Friday, March 07, 2008

Letters in the dark

I'm an old fashioned sort of guy really. Despite being as 21st century as the next person (I blog, Facebook, e-mail, had digital tv til recently, have an mp3 player, the usual) I have a grĂ¡ for the old school too.

I've been reading a book of letters sent by quite a prominent 20th century entertainment figure and that, in conjunction with a conversation I had with a work colleague about e-mails from ten years ago one of her old college friends had printed out and given to her gave me an idea I've since started to put in motion.

See she was shocked by just what a different person she was in those mails, a decade ago. As would we all be I suppose. Very few of us ever get to make that comparison, save those of us who write diaries, and even then it's a very introspective, sometimes wanky comparison.
Maybe that's why we blog? The question Atreus was asking earlier. Maybe this form of question and answer discourse is the new, public way of conducting letter writing relationships people would have 50 years ago.

So that's where I'm heading with all this. I've bought fancy writing paper and envelopes and, this weekend, I'm going to start writing letters to my friends. Maybe some of them will respond in kind, maybe I'll just get polite bemused looks from them the next time I see them, but at least I'll have tried. Maybe I'll start something that will last the rest of my life and act as an archive between me and them, a record of our friendship, each of us holding the other's half. Who knows.

A couple of people I've floated the idea to seem very enthusiastic about it so I'll keep you up to date :)


  1. Old school all the way. I'm 100% with you. That Alison Moyet number is ringing through my head as I type.

  2. Ah, like minds - I'm about to start a blog shared with my cousin in the States - we've corresponded since we were kids, on and off. Sadly I don't have those childhood letters anymore.

    She found a blog that does what our plan is to do, more or less: letters alive and well, but instantaneously!

    Nothing beats pen and paper, I know. But the e-communication has its good points too, and you have to be realistic. :)

  3. Just noticed, SL - are you writing to Mrs Shan?

  4. looks more like idiot
    have to say start writing letters.I went to boarding school and while cleaning out a much used cupboard i found a plastic bag full of letters some from an old boyfriend which were quite intense others were from girls and boys and brought back some happy memories of times spent in the stillorgan bowling married thirty seven years this month but the letters from the ex boyfriend still pulled at the heart strings shhhh dont tell idiot or shan