I wonder what is happening to your national mail system?

In my small village in the South of France, there is sporadic delivery of mail. The local Post Office is closed, and people are directed to one about 10 miles away -- but there is a 'lockdown' on almost all travel, and it's far from clear that a trip to this Post Office to send off some Mail Art would be accepted by the authorities (and, if not, would result in a €135/$150 fine).

The only shop that sells stamps in the village has sold out of them and doesn't know when, or if, it will get some more.

So mail comes in sometimes, but it's very difficult to send Mail -- Art or otherwise -- out.

The lockdown is initially for 2 weeks, but methinks that this is a very optimistic time-frame indeed.

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Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on May 18, 2020 at 7:01pm


The French Postal System is beginning to get back to usual, but the service is still very slow.

So slow that even the local Snails have gotten in on the act.

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on May 11, 2020 at 1:10pm

Finally today sending mail art to USA and more countries! Yay!

Monday, 11 May 2020, is "Start-to-Open" in Greece, not everything, but it looks like the Hellenic Post is starting to work full-time. And an announcement that mail can now be sent to the USA, Russia, Australia, even China:

Οι χώρες που εξυπηρετούνται είναι οι εξής:

("The countries that are served" :)

  • Αλβανία,
  • Αυστραλία,(Australia)
  • Αυστρία,
  • Βέλγιο,
  • Βόρεια Μακεδονία,
  • Βουλγαρία,
  • Γαλλία,
  • Γερμανία,
  • Δανία,
  • Ελβετία,
  • Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο,(UK)
  • ΗΠΑ,(USA)
  • Ιαπωνία,(Japan)
  • Ισλανδία,(Iceland...not Ireland?)
  • Ιταλία,
  • Καναδάς,(Canada)
  • Κατάρ,(Qatar)
  • Κίνα,(China)
  • Κύπρος (Cyprus),
  • Λετονία,
  • Λιθουανία,
  • Λουξεμβούργο,
  • Νέα Ζηλανδία,
  • Νορβηγία,
  • Νότια Αφρική,(South Africa)
  • Ολλανδία,(Netherlands)
  • Ουγγαρία,
  • Ουκρανία,
  • Πολωνία,
  • Πορτογαλία,(Portugal...not Spain?)
  • Ρουμανία,
  • Ρωσία,(Russia)
  • Σερβία,
  • Σιγκαπούρη,(Simgapore...not Taiwan?)
  • Σλοβακία,
  • Σλοβενία,
  • Σουηδία,
  • Τσεχία,
  • Φινλανδία

but NOT Spain, Taiwan, Ireland :-(

waiting patiently for more planes to fly...sigh

Comment by Nancy Bell Scott on May 9, 2020 at 9:08pm

Ah, glad to hear some countries for mail art are opening from Greece, Kat. USPS is in $ trouble and our "leader" doesn't want it saved. But ... we can't all be that stupid.

Fortunately, mail art from William (Taiwan) and Mail Art Martha (UK) arrived here quite recently. Many still arrive from the states, so the system seems to be working well enough in-country. I suspect 2020 mail art I sent to France, UK, and a few other countries got lost or waylaid. Maybe we'll get lucky, though, as time flobs on. 

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on May 9, 2020 at 4:33pm

On May 11, 2020, some lockdown measures lifting, and mail art being sent to USA, Canada, etc., but still NOT to Spain, Ireland, Taiwan, Australia...sigh.

Remember to thank the postal workers :

Comment by Jenn Miltenberger on April 26, 2020 at 6:48pm

I have a pen pal in France who has been unable to send mail out for a few weeks, her local post office returned her outgoing mail and has been closed for weeks.

I am still sending but I’m paying attention to the USPS list of countries not currently accepting mail. 

Comment by Katerina Nikoltsou (MomKat) on April 26, 2020 at 9:44am

Since April 8, was the last mail delivery from Italy, now happy to see some mail art delivered on Friday,April24, from Vittore Baroni and Giovanni Donaudi (post marked March, but ok!). Seems the "air mail" sendings can now come via ferry boats?

and fortunately the "Luft Post" from Germany comes to Greece via Lufthansa cargo planes

(arrived April 24...though sent March 27!) Be patient, don't be-a-patient :-)

Comment by Richard Canard on April 26, 2020 at 7:56am

26.04.20 Dare Sir Valentine Mark Herman, ...just want to state that I admire & understand your position regarding the Post Office & the traditions associated with such . ....but, of course , it makes perfect sense that these concerns would be of a  fundamental value system for a "Mail Artist".----As for my two cents? ... I must also confess:  I'm sorta stuck in the 50's  & something of a "Luddite" (Hey, wait!  Doesn't that put me back into the 19th Century?)  SinCelery, Richard Canard ............Post Scriptum: For what it's worth, I did send your way (a week or so ago) a so-called "Boring Postcard"--- nothing to worry  or to be anxious about as it's kinda boring.    

Comment by Valentine Mark Herman on April 26, 2020 at 6:51am

Bonjour Sabrina. Thanks for the comments. Perhaps there is a way to buy stamps in France online, but I am not clever enough to work out what it is, and, more importantly , even if I was clever enough to buy stamps online I wouldn't do so, ever, because I believe in Post Offices and stamps and envelopes and letters and postcards and postpeople and sending and receiving post in the traditional way. If I did not have that belief, I wouldn't be a (traditional) Mail Artist. We await President Macron to start returning life to normal, and one of the things that is expected to happensoon is that rural Post Offices (like mine) will offer limited opening hours and a normal service. Regards, Val

Comment by Sabrina S on April 25, 2020 at 6:07pm

I keep my fingers crossed they arrive at their destination, Ilya! 

Comment by Sabrina S on April 25, 2020 at 6:06pm

What an unpleasant situation you have, Valentine. Is there an option to buy stamps online and get them delieverd via mail system? I buy all my stamps online. 



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