When was the last time you wrote a letter? I mean, a real letter on paper. With a pen. Not an email.
Although, even emails are becoming rare. People don’t seem to be able to write anymore.
If you know anything about me, you’ll probably know how much I resist new technology.
Specifically smart phones and all the apps – “to make life easier” – that come with them.
I learnt recently that when people need to take notes these days, they open an app in their phones.
They don’t grab a notebook or a piece of paper and a pen anymore.
You won’t be surprised to learn that all my notes and “to-do” lists are written on paper. My “to-do” list is on my desk where I can see it. I add to it as necessary, and get great pleasure from picking up a pen and drawing a line through the things I’ve completed.
When I was 12 years old I got a penpal. She’s from Japan. I know, it’s so easy to connect with people from all over the world these days, but in 1979 it wasn’t so common.
How I loved getting her letters! Exotic handwriting, tucked inside an envelope with an exotic stamp stuck in the top right hand corner.
We took turns writing to each other. I would rush home from school to check if the mailman had left me a letter from Japan.
Sometimes she drew me a picture, and, less often, there would be a photo of her inside the envelope with the letter.
I used to carefully draft my replies to her on paper from my school books. I can’t remember what I used to write about, but probably stuff about my family and school.
When I was happy with the draft, I would write it all again in my best handwriting, on beautiful paper I had especially for writing letters. Do you remember this? Sometimes I got some as a present at Christmas from people who knew I liked to write letters. Sometimes I went to the shop and spent a long time choosing which writing paper to buy – there was so much choice back then!
My Japanese friend and I still keep in touch, but these days it’s by email. It’s not the same. I haven’t seen her handwriting for more than 10 years. Now, it’s just text on a screen.
I still remember her address – she has never moved in all the time I’ve known her. If I sent her a letter today I’d be able to address the envelope without checking it. I wrote real letters to her for more than 25 years – I think I’ll always know her address.
I miss writing letters. She wasn’t the only penpal I had, but she’s the one I’ve had the longest. Maybe I should surprise her and send her a real letter.
When was the last time you put pen to paper?