Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

My name is Alice and I write letters.
Almost two years ago Gemma and I decided to send each other a card, and from that moment on my love for letter writing began.
65 letters, 47 cards and 19 post cards later...
This has become one of my very favourite past times and hobbies.
I am lucky to have found so many lovely pen pals along the way. I feel sad that it took me all this time to realise, but I know that however far technology takes us into the future, letter writing will always be significant and serve a purpose in my life.
The beauty of letter writing is that, however deep or dark your thoughts, or equally bright and cheery, there is always someone to listen to what you have to say. Words can’t heal us, or stop our minds worrying, but they can soothe and uplift us on the darkest of days. A problem shared is a problem halved, and sometimes just sealing that envelope and popping it through the post box lets free all those racing emotions.
In letter writing consistency is not dates or deadlines, the real advantage is that there is no set structure. You can always pick up exactly where you left off, if life gets busy its okay to take a break.
Of course there’s the fun part too, sending or receiving a birthday card from your pen pal is always that litte bit special, as it only comes around once a year. A postcard from a holiday or another country is always exciting. I made it my mission to send as many postcards as possible from my trip to Paris in March.
I knew right from the off I wanted to make it special because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would have loved receiving a token of french nostalgia. I posted the cards moments after I had got engaged, right from the bottom of the Eiffel tower, which marks a very special moment in my life.
Stamps have a nostalgic nature to them, postmarks and dates serve as a great reminder of times, seasons and years.
Penpalling is not going to set you back a lot of money, of course to begin letter writing you need the essential kit: a pen, paper and envelopes but it’s pretty much free reign from there on. I’ve received a whole host of amazing papers and envelopes, although it’s truly the words that count, a nicely presented letter is always a bonus. Be as imaginative as you like, sometimes the smallest of details are the most sincere.
Postage can be first or second class, sometimes the mystery of when your letter will arrive adds to the thrill. I always buy my stamps in books of 6 or 12, so it doesn’t mean queuing at the post office for just one stamp. Buying in bulk can often mean you have some set aside for a rainy day too.
Stamps make great presents too, my Mr once bought me a Smilers stamp sheet customised with 20 first class stamps and a photograph of Jasper as a birthday gift. This was one of the most thoughtful and useful gifts I’ve ever received.
Maybe one day I’ll look back on this time in my life, and relish the fact I made some truly amazing pals, and hopefully still be in touch with.
Butterflies courtesy of Jem.
It doesn’t take an extraordinary person to be a great pen pal, all you really need is commitment and promise and with that you might just brighten up someone’s life.
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26 comments

  1. What a lovely post! I do love letter writing and try to keep up the habit as much as possible! I love sending letters to my grandma, she only lives up the road but we're always sending each other mail.... I keep all of mine together in a box too! x

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  2. This is a beautiful post Alice. Writing just for the pure joy of it is such a wonderful thing. xxx

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  3. What a charming post! I love how you've archived your postal delights so prettily in the vintage suitcase. xxx

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  4. Great post! I write letters to my friend in Canada and I love it, it's so much more exciting than sending an email. xx

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  5. What a lovely post! I had pen pals when I was younger but I sadly left that behind. I'd love to write more letters!
    xx

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  6. I second this entire post Alice. It's such a joy to look through letters and re-read the thoughts of a friend. It always sounds exactly the same. Such a delightful accumulation of pretty paper too, the photographs are just adorable :) x

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  7. That's so sweet! I had a pen pal for years but it stopped when we got older, I'd love to get in touch with her again :)

    Tara
    The Style Rawr!
    xoxo

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  8. Aaaah, this is so lovely! I used to spend all my time in lessons at school writing letters for my friends, I have a huge box of them still at my Mum's from when I was 14! I don't write any so much anymore :( xo.

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  9. Aaaw I can see some of my library stamps and Wlesh dragon stamps :) Didn't know that I recieved your first card! I've just got some new post cards and paper so expect a letter soon xx

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  10. This is a lovely post Alice. I agree with everything you write about the specialness of proper letters.
    (I have all the love letters my husband and I wrote to each other over a two year period - there was quite some distance between us, so there are lots of them. A little cringe-worthy now, but still lovely, and they capture a time in our lives when we were young and totally besotted with each other)
    Oh, and there's nothing nicer than finding a proper letter in your letter box.

    p.s. still on the look-out for that Ladybird, I haven't forgotten.

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  11. Aww gosh how lovely, what a lot of lovely memories you have here that you can keep forever! I'd love to have a penpal but I'm always terrible at replying to letters! I can't even keep up with emails!

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

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  12. Aww that's so cute, what a lovely post. It's a shame the art of letter writing has almost died out x

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  13. I've just tweeted a link to this post because it's just so lovely. Really nice you find the time to nurture friendships in this way, letter writing is so thoughtful :) ♥ Claire @ Jazzpad

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  14. I love love love getting letters and postcards from you! I will have to make an effort to write more :) xxx

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  15. What a gorgeous post, and lovely photos. I just received a lovely birthday gift from my aunt and uncle - it's a tiny silver envelope for keeping stamps in, dating from 1908. I guess I should fill it up and then put it to good use.
    x

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  16. This is a beautiful post! Letter writing is always something I mean to be better at. My first year at uni I sent and received so many letters and postcards (we didn't have facebook then - hard to believe!) and it made being away from home so much less lonely.

    You've definitely inspired me to pick up my pen again! So many thanks for that!

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  17. wow thats amazin and so inspiring! i def need to start writing again! :) x

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  18. Yes you got to love real letters, and your collection is so pretty! And I love how you store all your letters in a suitcase, lovely!

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  19. lovely collection. ı usde to have 20 penfriends and I was receiving 5-10 letters daily,it was fun!
    I'll be happy if you stop by my blog too=)

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  20. I love this post, Alice! and i was one of the lucky person who got sent a lovely postcard from paris from you! I adore your pretty collections, i love the vintage suitcase where you store those beautiful posts too, such an inspiration and it makes me want to start writing more often!

    love,
    Susan

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  21. This is amazingg
    http://georginagoodman.blogspot.co.uk
    xxx

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  22. What a lovely post :) It's great that you have all these to cherish and look back through. It's always the best things in life that are priceless :) Xxx

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  23. I adore writting letters. i have been a member of swap bot for a few months now, but also have 5 long term penpals who I have been writing to for 3 years or so. Your suitcase full is so cute. I have mine in a file but a case would be better. If you ever want a new penpal, drop me an email!
    Daisy Dayz
    Cross-Jones-Photography

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  24. Such a beautiful post, and I agree with other commenters in that letters are a priceless treasure to keep in later life :) I've only just returned to the blogosphere after something of a hiatus and I'm so glad to have rediscovered your lovely blog, needless to say it's one of my favourites! xxxx

    www.coffeeandrosesx.blogspot.com
    x

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  25. busy busy! lovely post!

    theistyleblog.blogspot.com

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