In this day and age of technology, everything is instantaneous. Messages can be sent to the other side of the world, received, read and replied to, in less time than it takes to boil a kettle.
Whilst this is great when you want to know information immediately, or need an answer to a time-sensitive question, it does mean that we have forgotten how to actually communicate.
Letter writing has become a thing of the past. Phone calls have declined, due to texting. Language skills have been lost when using acronyms, text speak and emoticons.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing technology. I am one of the worst when it comes to being permanently attached to my phone, tablet or PC.
Social media is a massive part of my life, as is texting and blogging. I love the fact that I can post things, and have someone in another country read it, or comment.
This obviously does have its downsides. Unwanted advances or the ever present “dick pics” are a problem that most bloggers or social media users are used to. These are neither wanted nor needed. But they exist and as a user of all kinds of social media, one I am all too familiar with.
The internet truly is an amazing place, where I can find information, answers, shop, learn, listen to music or even read my favourite books. I certainly don’t think I could live without it.
Ironically it is through this media that I have re-learnt the lost art of letter writing. I am in several groups on facebook, and have mentioned the 40s and 50s most marvellous group a few times.
Several months ago I put my name down for a pen-pal. I haven’t had a proper pen-pal since those days of senior school where you were give a french friend to converse with.
I have to admit, that wasn’t an overly successful experiment, and I have never written to a stranger since.
I was intrigued by the thought of chatting with someone interested in similar things to myself, and relearning how to write a proper letter. Before I knew it, I had 3 pen-pals, all based in the UK. I also started writing to my lovely sister in law who is living in South Korea at the moment.
We have now been writing for several months, getting letters every couple of weeks. And it is glorious!
My three lovely ladies, Beverly, Denise and Esther are a delight. We chat about our lives, families and vintage loves. We talk about the adventures we have had, meetings that we have attended and general chit chat.
Beverly and I even went on to share a hotel room at the Most Marvellous Winter Ball last November – View my adventure here
It really has been a lovely experience. I have always been mad about pretty stationery, especially fountain pens. I’ve always used them, but less so in recent years. However, I now have different paper sets for each of my pen-pals, a beautiful deep blue fountain pen and even coloured inks.
I love getting ready to write my letters. Sat at a proper table or my desk, a fresh cup of Earl Grey, and some light music in the background. Getting the right paper, and putting my words down. Working out what to relate in my letters. It is not a quick process at all.
Writing my letters give me great pleasure, and this is only superceded by the receiving of a letter from one of my pals. Seeing a pretty envelope on the doormat is always a highlight of my day, and I love reading what these ladies have to say.
This past two weeks I find myself with another two pen-pals. Another in the UK, and my first abroad, in North Dakota USA.
I’ve already had my first letter from my new UK pen-pal, and just yesterday a letter arrived from Jen in the USA!
It has become something I love to do, and introduced me to a whole new set of “friends” I look forward to the day that we can actually meet up for a cup of tea and a slice of cake, although that might be a bit tricky for my new friend in North Dakota!
Do you write letters? How do you feel about having a pen-pal? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Till next time,