Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Letters Love, Love letters?

My laptop's back from the hospital. I don't know her any more. She's working, firstly, which is weird. She's still got the squeaky, sticking keys (forgot to ask about them), she's got a new internet browser, and none of the programmes I installed on her.
She's a clean slate. A sticky clean slate.
I haven't had her in over 6 months. I've been blogging and Facebooking on my husband's mac, which he was not impressed with. I took over his ipod touch for a while, but it was too fiddly.
I don't have a smart phone. If I was given one tomorrow I wouldn't use it. Bring back pens and paper I say. Though even I have problems reading my own handwriting.

We watched Harry Potter 2 the other night, Dobby gives him a stack of letters his friends wrote him over the summer. That's gone now.
I have hundreds of letters, from my teenage years, my times living abroad, full of news and gossip written by family and friends. In their handwriting, on their pages. You'd know instantly who it was from from the handwriting on the envelope. You could tell if they were in a rush, or trying hard to write neatly, the writing getting scattier towards the end of the letter. Sketches, a kiss, all enclosed and meaning so much to the recipient.
And love letters...
Are they gone now? I have all the love letters from all the boys, and men, who loved me. I'm already nostalgic about them, think how much better it will be when I'm a grandmother, perhaps a widow, to read those words of love and remember...
Do the young lovers of today have this? Is there an underground movement of letter-writers, inkwells, fountain pens, quills even? Sealing with wax / SWALK? "Kiss here" and a circle to put your lips to? The scent of the writer, the spritz of their perfume / aftershave, what can compare with this?
Waiting for the letter to arrive... none today, so the excruciating wait for tomorrow. The excitement and joy as you run to a private place to read, cry, laugh. A physical token of love from a beloved.

Of course the news was always days old, perhaps already gleaned by a phonecall, but it was the signing off that was important. The pet names, the plans for the next reunion, the kiss, and the PS and PPS which were sometimes better than the letter itself.

Are they a thing of the past? Anyone under 30 out there, do you write them / receive them?
Niamh x


  1. I'm 24 and I used to write letters all of the time as a child, and even as a teenager, sadly though i think your right, letter writing is dead and gone for all of the younger generations.

    That's sad isn't it? What a loss to the world!

  2. I am.....over 30 so I can't answer your question but I miss letters too, especially scented fancy paper.

  3. I also have a little box with all the love letters I ever received as a teen and early 20's. My mum has it stored away but coincidently she asked last week if I'd like her to bring it next time she's over (I used to live in Canada and she's still there). I said YES! Partly out of fear that she's only asking because it's about to be put in a bin bag, but also because it will be a nice confidence lift to read them over when I'm having a Frumpy Mum day.
    I moved here 12 years ago and my friends and I wrote proper letters to each other even then but emails took over after about a year.
    I still always write thank you letters for bday & xmas presents, dinners with friends, and for anything that someone has done that's a bit over and beyond. I write them for my boys now, but as soon as they start learning to write I'll make sure they do their own. I heard on the radio about a year ago that the thank you letter has died out - not in our house it hasn't!!

  4. PS, I'm over 30. Damn.


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