Friday, July 18, 2008

Whatever Happened To 'The Letter' (and Penpals)?

After reading what I think has easily been on of my favourite books this year ‘The Mitford’s Letters Between Six Sisters’ (which you can see a review of, and many others, on my book blog it left me wondering if there were six sisters going through the same things what would be left, maybe a book of texts or a book of emails? I miss the letter, where has it gone? I also watched the fabulous Bette Davis film ‘The Letter’ today so that’s another reason that I think this has been strong in my mind, you wouldn’t get the same story line if it was ‘The Text’.

When I was about 17 a friend Barry and myself used to write each other twice a week and these weren’t just notes these were eight or nine sides of A4. I look back at them and squirm because I was 16, thought I knew it all and was so adult, I had left home (run away) the summer before and so was a turmoil of hormones, coming out, the works. I also did this with several other friends and these letters are really dear to me. (I have started to talk more like a Mitford, it was an addictive world).

Then of course there were the 'penpals' at school. Did everyone have those, we had a school from Marlboro in America which our head teacher thought was very clever as we were in Marlborough Wiltshire. Mine was called Ruth and looked like a man... I shall say no more. It was a pleasant relationship the 6 months it lasted, sadly we werent very interested in each other (I think same sex would have been more out ideal pen pal) unlike Matthew one of the French Exchange students I had a fabulous few months with and wrote to for five years before he threatened to come over and live here! No thanks! He wasnt even my exchange student, he was a classmates.

Looking back its cringe worthy but its part of my past and I am so glad that I still have those. I also really looked forward to those letters, sometimes waiting at the window for the postman; doesn’t that sound fabulously Jane Austen? It’s true though, now the only thing I wait for in the post is the latest book I’ve swapped on or DVD from The only other post I get is junk mails, bills or statements.

Also I know the state of Royal Mail has declined somewhat but then when people are hardly using it and spending money on it how can we begrudge that, actually we can but you know what I mean, and then people are also in uproar that its likely Saturday post will be cancelled in the future. I blame the telephone, which I am a fan of as I spend several hours a week on it to family as they aren’t really into emailing and sadly seem to have lost the will to write; when I was younger I used to get loads of letters from them.

So as they say that friends are the family you choose to have, I am sending out a plea to my blog friends… lets start writing letters, seriously. I am being 100% genuine; I would love to have a legacy of letters to leave for my family. They’ll probably want rid of them but as long as they recycle them that’s fine. You never know though they may find them of historical (or hysterical) value one day. So if you’re up for it, drop me a message! I thank you.

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