In praise of letter writing

23 Mar

Last week was Eve’s birthday.  Which of course means a trip to pick up parcels from the post office, never my favourite job.  The bored postal worker hands me three packages held together with elastic: Eve King, Eve King, Victoria Wallop.  Victoria Wallop? I don’t recognise that writing.  Turn over, in the same script, the words ‘From Josie George‘.  It’s from Josie! Oh my goodness, it’s my Secret Post Club parcel, and it’s from Josie!

Standing in the middle of the busy pavement outside Asda, I rip open the jiffy bag, as excited as Eve will be later when she opens her packages.  I glimpse pink socks, a bar of Green and Blacks Almond and a Lonely Planet photography book.  Almost hidden, tucked alongside the book, is an envelope.  An envelope means a letter.  I’ll wait, read it later, when I get home.  You can’t rush a proper letter

I can’t wait.  I have to read it now.  So, getting in the way of hurrying shoppers, I open the letter.  And what a gorgeous letter it is too.  In her beautiful handwriting, Josie says many lovely things, things that make me smile, things that make the sun come out.

Later, I am still smiling.  I don’t often receive letters.  Emails, yes.  Texts, yes.  Cards, sometimes.  But letters, no.  I used to receive a lot of letters, when I was at boarding school.  And later, when I went travelling, my first stop in every city would be the poste restante office.  Receiving letters used to make my day, then, like now, I’d stop in the street, unable to contain my excitement at reading writing.  Scribbled notes, rambling stories, personality oozing out of every hand inked word.  An email’s nice, but it’s not the same.  A proper letter makes you feel loved.

The pink socks are gloriously cosy, the yummy chocolate was shared with a friend, the book is full of inspiration.  But without a doubt, the most precious thing in the parcel was the letter.  Thank you, Josie.

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16 Responses to “In praise of letter writing”

  1. newdaynewlesson 23/03/2010 at 3:11 pm #

    I love writing and getting letters. Miss out on it in this day and age of email.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 23/03/2010 at 3:16 pm #

      You can’t keep an email in a suitacase for your grandchildren to find in 50 years time can you?

  2. Laura 23/03/2010 at 3:11 pm #

    Ahhh, letters. I can’t remember the last time I got a proper letter. Probably about 10 years ago from my German penpal!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 23/03/2010 at 3:14 pm #

      Mostly I actually prefer typing, because my fingers can keep up with my thoughts, but receiving that letter reminded me how special it is.

  3. carolinesweetie 23/03/2010 at 3:14 pm #

    I agree, I love receiving a hand written letter. One of my friends sent me a Lamy Safari cartridge pen and I was surprised at how pleased I was, but I do write more letters now than I used to- because they mean so much more. The advent of all things technological have put a slow burn on the pleasures that are chatting on the phone/in cafes/ writing which is a shame. Bring it all back I say.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 23/03/2010 at 3:17 pm #

      It’s made me determined to try and write letters more often.

  4. Holly at Itsamummyslife 23/03/2010 at 3:24 pm #

    How lovely. Letters really are wonderful aren’t they.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 23/03/2010 at 8:45 pm #

      Yes they are 🙂

  5. Kelly 23/03/2010 at 3:41 pm #

    I’ve been writing letters to my Mum for the past few months and she occasionally sends me an odd card or article from the paper back. You are right though, her personality oozes out of every little word. I love them.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 23/03/2010 at 5:36 pm #

      We have a suitcase of my Granny’s letters. It’s wonderful to read them and try and imagine the lives of the people who wrote them.

  6. Josie @Sleep is for the Weak 23/03/2010 at 6:33 pm #

    I’m so glad you liked your letter 🙂

    That’s made my day xx

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 23/03/2010 at 7:20 pm #

      I’m glad I could return the favour.

  7. Mummy Mania 24/03/2010 at 10:24 pm #

    ah I’m with you on that one. Nothing beats a letter. They capture a time don’t they? Mum kept all my letters from my travels and its amazing to read the old me… like an old friend I’d almost forgotten.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 25/03/2010 at 12:49 pm #

      I wrote lots of letters when I went travelling as a teenager. I wonder if my mother still has them?

  8. Heather 31/03/2010 at 12:00 pm #

    oh i’ve come over all tearful, how wonderful!

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 01/04/2010 at 9:15 am #

      Thank you!

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