OPINION: Whoever takes the time to commit print to paper has a fan in me.
I can flick off radio ads and have no compunction about turning telly talk down.
But whatever comes to me printed on paper gets a hearing - as it were.
Without a junk mail prohibition, our letter box welcomes in a lot and although big supermarket pictures of a packet of Weet-Bix and a lump of silverside don't attract me, more detailed offerings do.
I think the detail printing in a Briscoes brochure amazing: a serving spoon, slotted or slatted, in two different sizes and designs with original price and sale price, illustrated in colour - all that in a big stamp-size square and many more around it.
It is not that I'd necessarily track down a purchase, pretty resolutely visiting a supermarket on the left when going into town and another on the left coming home, so that the advertised specials are only mine sometimes.
But I do like the effort that goes into an H&J Smith brochure which comes enveloped so's not to be overlooked and generally talks of something seasonally appealing like merino underthings now and sunscreen - when?
But best of all are catalogues which delight as much as a gift.
Last Christmas I was lucky to get a present bought at the Victoria and Albert museum shop and the wrapping included a catalogue of its many beautiful offerings, items made using designs or ideas from the past like jet or amber beads, a Victorian delight or fabrics which feature feather printings and tiny little embroidered purses - all sorts of things copied but done differently.
While I was thinking, hard to find something original here, an email photo arrived of my 5-year- old great niece wearing the birthday fairy dress I had sent, made by Margaret, a neighbouring skilled craftswoman for a few dollars.
You don't have to live in the heart of a great metropolis or shop at named addresses.
Sometimes you can be lucky and find just what you want close to home.
Read the ads, the liftouts, the catalogues.
Costs nothing and it's all there.
- The Southland Times