Author Topic: Writing letters  (Read 2737 times)

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Writing letters
« on: 01 November, 2020, 01:19:31 am »
Does anyone else do this? I mean by using a proper fountain pen, decent quality paper etc? Given that communication now is so very easy using immediate electronic means, I consider handwriting/letter-writing is now an art form, according to the Wildean definition of art.

I've just written a real letter to my daughter in Melbourne, whose birthday it will be in 10 days' time. Ironically, I used the Post Office website to print an address label, rather than buy stamps, which would involve going to a post office. We bunged the letter and a card in an envelope and spent £2.55 to get it there.
Bach without a doubt.

TheLurker

  • Goes well with magnolia.
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #1 on: 01 November, 2020, 07:53:38 am »
Quote from: Wowbagger
Does anyone else do this? I mean by using a proper fountain pen, decent quality paper etc?
Yes, but not often. 
Τα πιο όμορφα ταξίδια γίνονται με τις δικές μας δυνάμεις - Φίλοι του Ποδήλατου

Re: Writing letters
« Reply #2 on: 01 November, 2020, 08:26:34 am »
Very rarely, and yes to the fountain pen.

On behalf of a club, I wanted to thank a small business.  I did this by hand written letter on club headed notepaper.  I felt it was much better than an email for that purpose.

Re: Writing letters
« Reply #3 on: 01 November, 2020, 08:34:59 am »
Not so much letters, but birthday cards I write with a fountain pen.

T42

  • *** fool in a hurry
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #4 on: 01 November, 2020, 08:52:25 am »
Used to enjoy writing and have a small collection of fountain pens, but diabetes and/or cycling has done for my fine finger control and my writing has gone to hell.  These days I hardly even know what my signature is going to look like before signing something.
I've dusted all those old bottles and set them up straight.

Re: Writing letters
« Reply #5 on: 01 November, 2020, 10:06:45 am »
Yes. I just haven't had cause to for quite some time.

Somewhere in the haphazard agglomeration of stuff that is an attic, there is the evidence of two extended correspondence events, in the shape of several hundred letters received. I've just wished the author of one set a happy birthday by email, 30 years after the last letter.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #6 on: 01 November, 2020, 11:07:33 am »

Yes to letters, no to fountain pen.

I also do postcrossing, as it's a nice way of getting post that isn't a bloody bill...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: Writing letters
« Reply #7 on: 01 November, 2020, 11:17:32 am »
Problem is that fountain pens tend to gum up through infrequent use.

Re: Writing letters
« Reply #8 on: 01 November, 2020, 12:20:59 pm »
I've a Mont Blanc that I'd not used for at least 20 years.
I rang the Mont Blanc shop to book it in for a service. When I told the guy why I wanted it serviced, he said 'run it under warm water'.
I did, and it has been working fine ever since.

Re: Writing letters
« Reply #9 on: 01 November, 2020, 12:28:50 pm »
Very rarely these days, and mostly with Christmas cards. My handwriting never used to be very good but now I have to take my time to make it legible. Nothing to do with arthritis or anything like that, just lack of practice.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #10 on: 01 November, 2020, 12:35:19 pm »
I agree about lack of practice.

I realised yesterday that, although I have never consciously collected fountain pens, I have accumulated a fair few. I only recall buying two of them. Most of the rest are basic Parkers (there's one Sheaffer which I think used to belong to my dad and must be at least 50 years old) which probably found their way into my possession when pupils at the school I taught at from 1975-1981 left them in my classroom and they spent a long time in the drawer of my desk awaiting reclamation which never came. I left that school when it closed so we had to take everything with us as otherwise it would have just been dumped. Some of them I have no recollection of seeing before.
Bach without a doubt.

ian

  • not a woman, not an american, not a vampire
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #11 on: 02 November, 2020, 06:02:36 pm »
Not for years, though I like the idea. I did use to write extensively to a girlfriend back in the day when she lived on another continent (we had email, but you know, love). That was back in the day you wrote on thin airmail paper (does that still exist?) and slapped a 'par avion' sticker on the front.

I remember having a pen friend when I was a kid though. That was awful. He lived in Australia and every day was exciting and featured kangaroos and alligators and I swear he had one boys-own adventure every week. I lived in the East Midlands and my best chance of wildlife excitement was seeing a rat jump in the canal by the sewage farm outlet. He'd send me a letter about his hot air balloon ride, all I had was that we'd watched 3-2-1 while eating chips. That was a short correspondence. Honestly, the fucker was going parachuting. What was I going to do with that? I once went on a day trip to Skegness and got sick because I ate a brussel sprout (entirely true – it shot out like a rocket and hit my mum in the face).
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020 (postponed due to COVID)

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #12 on: 02 November, 2020, 06:37:22 pm »
I wrote a letter today! Far from art albeit handwritten, it was a note to explain why I was returning an item (correct item already received and I'm not sure they really expected me to return the wrong one).

Writing a letter just for the sake of it is something I haven't done for many years. Possibly not even this century, certainly not in the last, say, eight years. One of the great advantages of email is the address follows someone around through housemoves. Not sure when I last used a fountain pen either, though I think I do have one somewhere.
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Re: Writing letters
« Reply #13 on: 02 November, 2020, 07:02:00 pm »
When I contacted my new found sibling sisters I wrote to them using a fountain pen. Seemed the right thing to do.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #14 on: 02 November, 2020, 08:07:50 pm »
I wrote and posted three letters over the weekend:

one to my daughter in Melbourne, hopefully in time for her birthday on 10th November;

one to my brother just for the hell of it - he is co-executor of Aunt Phyllis's will and a form needed both signatures. I printed a first-class address label for the envelope but then Dez offered to deliver the letter by hand. That means I had spent 76p for nothing, so I used it anyway, on some pretty decent notepaper that I think my mother brought here hen she moved in in 2001;

one to my grand-daughter. I thought it would be a rather nice idea if she and I were to start a series of correspondence since she is now Year 6, is reading some pretty advanced stuff and I've offered to buy her a fountain pen and some decent quality notepaper for the purpose.

I have found that Waitrose will add books of stamps to our weekly shop so I bought 2x12 first class and 1x12 second. That constitutes about 30% if the grocery bill but it will save the somewhat soulless process of printing address forms and sticking them to envelopes.
Bach without a doubt.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #15 on: 16 November, 2020, 02:25:53 pm »
I received my first letter form my grand-daughter this morning. Very welcome and she finished with "P.S. Please write back soon."
Bach without a doubt.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #16 on: 10 January, 2021, 12:44:13 pm »
Only just come across this marvellous thread!

I’m very much a letter writer. The sensuous pleasure of a fountain pen nib over good-quality notepaper is such a joy. As is something landing on the mat and recognising a loved friend’s handwriting. Choosing ink colours, paper and envelopes, it’s an analogue delight.
Milk please, no sugar.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #17 on: 10 January, 2021, 08:21:40 pm »
Regarding some of the above posts, I received a very entertaining letter from the Melbourne daughter on New Year's Eve. The letter I had posted on 1st November arrived with her on 26th November and she replied by return. I posted another to her a few days ago, and put a smaller denomination of stamps on.

My grand-daughter seems to have had a flash of enthusiasm which has waned rather - not especially surprising in a 10-year-old.
Bach without a doubt.

Wowbagger

  • Sylph
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #18 on: 10 January, 2021, 09:26:31 pm »
I have, this evening, applied to join the Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society.

 “The Handwritten Letter Appreciation Society” to PO Box 9347, Swanage, Dorset, BH19 9BG.

http://thehandwrittenletterappreciationsociety.org/

Of course, I sent a cheque.
Bach without a doubt.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #19 on: 10 January, 2021, 09:37:51 pm »
I always send handwritten letters to my spiritual director. He got a thingy from his wife, that enables him to hand write on his tablet. He sends the resulting letter to me - via email.

Milk please, no sugar.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #20 on: 10 January, 2021, 09:56:43 pm »
My grand-daughter seems to have had a flash of enthusiasm which has waned rather - not especially surprising in a 10-year-old.
I used to hate writing letters when I was that age – but once I'd got started on an individual letter and got beyond "Thank you for the xyz", I used to get really into making the letter as interesting, entertaining and news-filled (for a ten-year old's perspective) as I could. They went on for pages and pages! What my elderly aunts ect ect thought of them I'm not sure...

I always send handwritten letters to my spiritual director. He got a thingy from his wife, that enables him to hand write on his tablet. He sends the resulting letter to me - via email.
Interesting idea. How does the experience for you as the recipient compare to receiving a letter on paper?
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Ruthie

  • Her Majester
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #21 on: 10 January, 2021, 10:19:25 pm »
My grand-daughter seems to have had a flash of enthusiasm which has waned rather - not especially surprising in a 10-year-old.
I used to hate writing letters when I was that age – but once I'd got started on an individual letter and got beyond "Thank you for the xyz", I used to get really into making the letter as interesting, entertaining and news-filled (for a ten-year old's perspective) as I could. They went on for pages and pages! What my elderly aunts ect ect thought of them I'm not sure...

I always send handwritten letters to my spiritual director. He got a thingy from his wife, that enables him to hand write on his tablet. He sends the resulting letter to me - via email.
Interesting idea. How does the experience for you as the recipient compare to receiving a letter on paper?

Well, it’s quicker. But I would much prefer a paper letter. You don’t accidentally come across an old email in the back of a drawer. Or a bundle of old emails tied together with ribbon. See also: paper photos.
Milk please, no sugar.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #22 on: 10 January, 2021, 11:26:49 pm »
In the distant past we wrote letters (some of which would have arrived the same day!) We took photographs that required planning. Getting family members together, writing down who they were etc.

Then we got busy with mass production. We all too photos, the we still have. We still wrote letters, though. Latelry some were faxed (lot gone - it fades...)

Digital happened, and the number of photos went exponential. The staying power of each photo went in the opposite way. Only more so. Since the turn of the century precious little of what we have 'created' will be found in the back of a drawer. It just won't be found at all. Stuck as 0 and 1 on a storage device that fails the test of time, in a format that similarly cannot be read.

I marvel at photos of our town taken in the 50s. Quaint street signs, motor cars, clothing, civilisation.
I've taken photos like this over the last 20 years, but they won't be cherished in 50 years time because they will be lost.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

MikeFromLFE

  • Previously known as Millimole
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #23 on: 11 January, 2021, 09:38:47 am »


I marvel at photos of our town taken in the 50s. Quaint street signs, motor cars, clothing, civilisation.
I've taken photos like this over the last 20 years, but they won't be cherished in 50 years time because they will be lost.
This just one of the reasons why I've become fascinated with analogue / film photography, and (according to Mrs M) wasting film on mundane street scenes. We don't know what our grandchildren will find fascinating, but we can be pretty sure that they can do something with that drawer full of 35mm negatives (if my son doesn't put them on the bonfire!)
Too many angry people - breathe & relax.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Writing letters
« Reply #24 on: 11 January, 2021, 09:54:16 am »
My grand-daughter seems to have had a flash of enthusiasm which has waned rather - not especially surprising in a 10-year-old.
I used to hate writing letters when I was that age – but once I'd got started on an individual letter and got beyond "Thank you for the xyz", I used to get really into making the letter as interesting, entertaining and news-filled (for a ten-year old's perspective) as I could. They went on for pages and pages! What my elderly aunts ect ect thought of them I'm not sure...

I always send handwritten letters to my spiritual director. He got a thingy from his wife, that enables him to hand write on his tablet. He sends the resulting letter to me - via email.
Interesting idea. How does the experience for you as the recipient compare to receiving a letter on paper?

Well, it’s quicker. But I would much prefer a paper letter. You don’t accidentally come across an old email in the back of a drawer. Or a bundle of old emails tied together with ribbon. See also: paper photos.
But I'm wondering why you prefer a paper letter! My thoughts are that an email is almost entirely visual (some are occasionally aural too) whereas a paper letter is visual, tactile and olfactory. The paper has its own texture and smell, and as it ages they often increase (in a good way). OTOH an email can contain attachments and links, not only photos and documents but videos and links to websites and so on. Sure, it used to be common to include photos and cuttings with letters, but you can't include a movie, music or a website. Though if you want to send a hand drawing it's probably easier by letter.

On staying power of photos and finding letters in the back of drawers: About ten years ago I briefly used my sister's address for correspondence and during lockdown one she said she had a letter for me (not from her, it was a mobile phone contract I'd cancelled). So she came round to deliver it (suitably distanced!) and at the same time handed over a bundle of old letters and photos that had been hanging round in her attic for twenty-plus years. Mostly from people I'd met gallivanting round in New Zealand and half-forgotten about.

I don't entirely agree that printed photos have more staying power than digital ones though. They're less easy to ignore due to their physical presence but for the same reason it's easier to regard them as clutter, throw them away, then regret it decades later. But I expect Jaded has his all organised in albums.  :)
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.