Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Going backwards (in a good way)

Mr H. and I have a history of letter writing: when we first met we lived 100 miles apart - he in the Cotswolds and I here in the New Forest.   This was in 1986 so we had no mobile phones or e-mail, and phone calls had to be limited because of cost. We wrote to each other constantly, we would write a letter over two or three days, post it and immediately start the next one. My letters ended up being covered with pictures which I stuck on the envelope, it's a wonder the postman found the address!  Letter writing is the only real way to bare your soul in a way you can't on the phone or face to face; we told each other everything, and got to know each other better than most 20 year olds did.

Fast forward to 2008 and Mr H. moved to Scotland for a year to do his degree placement; there was no question that we would revert to letter-writing, and the same now there he is again. I wait for the postman to come so I can rush and see if there is a letter from him, and I have developed a dislike of Sundays and Bank Holidays!

This is my (Cath Kidston!) writing box which I carry around, containing paper & envelopes, favourite pens, stamps and address book.  There was never any suggestion that Mr H. and I would change to e-mailing now that we have the technology; there is no way that could compete for our literary affections.  I actively dislike writing chatty e-mails to people now; it is fine for business, or a two-liner message, or to send a photo or document to someone, but not as a replacement for a letter. And the same goes for texts.  

I have two e-mails in my inbox which require reply and I am putting off doing it; once it has started by e-mail it is hard to switch.  Also of these two one is in New Zealand and the other is away on a cruise - so not so easy as just popping a letter in the post with a UK stamp.

Over the last couple of months my mother-in-law and sister-in-law have started writing me amusing and entertaining cards and letters, which I love. I find it so exciting to receive something hand-written; last week I wrote individual letters to my sister and her 4 children, she said they were overjoyed to get something in the post.

Right, I must go as I have a letter to Mr H. to finish, so that my friend can post it for me this afternoon!


  1. Unfortunately I never mastered the art of letter writing, in fact I'd go so far as to say I've a bit of a phobia. My hand writing is terrible, and I love beautiful handwriting,I think it says so much about the person, so I hate to expose myself with my chaotic childish scribbles.
    It is so romantic to get a handwritten letter from your lover in this day and age of tecno.
    good on ye, love birds:)

  2. My writing isn't as neat as I'd like - my brain goes too fast and my hand tries to keep up ;-) No matter how I try to slow it down it just won't. And I end up missing out letters or joining two words into one sometimes. I know what you mean about feeling exposed; typing is so impersonal, no-one can see the Real You.

    It is romantic, and we also keep them all - maybe one of the younger generation will find them interesting or funny one day ;-)


  3. I think that it's wonderful that you write to each other! I've always been a terrible letter writer...but I do send little gifts or a card or a photo to friend in the post if I spot something that I think they will love or will make them laugh!

    C x


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