I’ll be the first to admit that I was always rubbish at writing letters. I have also not been good at getting my son to write thank you letters, but there’s still time.

That doesn’t take away from the fact that it used to be lovely to receive letters even if you found writing letters to be a bit of a chore. Carrying around something which someone you cared about who might be a long way off had touched and pored over as they were trying to find the words to say whatever they were saying somehow has more meaning than electronic communications. Where the content was emotional you could see this reflected in the handwriting. Where it was difficult to express, you could see this in the crossings out and correction fluid marks. Or, as the sender, the wastepaper basket filled with abandoned drafts. Track Changes in Word may make its own modern palimpsests, but they are a pale imitation.

Who goes back and reads their emails of a decade ago? Who still has last year’s SMS texts or voicemails. Who will review last weeks tweets? Who wouldn’t be intrigued to read a neat pile of love letters from their grandparents’ courtship?


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