First unboxing post, ooo exciting! I doubt there will be a lot of these (unless I inexplicably begin to get much more interesting post than I have up until this point) so I don’t know how good I’ll be at it but … here goes nothing eh?
A couple of months ago I joined a few more book groups on Facebook as, I’m not sure about you guys but outside of my computer I don’t really have many bookish friends. I have maybe two friends that read and enjoy it casually but they just don’t get as excited about it like I do? Don’t get me wrong, talking about books with anyone is always fun and interesting but I wanted to widen my circle – one of the reasons behind this blog too! – hence, I took to Facebook.
I stumbled on a neat group called Reading Brings Us Together which is a large and very diverse book community of ladies all over the world and as well as discussions, buddy reads, author takeovers and more they also organise some truly awesome schemes and exchanges one of which is #RBUTAroundTheWorld.
The way it works is you sign up and draw a name and you have to send that person a box containing items that fulfill the following criteria:
- Criteria 1. A book by a local author or a book with a local setting. (Local to where you live. Your state or country).
- Criteria 2. A clothing item (shirt, slippers, hat, sweatpants) from a local sports or recreational team or school. Can also be an item from a local eatery or mom & pop shop (Hillbilly hot dog t-shirt, seafood eateries).
- Criteria 3. A magnet, sticker, keychain, trinket that represents something unique to your state or country.
- Criteria 4. Something made in your state by a local artisan (arts & crafts, food, candles. Can also be something that is made in your state (foods/brands that are locally made).
You can include more of course (and most people did) but those are the basic items that should be included. Now I loved this idea, books and learning about other people’s unique perspective on their city? Awesome! I’m also very proud of where I am from and the rich history there and wanted to share that with another.
What I Sent
I spent some time and so so much money (bank account cries) and put together my box, and shipped it off – for an exorbitant fee – from my little city Stoke-on-Trent to Arkansas, USA and my box included:
- The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett
Arnold Bennett was an English writer from Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent now the ‘capital’ of the city. He was born 27 May 1867 and died 27 March 1931.
- Taunting the Dead by Mel Sherratt
Mel Sherratt is a grit-lit writer born and raised in Abbey Hulton and I actually have to drive past her house on the way to my best friend’s place which is kind of surreal.
- Stoke City Football Club Fluffy Socks
Stoke City FC is a football club based in Stoke, established in 1863 they are the second oldest professional football club in the world.
- Corgi CS90618 Showcase Supermarine Spitfire Model
The Supermarine Spitfire was designed by Reginald Joseph Mitchell (born in Stoke-on-Trent) in 1928 and were one of the main planes flown by the RAF in World War 2. Generally tasked with engaging with the Luftwaffe, the Spitfire was integral in the Battle of Britain.
- Hudson & Middleton Teacup
Hudson & Middleton Ltd was established in 1941 through the merging of two businesses trading as ‘William Hudson & Co’ and ‘J. H. Middleton & Co.’ and was based in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. The factory only closed last year – to the dismay of its 25 remaining employees. Hudson & Middleton is not the most famous pottery manufacturer to originate from Stoke-on-Trent but I rather liked the locality as their factory was around the corner from the shoe shop that gave me my second job.
- Walkers Nonsuch Toffee Slab
Also from Longton, Walker’s Nonsuch is one of Britain’s oldest makers of traditional toffee and it’s a personal favourite of mine! The business started from just a small sweet shop run by Edward Joseph Walker, a former potter, and his sister Florence in the late 1800s, the business is still going today run with the help of the 5th generation of Walkers. I adore this as a treat, I used to buy small bars from the post office on my way home from school when I was small.
- Cottage Delight Jam, Chutney & Marmalade
Cottage Delight is a family business that started in 1974 in Leek, (which is sort of in Stoke, but only for postal reasons) making and selling specialty foods and produce such as cakes, sweet, bread jams and everything else you can put in a jar. All these products are handmade either here in Staffordshire, or sourced from other artisan producers across the UK and Europe.
- Life, on VHS by Merrym’n and 2 Merrym’n Button Badges
Merrym’n is a local singer/songwriter who sings extremely catchy tunes about Stoke itself and its rich history, especially on this album so I thought including it was just the perfect way to complete the box! One of the button badges has a picture of a bottle kiln on it, used for making pottery and the other has a classic ‘Stokie’ phrase used in one of Merrym’n’s songs: ‘Ay Up, Ow At, Orate?’.
She seemed to like the items and posted her appreciation in the group which was nice!
What I Received
Amazing exchange, no? What do you think? Do you have any overseas bookish friends you could do this with? Let me know!
Until next time!