You know how it is – from trying to beat the traffic and unaware of your high speeds to nabbing the nearest parking space for the sake of convenience, you’re hit with a penalty charge notice. Unfortunately due to the trauma of being berated for your less-than-optimal parking choice, the memory of receiving a fixed penalty notice has suddenly slipped your mind – but not for your local council, who have not only sent the penalty charge notice straight to your door, but have most likely increased the fine. Thankfully there’s always the chance to appeal – just make sure this option doesn’t slip your mind too!

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What other letters would you prefer to avoid receiving? Let us know in the comments box below!

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Practice Makes Perfect: Practise Your Penmanship On Handwriting Day

In an age of digital communication, the idea of using a pen and paper might seem a little alien to some – why take the time and trouble to write a letter, stamp the envelope, take it to your nearest post box when you could just text/email the recipient direct from your smartphone? While you could probably get away with hiding behind a screen, there will be instances where your cursive skills will be required – such as completing a job application form in-store or writing wedding invites.

Despite the influx of instant messaging, it seems that many people are bringing back the art of penmanship – with examples such as Hannah Brencher’s project, ‘The World Needs More Love Letters’ where people mail in letters of support to complete strangers. And with news reports highlighting how nurses’ poor handwriting has led to medical errors due to not being legible (not to mention students losing marks in exams as a result of weak cursive skills), there’s no better reason to practise your handwriting by taking part on Handwriting Day, taking place on Friday 23rd January 2015.

So how do you go about diligently dotting the Is and carefully crossing the Ts? With these top tips, courtesy of the helpful team at Parcel2Go:

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1. Comfort comes first. Using a pen that doesn’t sit right in your grip won’t help your handwriting cause – and while many strongly recommend fountain pens as their writing weapons of choice, it’s a case of trying and testing the various options available.
2. Warm up. Flex your fingers, roll your wrists – and get ready to use muscles you never realised were critical to the handwriting process! Don’t be surprised if you experience a little strain, the more handwriting you do, the less discomfort you’ll incur.
3. Perfect posture. Ensure you sit up straight and you use your non-writing hand for balance – you’re going to need it. By supporting the writing hand, this gives you better control over your handwriting.
4. Sit tight. When practising, seat yourself on a hard-backed chair with your writing materials on the table in front of you. Sofas and recliners won’t aid your posture, which is imperative in the long-run.
5. Retrain your writing. You’d be surprised how many people write with their fingers eg ‘drawing’ the letters. Try to keep your arm and wrist in the same position, as free reign might result in your handwriting resembling a scribble!
6. Slow down. In an attempt to achieve the perfect handwriting, many tend to rush – which only makes their scrawls look messy. Over time, you’ll find you’ll gain good control of your hand which will give you the confidence to try different handwriting styles – whether it’s a looping effect or rounding your letters off for a fancy finish.

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Why not surprise someone with your cursive talents with a handwritten letter for the ultimate personal touch? We’re excited about participating with our pens on Handwriting Day – and we hope you’ll be joining us!

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Preloved and Parcel2Go – Partners in Value

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It’s official: Christmas is over. The mince pies have gone; to be replaced by unused gym membership cards and the festive spirit has given way to scanning the travel sales in a desperate bid to find some fun to look forward to. On top of all this, your house is now cluttered with the many, many presents that have gone from guaranteed, Christmas Day hilarity to inevitable, yearly clutter. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easier way?

Parcel2Go are delighted to announce a new partnership with increasingly popular marketplace website Preloved. Famed for providing an easy to experience to swap or sell your unwanted items; Preloved has grown to one of the nation’s favourite second hand e-commerce platforms. With an ethos focusing on an unbeatable customer experience, incredible value (for both buyers and sellers) and providing the best service possible; Parcel2Go and Preloved are a natural fit!

When you list your item on Preloved (did we mention it’s free?) you can now opt in to have available Parcel2Go services appear on your advert, letting potential buyers immediately see how much it will cost them to arrange a delivery. Currently offering all our door-to-door services at our usual low prices; many deliveries can be sent from as little as £2.48+VAT. And with plans to add further services including Parcel Shop drop offs and even lockers; any potential buyer will easily be able to both purchase your item and arrange the shipping meaning your item won’t stay cluttering your home for long.

With the usual Parcel2Go focus on value and simplicity, your order will be fully integrated between Preloved and Parcel2Go meaning you can arrange the shipping in minutes. And by bringing your item to the attention of a nationwide audience; the right buyer for your item just became a whole lot easier to find. Need further convincing: did you know your item will be fully tracked all the way to delivery?

So the next time you want to clear out your unwanted items, or make a few quid from the frankly rubbish present your uncle sent you, why not try listing on Preloved? With no listing fees, and fully integrated delivery options with Parcel2Go, your only limit’s the amount of clutter you need to clear!

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