There is something lovely these days about receiving a letter, written to you with social purpose, and not because you need to pay a bill. Remember the days when you’d receive letter-writing packs for Christmas?
Back before email and text and keyboards. Back when handwriting was practiced continually because there was no other format unless you clunked away on a typewriter.
I used to adore writing letters to my friends when I was a child. We would pop stickers all over them, too – puffy stickers, scented stickers, full-on 1980s’ stickers. And the excitement when the postman came was overwhelming.
Especially as there was also the second post to look forwards to if the first revealed nothing in a patterned, scented envelope and you had to hang on that bit longer.
There is an extreme satisfaction to opening a letter and sitting down to carefully read the news of your friend or loved-one.
These days however, the lost-art of letter writing is slipping further into the pre-1990s past. For many years my children used to write thank-you letters and cards for any gifts that they received but these days they are at an age where they don’t even bother with Christmas cards to their friends.
There is more care and effort in a letter, which is probably another contributory factor as to why our ever-lazier society has more or less done away with them.
Having to sit down and keep your writing neat, think of what to say, buy stamps, get to a post-box and so on, requires far more attention than banging out a Facebook status or texting someone.
I recently received a letter from a reader about a column that I had written regarding neighbours.
I am very fortunate to live surrounded by friendly folk whom I have known for years, but I had written about the eyes-down approach of many neighbourhoods these days.
Sadly the second page of the letter was missing from the envelope and therefore anonymous, but I’d like to say a huge thank you to whoever took that time and effort. It was much appreciated.
Bin the electronic devices for a week and you won’t regret it
Having just returned from holiday, where we had a digital detox, I am still in a bubble of ‘what day is it?’ Not being tied to a phone is an incredible experience and makes me reflect on the differences between my upbringing and that of my children.
When we go away, the kids aren’t allowed devices either and they adjust to this within a matter of hours. They interact more with one another, engage in activities that require imagination and which generally benefit their entire development, from the emotional to the physical.
There are times and places for screens and electronic games, and these days we need to make times and places for interaction. You never regret it when you do.
Thank you to whoever came up with the idea of holidays
There is nothing quite so delicious as being on holiday. Except, perhaps, a Sunday night when you are on holiday and are in possession of the knowledge that there is no need for a Monday morning alarm. Heaven.
Get stuffed snooze button, shut up phone, leave me alone working world.
The holiday is a marvellous thing. Who invented the holiday, I wonder? When did it become the norm to take a break and get away from it all? Just a break from your daily routine. A change from the 24/7 of your world.
Choosing what to do with your time is a luxury when you consider how many hours there are in a year, and how many of them are spent dutifully.