Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Writing letters: The art of communicating the old fashioned way.

In a post last week I wrote about why I share what I do online, mainly because I'm looking for interaction, sadly I just don't get the response a lot of the time that I'm after. For me, communication is a two way process and a 'like' on facebook just doesn't cut it for me. Since Skype was blocked this year in the UAE, verbal communication has come to a halt, to be honest that was pretty much one way anyway and I don't think our land line rings more than twice a year, we randomly call it just to make sure it is working.

At 46, I'm of the generation that can't live without the internet, but I also know how to live and survive without it. I also have many relatives who don't use social media and being from the generation where I wrote thank you cards for birthday and Christmas presents, I love to write and receive letters and since leaving the UK 7 years ago this month, I've been corresponding with family and friends all over the world. I have pen pals from the world of twitter who I've never met but we write on a regular basis and some of these friendships have had me traveling for meet ups, with my furthest distance travelled to date being a 14 hour flight from Dubai to Toronto to stay with Catherine and her family, known as Always a Redhead.

My two oldest pen pals are an old school friend, Sharron and I keep a shoe box of her letters from when we were 11 and I moved away up until we stopped writing around the age of 19 when boyfriends, work and children came along, but we're still in touch on face book. My other pen pal is my Dad's cousin's daughter Carol and despite us being on face book, we still change physical Christmas cards every year.

The postal system is much improved since moving to Dubai from South Africa where sadly most letters rarely made it in or out, but you'd be surprised with a bit of determination what you could do and I value those people who made extreme efforts and at great costs to keep those avenues of communication open and in fact still do.

A friends mother once stuck a UK 2nd class stamp on a Christmas card and it arrived in South Africa within 5 days, a cousin in Australia addressed the envelope as below and it arrived in under 2 weeks.

31 Valley Crescent
Centurion
Africa

I have my favourite writing spot.

I have a variety of novelty pens.

I keep every letter written and a copy of every letter I send.

I walk to the post office in temps of 40c+ to get your letter or card to you.

I have a box full of note books, I use for blogging, pretty covers and inspirational quotes.

I have cards for every occasions and I have lots of paper.

I keep a record of birthdays, anniversaries and deaths and make sure cards and gifts get to people on time, even if it means leaving them in the UK with my mother months in advance. sadly this doesn't always work in reverse and it does upset. Too many excuses about lack of time, advance planning, the cost of postage and why bother if it's not going to get there.

But those who matter do make the effort, for which I am eternally grateful.

How about you? Do you like to receive post? Do you send letters and cards through the post? Do you have pen pals? Would you like another one?

Just drop me your address in a message on Social Media, I'm found under the name of Chickenruby on twitter, instagram and face book. I'd love to hear from you and add you to my address book.







34 comments:

  1. I think its lovely to receive post and still a great traditional way to communicate with each other and we should keep it alive! Loving your unicorn pen! #TriumphantTales

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    1. sadly it's more a one way system i have in place these days

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  2. I love the idea of letters, nothing better then sitting down, writing your heart out and reciving a letter with crosses outs and little doodles on them. Unfortunately, I suffer from RSI so writing for a long time hurts my wrists and if I take a break, I lose my trail of thought and the letter ends up being a bit rubbish!! Emails and social media messages work better for me as typing is faster than me writing and I can get most of my thoughts out even as a bullet point and go back to it later when my wrists get tired!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

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    1. too many people seem to think that just liking something is communicating, i think social media has made us all a bit lazy

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    2. popping back from #TriumphantTales again. Thank you for sharing this with us again at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

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    3. whoops, forgot I'd already linked up with this

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  3. I love a letter and a card. I'm always picking up cards when I see them - either to stash away for a birthday or ones that I know may come in handy for someone if they need some cheer. It's always lovely to receive too. I'm an advocate of the thank you note, particularly for my daughter. If she hasn't seen the person to thank, then I ensure she writes or calls. I used to have a pen pal yonks ago too, in America. That was back when it was all the rage but that fizzled out. We are all guilty of defaulting to online and mobile but sometimes a card reaches a chord that an email doesn't. Keep writing! Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond

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    1. oh i wouldn't mind if our telephone rang once in a while. if my mobile rings and I'm with Peter we both have a minor panic

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  4. I love our letter writing, and finding a letter in the mailbox is always exciting.

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    1. it sure is, your post card arrived today

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  5. Wow, I impressed with your filing system and your unicorn pen is hilarious! My dad kept a file of all my letters home when I went off to boarding school and uni which I didn't know about. My mum gave it to me after he died and it's so special to me now. I used to write to my grandmother too but she was the last of a generation who insisted on it and as you said, writing to South Africa is a bit hit and miss and it's where my family live so I rarely write anymore. Its a shame as I love to receive letters. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. that's lovely your dad kept your letters, my dad died last year and i found so much of 'my' things amongst his belongings he'd kept. I got post through from South Africa last week to Dubai sent in November

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  6. I'm not a big letter writer, but do my best to keep in touch with people on FB etc. We do sent letters and cards to family and friends who aren't there to thank them for things etc

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    1. I'm not sure my letter writing is any good but I do enjoy putting pen to paper

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  7. That is a very impressive filing system! I can't remember the last time I wrote or received a letter! I send cards on birthdays and have them all up on my calendar so I'm very good at remembering them. I send texts to friends telling them that I am thinking about them on the anniversary of a loved one's death. As you say, it means a lot to know that someone has remebered. Thanks for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. I must send at least 2 letters a week, can take anything between a week and a month to reach the UK, so i'll message on the actual date also

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  8. Like you Suzanne I love to receive a card or a letter and I am lucky that many of my friends are the same and we frequently exchange notes. Since getting involved with social media I am, however, also guilty of exchanging a lot of DM's but never at the expense of putting pen to paper. Your dedication and filing system is very impressive. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. I've sent a whole load of post out today from the UK and I arrived home to a pile also

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  9. The opposition draws forward the best among men and composing is no special case. Essay Help

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  10. Great website. Lots of information to Read. Great Man Keep Posting and update. Thanks.

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  11. I love "snail mail". Every Christmas I am one of the few who still sends a real card to my friends. #MMBC

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    1. I love sending xmas cards, although sadly I don't get as many back

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  12. I love that you and your school friend kept up your letter writing for so long. My husband and I used to write letters to each other on the long break between term end and september start and I have them all stashed in a box under the bed fully expecting huge guffaws from my boys one day when they're interested enough to ask to read them! I still love to get old fashioned post but these days it's only credit card statements and ebay purchases. I always make sure my son writes thank you cards after his birthday and while I remember this to be a real chore I want him to always love the process - he does so far as we use lovely paper, pens and stickers and he's allowed to express his thanks in whatever way he chooses. I do wonder how different life will be for him as a young adult - writing could well become a lost art form #keepingitreal

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    1. I do hope the postal system never ends, emails and fb messages are ok for an immediate response, but letter writing is so personal

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  13. This is very impressive! Good for you. It is a lost art! #keepingitreal
    tracy www.viewfromthebeachchair.com

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  14. Suzanne, I love your filing system! And I do so love a handwritten letter. Unfortunately, I keep up most of my correspondence by email (I'm not on Facebook, and if I were I would not consider that to be a way of corresponding). But I still break out the stationery and pen for special purposes, a letter of condolence, for example.

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    1. I used email when we were in South Africa as the postal system wasn't that reliable

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  15. There is nothing lovely then someone sending a pretty letter through the door X #keepingitreal

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    1. sadly I send out more than I receive

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  16. Hi Suzanne, again your post made me smile. I must say I am never overwhelmed by a 'card' someone sends through FB, it's too easy and really doesn't require much thought or effort plus if the person knew me they'd know I'm not a FBer. But to get a card or letter in the post does make my day. I swap letters with an old school friend of mine about once a year, which suits both of us and I do send cards through the post for special occasions. I really should do what you do and keep a selection of nice ones at home as I can't always find the 'perfect' card I am looking for. It is sad to see the decline of old fasioned contact via snail mail, good things are worth waiting for and it is the simple things in life that make us the happiest.

    Thank you for linkng up with #keepingitreal.

    xx

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    1. I've seen random bloggers jumping on the band wagon when letter writing is mentioned in the media, most people say they love to receive but are guilty of not giving back

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  17. Wow you are very organised. I agree with you that it's lovely to read handwritten messages from people rather than a bill #keepingitreal

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    1. I dont work and have no kids at home so keeping organised is very easy

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