Thanks to the internet, it’s been relatively easy for me to keep in contact with family and friends back in Australia. Emails, wifi text messaging apps and video chats make the distance between Adam, myself and our loved ones ‘down under’ seem minimal. For a couple of members of my family though, this sort of communication just doesn’t work. My grandparents aren’t online, so my grandmother and I have taken to exchanging handwritten letters.
It started out with Christmas cards, then thank-you notes and naturally progressed into a little written update on life every month or so.
Most of the letters I receive in the post are either bills, or standard letters from the bank, National Health Service or the local council. To receive a handwritten note, that someone has taken the time to sit down and complete is lovely.
I take great joy in the ritual of writing a letter. I try to find a special card or pretty paper, make myself a cup of tea and go to a nice quiet place to sit and mull over what anecdotes and news I’ll share. I know my letter will reach my grandparents within a few weeks, but I often think about when my grandfather was a boy and emigrated from England to Australia – the letters his family sent back to England probably took months to arrive.
In most of the National Trust properties Adam and I have visited over the last few months, there has always been a ‘morning room’ – usually on the east side of the house to catch the early rays of sunlight. There, a big desk will sit beneath a large window overlooking the garden. A special place where correspondence could be sent and received. The modern day ‘home office’ has probably replaced the ‘morning room’, but I think having a special place where you can sit and write should still be a part of every home.
Do you write to any friends or family? Is it something you do out of necessity or do you just prefer communicating the old fashioned way?