Thursday, 10 March 2011

NaBloPoMo - Day 9 - Letters

In times past we used to get two daily postal deliveries, nowadays I barely get one delivery. The art of writing a letter has gone, vanished, a casualty of the modern age of emails, blogs, texts, tweets and Face Book.

In my study I have a collection of letters written to me by my late Grandmother. I have also a collection of letters written by the wife of my deceased cousin. In those letters, she shared with me a host of things, snippets of her family and domestic life and asked questions about mine. I also have other letters which I have kept and treasure.

Do we though, keep emails in the same way? I print off any particular genealogical email that I want to keep, but the typed word feels completely different to that written by the pen. I don't know why, it just does, perhaps it is a psychological thought of handwritten letters being more personal?

I read somewhere a few months ago of a lad who was aged 16. He had never written a letter. You know the sort of letter that involves and envelope and stamp and a favourite pen. I remember being amazed at this. When I was a child my task on boxing day was to sit and hand write letters of thanks for my Christmas presents. I don't know if any of those letters survive the estates of my late relatives. So perhaps this lad simply tweets his thanks or maybe sends a text?

I have a favourite pen, well actually I have two. The first one is a silver Parker pen which has my initials and surname engraved on the side. This was a present from my Grandmother when I finished my professional training in the early 1990s. The second is my trusty fountain pen, a present from my Mum in the mid 1990s. I usually sit and use the fountain pen when I write my Christmas cards.


  1. It was always a pleasure to receive hand written letters from friends or relatives.

    These days it is only bills.

    We are lucky if we get our post by lunchtime and it doesnt seem to be daily.

    We are more of a throw away society these days because everything is so instant.

    YOu got me thinking. I do sometimes get love texts from my partner (shh I didnt tell anyone), but they are gone after a while. Nothing there to keep in a memory box and read later over and over again.

    I do love books based around letters. 84 Charing Cross comes to mind.


  2. 84 Charing Cross is my favourite, along with other Helene Hanff books.


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