I wonder how much longer we will see these around? I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter on paper and posted it. I do still send birthday cards and the occasional post card. Less and less I send ‘hard copy’ greetings at Christmas and New Year. How times have changed since the first email I sent in the early nineties. How my writing has changed over the years.
In recent years my writing is on a computer most of the time, but I still love the luxury of sitting and writing in a leather bound notebook with my beautiful Mont Blanc pen that I received as a present many years ago. The feel of the crisp new pages, the scratchy sound as the pen moves across the page and the irregularity of the hand-printed words depending on my moods and time.
Sometimes I write in tiny notebooks when a thought occurs to me while sitting in a cafe and people watching, other times I’ll scramble around to find a scrap of paper, an old parking ticket or bill, to write down something I’ve heard on the radio while I was driving and desperate to keep the thought before it’s lost in my next interaction or activity. These notebooks and scraps of paper, the collection of thoughts and ideas over the years, I treasure for their spontaneity, individuality and personality.
Although much of their content is now transcribed to computer, they hold a subtext and memories that stop me from abandoning them to the rubbish. There’s the hardback notebook with the cats on the cover from when I made my first tentative steps into writing. I had no idea whether it was to be ‘Life Writing’ or ‘Fiction’. Then the green-patterned cover was a more recent one and part of it is filled with notes from a job, when I must have had no other paper available. The large student book was from when I was well into a novel, but regularly meeting up with a writers group . My latest notebook is red leather, although the pages inside don’t live up to the promise of the cover. When I delve deeper under the pile of notebooks I find a cluster of envelopes. Letters on airmail paper, foreign stamps. I tenderly open one. It’s one of the letters that my parents kept on my first job overseas and more recently passed on to me. I wrote to them in blue fountain pen. The pages are brittle. It smells musty. But it’s priceless.
I hope we never stop writing letters and I vow to write one again soon.
Post Box England