Letterloves is big five this week and with this birthday I have been getting a nesting feeling, not like having a baby or a litter of kittens which I would very much like one day -the litter of kittens that is, but one of cleaning incessantly and sorting out the many letters I've accumulated in boxes. I have lost a lot of letters and notes over time from my childhood pen pals and letters that I had from school. I wish I had kept some of them and been more careful when moving so I could now read what was so upsetting for 14 year old me to write a letter to my friend about the day's events in textiles class. My old school friend Emma still has letters that we wrote to each from this time and if I manage to get up to Scotland to visit her this year then I am hoping she will let me see them. Part of me wants to see why a person said this about that person and what really did happen at the 1995 Valentines disco.
I've stored a lot of letters in the loft as I've run out of room, but most from my oldest and current pen pals have now been put into order. I will share more of them over time as I have been going over the top thinking about building shelving units with compartments like a proper post office. I still can't talk about the lost post office cupboard of 2013 that I didn't buy that had 52 compartments and a secret cupboard all for letter storage. I think of you fondly and wish you all the best.
I have been reading through a few of these letters mainly from when I first started writing again and it is so nice to see how you were, where you were up to in your life and things you were doing. I met Jamie through the LWA and we have been smitten ever since. I have every single letter and postcard from October 2011 onward when she first wrote to tell me about her love for the sea, the stars and cats. She finished her first letter to me with a Jeanette Winterson quote and I was in love.
I met Beth through Flickr as I loved her pictures. We bonded over fairy lights, tea and our mutual affection for light, shadow, September and chatting like wise old owls about the importance of resting and going outside just for five minutes. Baby William and a lot of life later and we are still basing our years around cardigans, the optimum temperature we can wear our tights again and September afternoons.
I met Kat through Postcrossing. I emailed her asking if she would like us to write to each other and I didn't think for a minute she would reply as she was the coolest. She did and our mutual love for The Smiths, roadside oddities, Nick Cave, strange postcards of a man called Joshua as well as a whole new country move and New Zealand's new prime penny collector- Penny Club Overseas Division Manager, we are golden.
I have lost some pen pals over the years through different things, it didn't work, life etc and that's just the way it is.
I still find it difficult to explain to people when they ask about what you do and I say 'oh I take pictures, write letters and stuff' I'm always met with a funny face 'oh like pen pals, like kids have?' Yes like that. The whole writing letters thing has never gone away and it is not a new thing either. There are so many people who write all over the world who have clubs, societies and meetups all the time and have done so for years.
I've written letters now for over 25 years and I intend to carry on, it is not a stopping kind of thing, you just do it as without it you might never remember what really did happen at the Valentines disco.
Nice places to visit;