Monday, 30 August 2010

paper + envelope + stamp + post = happiness

ever since we moved to Singapore I have written letters to folks 'back home' ..... you know REAL LETTERS .... ones that use pen and paper and you put them in an envelope and stick a stamp on?

We all love getting letters.

well I do too.

When we traveled for 12 months around Australia in 2002 I wrote 564 letters. Before leaving Melbourne I purchased five boxes of stamp rolls ( they come in a box on a roll of 100 stamps) by the time we reached Adelaide I needed to buy another box. But yes, I used up 564 of those stamps.

That is a lot of mail.
 It was very rare for anyone to reply .... but I kept on writing them. As I had heard from a few that they really enjoyed them and saved every one of my 5 or 6 page letters, some even put them in a folder and kept it on the coffee table to show friends or family.

Knowing that there were a few people that enjoyed reading my letters kept me going.

But I also got a lot of enjoyment out of writing these letters.

After awhile I found it easier to do them on the computer and a lot of the letters ended up as a "cut and paste" from another letter. Well if most people were not bothering to reply, why should I go to the trouble of doing a fully personal letter to them? So after a few months, I just did the first and last paragraph as a 'personal note' and then the body of the letter, the bit about what we had been doing and where we had been was just a 'cut and paste' from another letter.

 Keep in mind these letters were always 4 to 6 pages long.

That's a lot of paper and a lot of printer ink!!!

I did get a lot of enjoyment out of it...... but if others did in the receiving of them, I only heard from the few that did and I know it meant a lot.

When we came to Singapore in February 2007 it was more the norm to send emails..... but after awhile you realize it is quite impersonal in a lot of ways, a very hurried note, barely giving thought to the person.

 So I was back to writing letters again.

I was amazed at who I was receiving letters back from. Not from family, but from people that I rarely saw, neighbours and work colleagues from way back etc .... but after nearly 4 years I have now dwindled down to writing only about half a dozen a month ...... so sad that people just cannot find the time to write to those they care about.
One day time will catch up with us all and then we will be left wondering "why didn't we do that" "How come we didn't find time to see them" etc.....
The stationary stores have so much lovely paper and envelopes these days ..... why don't you go and buy some and sit down tomorrow and write a real letter ...... just one to someone you care about ..... tell them what you have been doing, what you saw today, a flower, the blue sky, a child laughing. It does not matter what you write about ..... but what is important is that you do write.
 If you don't know of anyone to write to, check out this BLOG from a lady talking about Pen Pals [ The Pen Pal Project ] and linking people together .... she is stunned that she rec'd over 500 comments on that one blog posting alone!!

Children rarely get a letter or postcard. Yet they would get so much enjoyment out of recieving a postcard from you! I send postcards to a couple of children every month. They can learn a lot from recieving one, but what they also get is enjoyment in knowing that someone is thinking about them like we all do .......


Boonie S said...

I enjoyed this post about the post. Thanks for this.

All the best, Boonie

Mableinsingapore said...

What a wonderful blog you have here and the photos are beautful especially the one on the sun setting on Singapore. Thank you for sharing your life in Singapore. I do share your passion for writing letters. I tried to with some friends overseas but after a while they found it easier to respond using email and I kind of gave up so I really admire your perseverence. Cheers!

Lisa said...

I sit in q hotel room with 12 postcard written - I've carried them most of the way through Spain! But posting them has proven auite a hassle - sad cos I know they'll be appreciated!
Now what wqs your snail mail address? :)

hausfrau in melbourne said...

Beautifully put Leone. Your postcards are a real treat.

ctrl said...

I know this comment is left quite a long while after you wrote this blog, but I searched 'we love receiving letters' in google and this is what it showed up. When I'm abroad I try and write to my friends too. It's strange really isn't it that people love receiving letters so much but so infrequently write back. Whenever I receive a letter, I'll usually reply in a day or two, if not there an then because I get so excited! So it's not just you :) huzzah to letter writing xx