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

Friday, October 8, 2010

101 things I love about letters: #7 The sounds

A couple of days ago I went to check my post office box and realised I'd left my key at home. No problem, I would just pop into the post office (I needed stamps anyway) and ask them for the spare key.

The woman on the counter was in a cheery mood and after sorting out my postage, she offered to check my post box for me. She was gone a minute or two and then handed me three pieces of good mail - lovely.

All was good. But as I walked away I felt like something was missing... It took me a minute to realise... It was the sounds that accompanied the act of checking my post office box - the rattle of the keys as I took them out of my bag and wriggled the key in, the little click as I turned it... the tiny sigh the door makes as I swing it open. Without going through these motions and hearing the sounds, I felt a like I hadn't collected my mail, even though I was holding it in my hand.

So I've been noticing all the sounds that go with letters in my life. The distinctive squeek, clang of opening and closing my home letterbox. The whisper of a pen across a sheet of paper. The little pat as I stick down the flap of an envelope. The crinkly sound as the papers inside squash up a bit as I press down on the stamp to make sure it's on properly. The shhhh of scissors cutting through paper when I'm making an envelope. The soft bong sound when I drop outgoing mail into my metal mail holder. The flicking sound as I shuffle through my stack of postcards wondering what to send to a postcrosser. The small creaks that accompany me as I open and close the drawers  on my white desk, looking for clippings, envelopes, or glue. And the very distinctive tap, tap,.plop sound if I accidentally knock my 'reply to' pile and the letters slide one-by-one onto the floor.

If I was more tech savvy I would record some of these sounds for you... but instead you could think of the sounds of letters in your world. I'd love to hear what they are...

Love from Kaz


  1. You are enlarging your life staying open to its myriad expressions....my computer's keys are clicking as I write this in a quiet room.

  2. Isn't it wonderful to appreciate the small things in life?

  3. I don't know how I got here but I'm glad I did. Beautifully well written blog, It was well worth the few minutes distraction.

  4. I've always loved the sound of letters being ripped open in the movies. The paper must be/have been thin because there is a special sound it makes. I use a letter opener for fear I'll tear the letter, but I LOVE the sound in the movies.

  5. Thanks for all the great comments everyone.

    Lisa, you know I'd never thought about that but now that you mention it, it is a great sound. I wonder if they use the same sound effect over and over?

    Also, and this will sound weird, I've always loved the sound of people eating in movies. They seem to have a way of eating that sounds really delicious, and cool.