A blog for anyone who understands the joy of writing and receiving handwritten letters.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Signing off

Here's the thing: rather than blog about writing letters, I really want to just write more letters. This is why I am hanging up my blogging cap, at least for now.

I have enjoyed hanging out here so much. I have made innumerable friends - most of them now pen friends - through this very blog and am grateful for everyone who has stumbled on this little place and decided to write to me. Your letters have all been treasured.

This community of letter-writers that exits in the webisphere is a wonderful thing, and I know I won't be able to resist logging in every now and then to see what some of my favourite letter-bloggers are up to. Keep up the fabulous work!

My problem is that I got overwhelmed. Perhaps I bit off more than I could chew. I found myself struggling to get back to everyone in a reasonable time-frame and once I got a bit behind the problem just grew.

Be assured that if you have written to me, you will get a letter back from me. Also, if you haven't written to me yet, or have just found this blog and would like to write, I am still happy to receive new letters and write back. I will leave this blog 'live' because I am always excited to get letters from other letter-lovers.

I'm just wanting to slow things down a little, relieve the pressure, and stay connected to all the things I really do love about writing and receiving letters.

You can also contact me via email - ilovelettersatgmaildotcom.

Special thanks to Pamela for your kind inquiry as to my whereabouts... it was nice to be missed. :-)

Take care everyone...

Love from Kaz

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

We have a winner - at last

Ah, 'Better late than never' is a saying I am grateful for as I often draw upon it. This is one such occasion. I have FINALLY drawn my give away (only one week and two days late).

Here is the result:

True Random Number GeneratorMin: Max: Result:71

Number 71 is the lovely and talented lady behind 365 Letters. Congratulations! Your prize will be winging its way to you shortly.

Love from Kaz

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

101 Things I love about letters #9 Living history

I had the great fortune recently to get to write a story about the connection between a man that lives near Yass and the late great Australian aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. Kingsford Smith and his co-pilot Tommy Pethybridge went down in mysterious circumstances over the Bay of Bengal 75 years ago, while making a world-record attempt of the fastest flight between England and Australia.

The man I interviewed was the nephew of Tommy Pethybridge and I was privileged to see many of his amazing family mementos. Among the sepia photographs and frail newspaper clippings were letters Tommy had written to his family. One in particular was pretty amazing. He wrote it while in the US with Kingsford Smith. They were there to pick up their new plane, which they called The Lady Southern Cross - and it was this plane that they went down in just a few months later. The wonderful thing about the letter I got to read was the immediacy of it. It felt like I was listening to Tommy's own voice. He wrote with amazement that you could buy a car "only a year old for just $25!". He thought America was a wonderful place with lots to see and do and his wide-eyed enthusiasm really comes through in his letter. It reminds me, in a really tangible way, that he was still a very young man when he died - younger than I am now.

In years to come will our grandchildren's children be reading our emails and our facebook updates to discover what we were like? I don't know... I somehow can't picture it. I imagine as technology changes in the future that little will be kept for posterity. Letters tucked away in boxes and drawers are a different matter, though. I know my parents still have old letters that belonged to their parents and grandparents. Yes, the ink eventually fades and the paper will one day disintegrate... but until then they provide a wonderful, tangible, living record of lives that went before. I love that.

Love from Kaz

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Postcrossing dreaming

A wonderful card from a Postcrosser in the US.

After working Monday to Friday for the past few weeks, I can totally relate! Why can we put men on the moon, send digital messages around the world in seconds, find cures for all kinds of disesases... yet we can't invent houses that clean and tidy themselves while we sleep?. Really, what are scientists doing with their time??

Have a great weekend.

Love from Kaz

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A case for shorter intro letters

I'm going out on a limb here but I'm going to declare my preference for shorter first letters.

What do I mean by shorter? Well, not super short. Probably about two pages. or the inside of a card plus a sheet of writing paper... roughly speaking. Less can work well, too... because sometimes less is more.

Prescribing the length of a letter is always a controversial area, so I want to make it really clear here that this is just my personal preference. If I get a super-long first letter I'm okay with that, too. But I do have a preference for shorter ones and here are my reasons, put pretty succinctly:

1. We don't know each other yet. A really long first letter is a bit like a really long one-sided  conversation with someone you just met (reminds me of some dates I've been on!).

2. If we're going to be regular correspondents perhaps it's better to leave a few things for later letters. If you tell me everything about you in letter one, what can I ask about when I write back? I'm a fan of the gradual reveal, where we get to know each other a bit at a time.

3. I feel like if I get a really long first letter, then the expectation is that I'll write a reply letter of similar length and content. I'm not great at telling you everything about myself in one letter. I really prefer to share information in a more organic, gradual way... that seems more natural to me.

4. Sometimes things don't work out. For some reason or other we might decide we're not suited as pen pals. This happens rarely, but still it could happen, and if that's the case you've just spent several hours writing me (a relative stranger) your whole life story for no very good reason.

Is this too harsh? I have really been hesitating to write this... but I've seen lots of stuff on the interwebs lately on this very topic and thought I'd add my thoughts. Of course, I've risked offending some people who have written me long first letters... I really don't mean to do that. Like I said, I'm not about telling people what they should and shouldn't do... this is more about me voicing a particular point of view. My hope is that it will promote some thoughtful, respectful discussion.

So tell me what you think...

Love from Kaz

PS I completely forgot about my regular give away this week (told you I've been busy!)... but it doesn't seem that anybody noticed? Anyway, I have decided that I will draw it next Monday. Remember, all followers are entered automatically and one is drawn at random to receive a surprise package of stationery and various papery items from me. This 'usually' happens every three weeks. If you know people who'd like a piece of the action, they have til Sunday night to follow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A bygone era

I picked this book up on ebay recently. I couldn't resist it. I think it must have been part of a series called 'Australian Knowledge' that probably went out to primary schools everywhere. Judging by the hair styles, etc, I would have placed this in the 1970s, but the publication date says 1985. Funny... I remember the 80s being much more 'modern' than this.

What a happy young postal worker, in a simpler time when people regularly mailed letters to each other and looked forward to the visit of the postie each day.

Doesn't this moustachioed postal worker look pleased with himself?

I'm beginning to think all Australia Post workers used to be on drugs... they all look so happy!

The latest in postal transportation.... once upon a time.

I can still remember when our postie delivered our mail on a pushbike. I loved how he would ding his bell as he pedalled away, if we had mail.

I've really enjoyed flicking through this book and holding a piece of postal history, but now I am beginning to think these pages would make fantastic mail art... What to do? Should I cut it up and put it to use, or preserve it just the way it is? What do you think?

Love from Kaz

Friday, November 19, 2010


Sometimes you get a letter and you just know it has had a long and tiring journey. Of course, I had a hint about this particular letter, as Angelia had already blogged about its adventures here.

Still, when it arrived today I took one look at it and wanted to give it a cup of tea and a good lie down.

 Do you see the chunk that the sorting machine took here?

And a nibble here?

And then it got a bit bent somewhere along the line...

It's such a lovely letter... I thoroughly enjoyed sitting down with it and having a good read. If letters had thoughts and feelings, I expect it would be as glad to have arrived safe and sound as I am to have it. I shall give it a comfortable retirement... once I've replied to it, of course.

Love from Kaz