Posted by: Bruce | July 22, 2012

And she wrote me a letter.

I have an American cousin, well three actually, but one that I write to. I haven’t always done this; the staying in touch over the years has been something managed by my Mum, a long time letter writer.

Perhaps 12-18 months ago I thought I’d like to write to my cousin as well. I did, and happily it was warmly received. We have been writing to each other since. Not that this means lots of letters have  been exchanged; considering the time factor of postage and well meaning but not rapid letter writing by someone similar to myself, I hardly have a large pile to look at. However, I have to say, I like the process of writing to, and receiving letters from my cousin in California.

It will be a slow getting to know you type of thing though. The last time I saw my three cousins was in Australia and we were all only little. They moved back to America and lived their lives with little or no contact with most family members located down under; with the exception of my Mum, the sister of their Dad. I wonder what my Mum has told them over the years, of her four daughters and two sons? Struth, there’s a worry.

Well, on with the story; which is not meant to be a family history, but about writing letters; bit of a retro type of communication now I guess. Nevertheless, the anticipation of a letter in the post, in response to my letter weeks before, is a likeable feeling. Barring some kind of misfortune, or loss of interest by my cousin, I know that at some time earlier,she has sat herself down somewhere, sometime, with pen and paper. Perhaps she chewed the end of the pen, perhaps she had to get more paper, or another card. She likes to write on cards. And when she did sit down to write, she was talking to me, in the near future, a fair distance away.

Once that future has arrived; by that, I mean the trusty posty on his/her Honda motor scooter has zoomed up the footpath after dropping off the letter; then it’s my turn to write.

A bit like a blog post really but no spellcheck, formatting or rewriting bits here and there after a review. If a page is really bad, then it’s retro delete; screwing up the page and starting over.

So having re-read the last letter to make sure I cover any questions or points of curiosity by my cousin, out comes the pen and paper. Ah, the smell of ink and a page of blank lines. Provided I concentrate a little more than when putting font on blank screen, off I go. It’s my turn to chew the pen and write to my cousin in the near future.

The photo above is like reality television except it’s a reality photo. I finished this letter and had it in the post in time for Friday afternoon clear-out.

I guess many people write letters as a matter of necessity, for many reasons. Perhaps they enjoy it, perhaps not. For me, despite the magic of clicking an email instantly across the world, the writing of letters still holds a particular interest. The written word is definitely individual and hand-made.

A couple of things to finish off; my cousin’s sisters also get to read or hear my letters; and my cousin writes on all of her letters “World Peace”. According to my Mum, her brother (who served as a young fighter pilot in WW2) used to write these words on his letters. It seems at least one of his daughters is carrying on that habit.

World Peace

Last but not least; on a thought I Googled ‘writing letters’ and below are two links off the first page. The first site genuinely offers to teach you how to write letters and, amazingly, that includes a love letter. An interesting read without doubt, no it’s not rude. I think I could manage one independently but I guess someone will use the guide. Hints include mood lighting and music, your perfume or after shave for the letter and if you check it out I’d like to know what you think!

The second site is that of Australia Post and it appears that it also has an objective of teaching the art of letter writing for adults and students. Good for business I suppose and helpful for resumes etc. The things you learn.

Letter Writing Guide – Letter Writing & Sample Letters

Australia Post Our post – Primary, writing letters

Words for today:       a “Dear John letter”

Not the kind of letter that a guy likes to get. It is usually from his wife or girlfriend giving him the flick because she has found someone else.

More to come;    same blog time, same blog channel


  1. I understand the anticipation of receiving snail mail – it is so appreciated these days
    -enjoyed your post


    • Thank you for reading and I’m glad you liked it. I think snail mail will be here for a while so I don’t have to pack away my pen and paper. Bruce


  2. you made me think back to getting mail as a child, and what a big deal it was. makes me want to write my mom a letter, good stuff.


    • I’m sure your Mum will love getting a letter from you. I’m glad you liked it. Bruce


  3. What a great entry. I really miss writing ordinary letters – I have the fountain pens… but my handwriting is still atrocious.

    There has to be a way to get back into writing letters again… doesn’t there?

    Thanks for sharing.


    • I agree with you on the atrocious writing bit; I have to deliberately slow my writing to keep it legible. If you take out pen and paper though, the one receiving your letter really won’t care if it’s a bit messy. After all, that’s you. Making the decision to write, not type, might get you back into something you miss; writing a letter or two. Glad you liked the post and thanks for commenting. Bruce


  4. Hi Bruce!
    Wonderful post 🙂 You know I always felt that snail mails are really special..especially in today’s date when emails rule.Her mails are much awaited.The very first sight of the postal stamps always make me smile 🙂



    • Hi Sayori, thanks, I’m really glad you enjoyed it. The stamps are important aren’t they? I’m not sure what it is about them, but you know that they cost a little, perhaps licked to stick, and travelled the distance to get the letter to you. Emails rule I guess but letters, I think, have a charm of their own. I wonder if many people choose to stay in touch this way? Bruce


      • Hi Bruce
        You are right.I have always chosen letters over e-mails ….there is something v.special about it.During my high school days, there was a prose piece called “On Letter Writing” by a British writer ….hopefully A.J.Gardiner (dont know if I could recollect the name correctly) that actually emphasized on writing letters ,that was a luxury back in the 19th century. And I loved your post because I was reading something that really touched.

        Sayori 🙂


      • Hi Sayori, it’s good to know you’re a letter writer. It sounds as if your family life is just right for letter writing. Probably more letter fans around than I thought. Thanks again for your thoughts and kind words. Bruce


  5. I love receiving letters. I wish people would write me letters 😦 No one writes letters anymore and I don’t like it. I love that you still are!!!


    • Hullo SquishyMonster, or should I call you Squishy or Angie? Just guessing, but I think you really like receiving letters. To get the letter box working you might have to start the ball rolling and write to some of your friends. Send me a letter downunder, I’ll write back!
      I have a question for you; when I clicked on your details I was taken to your WordPress site which is different to your other site I first looked at. Is that because you are moving your blog or just have two sites, or is the WordPress site the older site? I was a little confused (easily done).
      I really like your comment. I hope you get a letter or two to get the smiley face smiling. Bruce


  6. Everyone loves to get a letter. Usually what’s in the post is bills, bills and more bills. But a letter, that is something to savour. I believe letter writing is a lost art. E-mail is an amazing tool for business or for dealing with something pressing, but I often feel that we have lost the personal nature of a letter. There is something exciting about the anticipation of reading something written by someone’s own hand. I will check out those websites.


    • Initially I was a little puzzled when I saw websites for writing letters but then, knowing how to put various types of letters together is an asset. For those that don’t have a clue, these sites could be a good thing. There is, as you say, something different about receiving a hand written letter. Maybe they are becoming an endangered communication and we need to write more to preserve the art. Check out the love letter hints if you visit the site! Thank you for reading and your comments. Bruce


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