My little sister Sarah (aged 7) received a lovely card from her friend Ellie last week. Ellie moved to England at Christmas and Sarah was very sad. It’s hard to know what to say to a child in that situation – I daresay it was my bright idea to exchange addresses. Ellie seems to have learned joined up writing since she left! Sarah was very happy, and got to go to the bowling alley as promised by Ellie’s Mum.
(I think Ellie’s Granny still lives here so hopefully they will still see each other from time to time.) It is probably because the girls are too young to have mobile phones or email addresses that they have written to each other. It makes me glad. I hope for both their sakes they continue a correspondence, something for them both to work at, to look forward to, and a lovely way of keeping in touch.
Anyone who knows me will be rolling their eyes now at the inevitable, but I think there is a lot to be said about writing a letter. I actually ask people to write to me all the time, and so far only two people have taken me up on it. It’s just the best feeling getting a handwritten, personal letter. Bank statements and bills just aren’t the same at all. It’s a lost art, and I love the idea of love letters, and the fact that a letter is something you can keep forever, and read over when you are feeling sad – a comfort to people of days gone by who moved far away from home and had no other way to communicate…a way of making new friends, keeping old friends, to pass on news of births and deaths, engagements and marriages, funny stories, sad stories, words of comfort, love and words of home.
When participating in National Novel Writing Month last year, I took part in a postcard exchange and now have 10 postcards from Poland, Japan, Chicago, Australia, New York and other places stuck up in my Belfast bedroom.
Am I alone here or does everyone love a good piece of post?
Shall we bring back letters?