Package from Across the Sea

In third grade (Grade Three, Canadians) my teacher, Mrs. Easterling, paired up with another teacher in Detroit and hooked all of her students up with pen pals.

It was awesome.

For like a month.

And then it sucked, because I only got one letter.

Anyway, ever since then, I have always wanted a real, live pen pal, and since starting this blog, I’ve gained like 100. But online pen-pals are not the same as old-fashioned pen pals, because emails are a dime a dozen where real letters in real mailboxes are worth their weight in gold, and I promise these blog-awful clichés are going somewhere.

Like here, to the picture of the package I received in the mail from a REAL citizen of the REAL country of my dreams: England.

Yes, my friends, it’s true: I have fostered a relationship with a British person and we are BFFs now.

I’m practically Princess Di reincarnate.

See, it all started when Ros from England either found my blog or I found hers, I don’t quite recall. Either way, we were fast friends, and then one day she wrote this post about the British things in her British handbag (HANDBAG! SO BRITISH!).

And I was all, SQUEE, because I really am British at heart (but don’t tell Canada or they’ll take away my residency). I am fascinated by all cultures other than my own, always have been, but British is my longest-standing favourite. So I was excited to see the things a British person keeps in her purse, and I know you will be, too. Here’s what she had (photo swiped from Ticklepea herself):

(Even the plank wooden floor is undeniably British!)

See there, the pink and white circular tin on the right side of the photo? It’s called Rosy Lips Vaseline™, and apparently it’s the only product my British friend Ros deigns to use on her British lips.

So I, being the lip-product aficionado that I am, straightaway commented on Ros’s post and said I’d never heard of that stuff, and was it only available in England? Because if so, I’d have to come visit just for the sake of buying some myself.

Quickly, Ros realised the errors of her ways—an uninvited guest was not on her list of things to deal with this semester! So instead of allowing me to hop on the next plane and force her into friendship, Ros instead offered to send me a tin of the Vaseline (and just for good measure, she donned a necklace of garlic cloves to ward off eager would-be American house guests).

I was disappointed she wouldn’t let me move into her attic and follow her around all day mimicking a proper British accent, but I was pacified with the prospect of a package. It would do.

So we made a deal: a package for a package.

Well, look what finally came for me this week!

A British package! And Ros was awesome and went stamp-happy on the box, which, hello: just the sort of thing a good British pen pal would do.

Do you want to see my haul?

1. A real, British, hand-written letter with explanations for the contents of the package:

Her British penmanship should be a font, for reals.

And look! She even wrote, “ho hum!” So British.

2. A fancy variety pack of British Tea:

The flavours sound amazing.

3. A British mug with which to drink my British tea:


4. British candy:

My favourite was the Kinder hippo which I failed to properly photograph before devouring it in one enormously greedy bite. Next time I go to England I will buy cartons of those delicious morsels and have a massive giveaway on my blog. It was amazing.

5. British stamps in a collage, courtesy of a real British stamp collector (Ros’s dad):

(This is going on my desk.)

6. British swag:

7. A British copy of a British classic by one of my favourite British authors (and I have been meaning to read it for years now!):

I love the simplistic look of the cover. Such good design is of course British.

8. And, my favourite item of the package—Rosy Lips Vaseline™:

Not only is the container amazing (“gently tints and cares for lips”)…

…but it smells heavenly and WORKS LIKE DADGUM BRITISH MAGIC. Which is way better than the American kind.

My only fear now is what I’ll do when I run out of it—it’s going to be a sad, sad day, and judging by how fast I’m using the stuff, it’s not far off. I might get my trip to England yet!

Thanks, Ros, for the bit of excitement amidst this otherwise-dreary week. You’re a regular pal. I hope you like your return package!

Everyone should have a British pen pal. Only not Ros—she’s mine. Get your own real live British friend, fool.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
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12 Responses to Package from Across the Sea

  1. Bethany says:

    So I found out something interesting when I studied abroad overseas…this post just reminded me of it. I met a guy from England who said the proper way to say their nationality is English not British. I had been calling them British for years! He said it bothered him but it probably doesn’t bother everyone. Anyways fun fact of the day! haha! That is amazing you have an acutal pen pal who gave you all of that awesome stuff! I am jealous! I need an international pen pal!

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  3. Chloe says:

    I’m jealous!! I want to be your pen pal too!! I’m from Spain, does it count??
    Please, please, please!
    I promise I’ll send you letters and things from Spain!!!

  4. Ros says:

    Cool! I’m glad you liked it! I’m, so excited for when mine arrives, just the thing I need to distracted me from the stress of finals! xxx

  5. Dutch girl says:

    The Kinder hippo!! I had one at Easter, loved it. Here in the UK they have so many chocolate bars and other chocolate stuff, it’s unbelievable.
    I’m gonna try the rosy lips vaseline..

  6. Mikelle says:

    Mmm. I’m jealous of the Rosy Lips Vaseline, as Vaseline is the only thing that I use on my lips! I wonder if it can be found here…

  7. jami says:

    I love the british or english or whatever they are. As a matter of fact they only in english accents at my work. Seriously, they are all american…but they most speak with an accent. It makes them feel exciting. So I have started as well. Well not away from work, but at work. At first Spencer said I was terrible. But now I think I have gotten better. I REALLY would like to become so good that I could speak it everywhere for the rest of my life…but I assume people would think me even weirder than they already do!

  8. Cristin says:

    I love anything British too. This post reminded me of time I bought a Britrail pass as an 18 year old and traveled around England and Scotland by myself for 2 weeks. I met a really nice girl at a hostel in Edinburgh who wanted to borrow my only pair of jeans for a play she was in. (She needed really tight pants and had no money to spend on them.) They were my favorite pants, but I liked her enough to lend them to her. She promised to mail them back to me and sure enough, she really did. I got a very lovely package with a letter and a few other things about a month later. ANYWAY, the point of this long comment is that there are some really nice strangers out there… many of which who live in the UK.

  9. Maple says:

    Mmmm, she sent you a Wispa! My husband is English and he introduced me to the joy that is Wispa.
    I adore England – I wouldn’t move there, but I love going to visit. I always stock up on many different flavours of Dairy Milk bars. And I don’t skimp – I buy the BIG ones. They have to last! I only get to go once every 2 or 3 years.
    Also – shame Whittards closed down. They had delicious tea.

  10. Ros says:

    Ahhhh! You have been misinformed! Whittards did indeed do excellent tea, and they still do! Although they went in to administration, they were saved and some stores are still open. Lovely tea is still within your reach! xxx

  11. I am so jealous. I used to have a pen pal from across the pond– a German exchange student to whom I wrote to for about 6 months until after the presidential election to which she exclaimed “Why did you guys vote for Regan” then never wrote to me again.

  12. Maple says:

    Ros – really? Thank goodness! Last time I was there (Dec 2008) the recession had just ‘hit’ and a bunch of stores were closing – Whittards being one of them. I got some jasmine tea from them on a whim and I loevd it…glad to know that I can stock back up on it next time I go (which’ll probably be next year)

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