Pen to paper

31 Day Challenge Day 7

Can you remember the last time you wrote a letter?

I don’t mean a hastily scribbled shopping list on a Post It note. I mean an actual, thoughtfully hand written letter to someone you care enough about to devote that amount time. However small.

To be honest I can’t think when I last wrote a letter. I began thinking about the practise of letter writing when I was looking through a chest of drawers this morning. I was looking for…well it doesn’t really matter what I was looking for but in the process of searching I came across a number of letters written to me by parents. My parents are old, in fact they are very old. Mum is 87 and Dad is 93 and over the years, wherever I’ve lived, they’ve written to me at some point. It was really touching to re-read their words this morning, sometimes telling me that they were worried about me (obviously sent when I was ill) and at other times just telling me that they missed and loved me. Some letters fill a complete side of A4 paper whilst others are only a few lines long but after my first reading of them I obviously found it difficult to simply throw them away so I’ve kept them, folded and hidden away in a ‘safe’ place. To an outsider they don’t mean a thing but to me they’re an extension of my parents’ love and I’m still touched by them years and years later. Of course I will have replied to them in kind but I can’t remember when I last hand-wrote more than a garbled shopping list. (Actually now I even compose those on my phone).

When I was in secondary school my Deputy Head Teacher Mr Scott used to compliment me on my handwriting. In fact he liked it so me he’d regularly ask me to write the day and date at the top of each page in his official school diary. In those days of course there were no laptops so we wrote everyday and as I recall I loved writing (and drawing) particularly with a fountain pen.

Fast forward a gazillion years and my writing really isn’t what it once was. Nowadays we’ve become accustomed to predictive text and those few occasions when I do write something ‘old school’ the results are…well let’s just say, were he still alive, Mr Scott would not be impressed. So this weekend I’m going to sit right down and write each of my parents a letter. They won’t be expecting them but that element of surprise, and the process of handwriting them, will make it even more enjoyable.

Now where’s that fountain pen?…


J x

4 thoughts on “Pen to paper

  1. Maggie Anderson

    Just wanted to say how very much I’m enjoying all your posts, and how much I wish you well in a full recovery. We still talk about you often, here in Edinburgh, remembering what a great shop HK was, the fun classes, the friendly advice and encouragement, and you at the centre of it all with your beautiful smile.
    Incidentally, pleased to report I last hand wrote several letters on Tuesday – Christmas thank-yous – does that count? They did say more than just thank you!
    My boss gets me to do all the hand-written cards and greetings at work, on the grounds that I allegedly have beautiful handwriting. Personally I think half the time it’s just a flattering way of avoiding having to do them herself!

    1. Hi Maggie, it’s so lovely to hear from you I hope you’re well. Thank you for saying such lovely things about HK, they were really good days in Edinburgh and whilst I love living here in Hove I still miss Scotland a lot. Yes, thank you letters definitely count but you certainly couldn’t just say thank you, that would be mean. Oh and as for your boss’ compliment on your hand writing, I’d take it! x

      PS I hope you’re still knitting or creating?

      1. Maggie Anderson

        Oh yes, for sure I’m still knitting! So many gorgeous yarns and tempting patterns, so little time! And since July my elder daughter is also knitting, with total obsession! We both go to Cathy Robb’s Kathy’s Knits knitting group. Maggie x

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