Sunday, 20 July 2008

The Art of receiving an email or letter!

Which is better to receive a letter or an email?

Have we lost the art of writing?

Are we wasting too much time online, writing unnecessary emails (not to mention blogs, I said not to mention...) and less time with pen and paper writing a meaningful letter?

I often hear older family members and friends talking about this generation losing the Art of the Letter writing. So when I opened a hand written small white envelope yesterday morning, (not a brown envelope or a generic 'to the householder missive' or one with cheap pen inside,) it made me think how I used to really enjoy receiving letters.

I used to go through my own little ritual when this rare commodity arrived on my doormat. This would involve placing the letter unopened on the kitchen table, then I would go about making a cuppa. Prolonging the time until I opened the little treasure, by boiling the kettle, heating the pot and then again for luck. Spending time ruminating about the length, the tone and the content of the letter. I would try and extend the time further until I got to the letter and bring time worn and by now reliable avoidance techniques into play (which I still employ when my open uni' essays are about due). After even more circuitous behaviour, I would sit with a tray of tea and biscuits (by which I probably mean chocolate) and enjoy the letter opening, the unfolding and the reading of! (I'm not supposed to end a sentence with of - am I?)

In recent years with the popularity of and how commonplace the internet now is in our lives, the receipt of letters has dwindled to but one from my mother. Then she went, at the age of 72 or so and connected her computer, that goes by the name of Paco, to the internet. There were promises banded about that we would still keep writing to each other, but it was in vain! Now we get snippy if we haven't exchanged emails every few days. In fact I'm wondering if texts are replacing our emails, but I dont think so, even my kids couldn't live with just texts.

I still do write thank you letters and the like by hand and l'm an obsessive list maker, (are there any women that aren't? ) I'll let you into a secret, when l get emails that look long and chatty from family and friends (or even my phone service provider) and if home alone, I print off the email and go through my little reading ritual, it is just as enjoyable.

Surely keeping in contact and the communication flowing is the important thing here. I think there is more contact not less, its just different.

LOL! Unfortunately the letter this morning, was a bill! Beware white handwritten envelopes, they may not be all that they seem!


  1. I still write thank you letters by hand, I think it's worth the effort. Although I like e-mailing my friends who live abroad as I can type faster than I can write and they receive it faster.

    btw award over at my place for you

  2. my typing is awful, youve probably noticed, if my thumb is too near the laptop mousey thingy, my cursor moves all over the show...

    an award..whats that for then?

    sounds very interesting?

    sara x

  3. Hello there! Thanks for the visit, am enjoying your blog and will be back. I love receiving hand written letters and cards and have kept every letter ever sent to me - not, I hasten to add, in my house, my sainted parents have got them all in their loft, funny how I never have time to sort them out!

  4. I feel the same about getting letters as I do about recieving e-mail! I get just as excited.
    (I do miss getting my OU TMAs back in the post though!)

  5. Hello! I enjoyed your rant over at Suburbia's place. Did you feel better for such venting?

    I enjoy hand writing a letter now and again and my last few missives have winged there way to Ireland. It is equally thrilling to get one back because you know someone made the effort and was thinking about you. Ideal.

  6. Surely we should see these lists?
    Millenium Mum's lists are great...
    I too print off long emails and read them in a comfy place with a hot cup of tea.

  7. Dear Frog - you might open most amazing floodgates if you ask for lists to go public........ can your field cope with the consequences ? (Adds 'wellingtons' to list......and 'paper boatmaking instuctions' - well gotta use all these letters for something, can't publish or boat-make from lists cos I threw them away, and Frog's field would look fantastic hosting a paper boat regatta.........)

  8. My lists would appear banal to anyone else...

    these 50/100 things about me are utterly compelling....they are really fascinating...

    its finding them...

    any good ones l should be reading...??


Thanks for stopping by!

Take the weight of your feet, draw up a chair and pour yourself a cuppa. Leave your troubles at the door and together we shall ride out the storms.
I will walk a while in your shoes...

Saz x

just dropped by... visit Mum's blog and to say Hi to a few friends... I hope you know, you are all never very far from my thoughts. Many of whom I...