Well, not so much rules as guidelines. Little snippets of plain, common sense, which will go a long way to endear you to me. Or to anyone else really.Continue reading
There’s not long to go until Lettermo begins. (AKA A Month of Letters.) Have you signed up yet? I probably won’t post very often over there, but I will be writing letters every day during february. Thing is, every month is lettermo for me. I write letters almost every day anyway. So it’s not really a novelty for me. There’s a fair amount of “gosh wow, look at me, writing letters”! Which is not to say that I am mocking it. I think it’s a great idea, getting people to write letters, who would not have done so before. But for those of us who like to write letters as in, we like to breath, it’s nothing very special.
Having written that, will be taking part, and if you are looking for someone to write to, please do consider writing to me.
I keep records (in a Filofax, natch!) of all the letters, cards etc. that I write and receive. I also keep track of all the new penpals I have each month, from march. So now, for your edification and mine, here is the list:
January: wrote 35, received 46.
February: wrote 24, received 38.
March: wrote 56, received 49, had 97 penpals.
April: wrote 45, received 41, had 101 penpals.
May: wrote 62, received 30, had 106 penpals.
June: wrote 55, received 40, had 112 penpals.
July: wrote 108, received 79, had 125 penpals.
August: wrote 83, received 94, had 145 penpals.
September: wrote 92, received 95, had 164 penpals.
October: wrote 92, received 78, had 172 penpals.
November: wrote 132, received 108, had 186 penpals.
December: wrote 133, received 160, had 192 penpals.
TOTAL: I wrote 917 and received 858, and gained 95 penpals in 2015!!!
Not bad, eh? So, can I write 1000 letters this year? Piece of cake!
Should one send an angry letter, especially to a penpal? I once got a letter from a penpal informing that I am boring, and that she did not want to write to me any more. I was terribly angry and dreadfully hurt. But I calmed myself down and did not reply to her letter, except to return photographs she had sent me. After all, she was entitled to her opinion and if she had decided that I was too boring to write to, then okay. Actually, she was pretty boring too, but I would never have said so. I would have gone on writing for as long as she wanted to. But then I’m funny that way.
A while ago I received an angry letter from a penpal, who is also, of course, no longer a penpal of mine now. I remember taking it out of the mail box and being so excited, for letters from this person were few and far between. I was delighted to receive a letter from her; even one a year would have been a joy. But when I got into the house and opened the envelope, and read the short, terse note, I cried. I am not ashamed to say that, I actually wept.
I was confused, not able to remember if I had written anything that would have merited such horrible, bitter words. I know I have a Swiss cheese brain, but I could not think of anything. I am still sure that she completely misunderstood something I had written. It is true that the UK and US are two nations divided by a common language., as someone wise once said. Sometimes I can say, and write, something which is a throw-away comment, not meant to be serious, and find that I am, indeed, taken seriously.
But whatever it was, I wish to goodness that the lady in question had either not replied at all, ever, or had taken a while longer to think about what she was writing. Did she ever know how much hurt, confusion and how many tears her words caused? Did she care? Probably not. For if she had then she would have remembered the saying, that if you cannot say anything nice, then it is better to say nothing at all. Honesty? Sometimes it is overrated, if the result of one’s proud honesty to make someone else cry.
Only three letters today and all from the UK. I’m trying to increase the number of people I write to in the UK as I think that, while it is lovely and all to learn about other countries through overseas penpals, I should also learn more about the country I live in. Mostly, I find UK penpals in friendship books. I had a list of all the counties of England and my ambition is to get one penpal from each. And to do the same with Wales and Scotland. I have a similar list of all the countries in the world, subdivided into continents. Yes, I know, it sounds most peculiar!
Of my current penpals, the largest number are from Germany. Partly because I was once a member of a penpal club, Letternet, run by the German Post Office. Membership was free and they would send out a magazine three or four times a year, in German and English. After a few years that was too expensive, so they stopped the magazine. But one could still get lots of German penpals for no charge. Sadly, the club closed down last year. But I still write to lots of very nice German ladies and I kept the magazines.