Jaqui's Daily Blog

Thinking About Good, Old-Fashioned Communication

My niece by marriage, the Really Rather Lovely Naomi, offered to personal message anybody her new address in the event that there might be someone out there who still believed in “good, old-fashioned communication.” Well, you know me, I leapt at the challenge.


Down to the newsagents I went, more or less immediately, to invest in some old-fashioned communication, aka a “Be Happy In Your New Home” greetings card.  Unfortunately we had run out of stamps so I had to invest rather more in a book of 12 second class stamps – huffing and puffing a bit (just for effect, you understand) when I realised that stamps have gone up in price since the last time we invested in them. This is the problem with old-fashioned communication. Thanks to Royal Mail, it is starting to prove expensive.


Nevertheless, I am determined to stick with it. I happen to like sending greetings cards, writing letters, parcelling up presents with little notes inside.  Mr B does beg to differ but on this I will not be moved.


In fact, so inspired was I by the Buying Of The Greetings Card, that I spent a goodly part of the morning on other pieces of old-fashioned communication. “What exactly are you up to?” Mr B wanted to know.  “I am dealing with correspondence,” I told him, loftily. That shut him up.


Of course, when I was a Working Gal, all those many, merry months ago, correspondence was Pretty Serious Stuff.  Today’s correspondence is much more, what you might call, fluffy. There’s another greeting card, this time to friends celebrating a wedding anniversary. Mr B wants to know if they send us anniversary cards. I tell him, sternly, that this is not the point. I also need to send a cheque to the organiser of a future Questers trip. We are visiting an Oboe Factory – never let it be said that Mr B and I do not lead a full, varied and interesting retirement.  I write a little note to accompany the cheque, just a few lines but at least the recipient will know who is sending her money and why. Next I have to send in my annual membership subs for The Worthing Girls. Mr B looks at me and asks who I am kidding but I ignore him. I also write a cheque for a forthcoming Girls Night Out. Obviously short accompanying missives are required.  Good, old-fashioned communication, I tell myself proudly as I set off down the road for the post box.


When the Youngest of the Darling Daughters left University she set off on a gap year, travelling around Australia, working in hotels as a room maid to pay her way.  Those were the days when Old Fashioned Communication was the only kind of communication. No emails, no Facebook, no mobile phones, no text messages. It’s beyond imagination for my younger readers, I expect.  Because I never knew exactly where she would be and when, I used to write to her every week, entrusting my letters to Poste Restante addresses all over Oz.  Whenever she arrived at a particular place there would be one, or two, or several of my letters waiting for her. Only one of those 52 letters went missing over the course of the year which is quite a record. I just hope I didn’t write anything important in that missing letter.


In return my daughter kept a diary which she wrote using ordinary, lined exercise books. Every time she completed a book, she would send it home to us where Mr B and I would fight over the privilege of reading it first. She also kept us supplied with postcards which decorated a map of Australia pinned up on the wall of the dining room, with strips of narrow ribbon and coloured pins marking her progress. I sometimes wonder if we should put the two together – her diaries and my letters – and see if they would add up to an interesting read.  With the demise of both diary writing and letter writing, we might have novelty value, if nothing else.


Of course in the real Olden Days, people would send a letter or post card in the morning knowing it would arrive at its destination by the afternoon.  I have copies of some truly beautiful messages, one of which I have used to illustrate todays’ blog – I hope you like it.


Back for a moment to the post box into whose gaping mouth I delivered my letters this morning. There it stands, in its bright red livery, the standard bearer of Old-Fashioned Communication if ever there was one.  Love your local Post Box. Use it or Lose It. Post a Letter Today.


Three cheers for good, old-fashioned communication. Long may it last.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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